Irish Railwayana

These web pages cover Irish railway memorabilia (for US visitors - railroadiana), with information on the existence of brass, enamel and cast iron signs, plus photos or sketches, where available.

click for 13K .jpg image of BCDR spitting plate BCDR carriage plate

The information complements data, since the early 1990's, on recorded auction prices for these signs to be found on my separate auction price pages. On this site a short history of the companies treated is given on the relevant page together with limited information on stock, signalling, officers, works and liveries, which, hopefully, will be of some use to fellow collectors of memorabilia. Not all Irish companies are covered, but both additional items and companies may be added as work progresses or, if items are few, these will be included in the pages for successor companies. A rough indication of coverage will be indicators red ball through orange ball to green ball(minimal through fairly detailed) below, although individual company pages will often be updated independently of the index page. Last revision dates are shown after update . Rough file sizes are given for white ball Text and yellow ball Images. Thus, the GNR page has an image content of 158k and you may wish to switch off images to speed loading. Details of images, and their size, are specified. Broad grouping is under Standard Gauge, North and South, and Narrow Gauge, plus an unclassified page, with companies as follows:

North, standard gauge

  1. Great Northern Railway, Ireland;green ball - (Size white ball 20kyellow ball 158k, update 11/12/08)
  2. Dundalk, Newry and Greenore Railway ;green ball- (Size white ball 11kyellow ball 98k, update9/6/07)
  3. Northern Ireland Railways;red ball- (Size white ball 8kyellow ball 135k, update 28/1/15)
  4. Ulster Transport Authority;red ball- (Size white ball 10kyellow ball 208k, update 24/1/15)
  5. Belfast and County Down Railway;green ball- (Size white ball 13kyellow ball 474k, update 5/7/15)
  6. London Midland and Scottish Railway, NCC;green ball- (Size white ball 11kyellow ball 58k, update 14/12/08)
  7. Midland Railway, NCC;green ball- (Size white ball 10kyellow ball 263k, update 5/7/15)
  8. Belfast and Northern Counties Railway;green ball- (Size white ball 13kyellow ball 275k, update 5/7/15)
  9. Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties ball- (Size white ball 10kyellow ball 252k, update 23/1/15)

South, standard gauge

  1. Coras Iompair Éireann and Irish Rail;green ball- (Size white ball 15kyellow ball 81k, update 17/1/12)
  2. Great Southern Railway(s);green ball- (Size white ball 10kyellow ball 64k, update 17/1/12)
  3. Midland and Great Western Railway;green ball- (Size white ball 11kyellow ball 43k, update 8/12/03)
  4. Great Southern and Western Railway;green ball- (Size white ball 12kyellow ball 89k, update 25/9/04)
  5. Waterford, Dungarvan and Lismore Railway;orange ball- (Size white ball 7kyellow ball 63k, update 1/5/07)
  6. Waterford, Limerick and Western Railway;orange ball- (Size white ball 11kyellow ball 101k, update 28/1/15)
  7. Waterford and Central Ireland Railway;red ball- (Size white ball 10kyellow ball 52k, update 28/5/09)
  8. Dublin and South Eastern Railway;green ball- (Size white ball 19kyellow ball 219k, update 24/1/15)
  9. Waterford and Tramore Railway;orange ball- (Size white ball 9kyellow ball 62k, update 23/1/15)
  10. Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway;green ball- (Size white ball 12kyellow ball 154k, update 5/7/15)
  11. Other Cork railways (CMDR, TCLR).green ball- (Size white ball 8kyellow ball 93k, update 28/1/15)

Narrow gauge

  1. County Donegal Railways Joint Committee;orange ball- (Size white ball 12kyellow ball 397k, update 5/7/15)
  2. West and South Clare Railways;green ball- (Size white ball 9kyellow ball 112k, update 5/7/15)
  3. Clogher Valley Railway;orange ball- (Size white ball 7kyellow ball 167k, update 5/7/15)
  4. Cavan and Leitrim Railway;orange ball- (Size white ball 9kyellow ball 145k, update19/1/15)
  5. Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway;red ball- (Size white ball 8kyellow ball 34k, update 26/9/13)
  6. Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway;orange ball- (Size white ball 9kyellow ball 115k, update 17/1/12)
  7. Tralee and Dingle Light Railway;orange ball- (Size white ball 6kyellow ball 28k, update 14/1/12)
  8. Other Irish narrow gauge, ball- (Size white ball 24kyellow ball 213k, update 23/1/15)


  1. Unclassified Irish;green ball- (Size white ball 7kyellow ball 342k, update 18/1/15)
  2. Signalling;green ball- (Size white ball 4kyellow ball 1137k, update 5/7/15)
  3. Posters;green ball- (Size white ball 25kyellow ball 627k, update 5/7/15)
  4. Britain in Ireland;green ball- (Size white ball 4kyellow ball 346k, update 5/7/15)
  5. Fake Irish railwayana;green ball- (Size white ball 14kyellow ball 60k, update 28/1/15)

Data was principally compiled from auction records, advertisements and contacts with individual collectors. An entry reflects the fact that the sign included is still likely to exist somewhere. Where items are known to be in recognised collections, this is indicated (abbreviations being, IRRS - Irish Railway Record Society, UFTM - Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, RPSI - Railway Preservation Society of Ireland, NRMY - National Railway Museum, York, DRM - Doncaster Railway Museum, BFRM - Big Four Railway Museum, Bournemouth, FRY - Cyril Fry's collection at Malahide Castle, Dublin), otherwise private is indicated (data on nameplates comes from Ian Wright's book "Nameplates on Display"). In certain cases, where generic plates are known to have existed, but no evidence remains that they have been saved, a '?' appears after the plate in question. For serious expertise on all subjects devoted to Irish railways, readers are referred to the Irish Railway Record Society, Heuston Station, Dublin 8, and its scholarly and attractive Journal (in June 2011 at issue No. 175).

Objective of site: To stimulate interest in, and appreciation of, the variety of Irish railway signs by a broader audience, as well as getting into contact with others who share my fascination for the subject. Also an attempt to bring some logic and depth to the market for eminently collectable items.

Contact: You can e-mail me at home. Any photos of Irish railwayana for insertion are particularly appreciated. Also, I always welcome any corrections or additions to the data.

Reservations: Apologies for the unsophisticated display and poor photographic skills. Some company coats of arms, which are to be added, progressively, to fill existing gaps, will be speculative ('Source:KL' indicated), particularly as far as colours are concerned. They will have to be drawn on the basis of whatever information is available.

Credits: Credits for a number of b/w images go to an earlier "must" publication for all kinds of railwayana, the Railway Collectors' Journal (RCJ). As from end-2002 the editor was Dick Whittington, The Glen, Braunton, N. Devon, EX33 1HL. The RCJ announced that from end-2005 material will be published on the Prorail site rather than in printed form. The monthly Railway Antiques Guide (RAG), with much of interest to collectors, has been appearing since September 2003. It is published by Tim Petchey and available by subscription, price £3.95 per issue plus overseas postage, from the RAG Office, 23 Gloucester St., Winchcombe, Glocs. GL54 5LX. Talisman Railwayana Auctions [this site has to open in a new window since it was badly behaved in locking in the surfer. Just close the new window and go back to the original page!] (TRA) are held at the beginning of most months. A catalogue, with colour photos of many items for this telephone auction, is available on subscription. A source for several colour images is the catalogue for the quarterly Sheffield Railwayana Auctions (SRA). It, KRA, which was perhaps the most consistent venue for signalling items, with catalogues and pictures on the web, along with Railwayananet, are now part of the Great Central Railwayana Auctions stable. This house has also granted permission to reproduce photos here. Onslows is also online, with some great pictures of posters, a speciality of this location (but save them before they disappear - direct links are given). Various published sources for company information are noted on individual pages. Other more general works on Irish railways will eventually be included in a bibliography. An essential source, for Makers' Nos. is the Irish Steam Loco Register by J.W.P.Rowledge and, for liveries, the chapter on Irish Railways in Britain's Railway Liveries 1825-1948 by E.F.Carter (which additionally provides a colour sheet). As far as liveries are concerned, sources often differ on details and no attempt is made to arbitrate these differences. Errors in potted histories should not be blamed on these sources, which will be studied over time to refine the material. Hopefully, information from articles in the IRRS Journal will progressively be integrated, or references given. Keys to sources for photos are given on the auction prices site.

Updates: Updates will proceed at a leisurely pace, rather than to any regular deadlines.
After a lull since their initial creation, the pages were worked on intensively in January and again in June 1998 (with some additions and editing in 1999 up to February 2000 and the inclusion of some photos from the late Cyril Fry's collection, now at Malahide Castle, through April 2000. In May pictures gratefully received from D. Cronin were integrated. In November there were several other additions. A bibliography was added to the GNR page in February 2001 and in June there were some further additions from contributors. Most by that stage had a minimal amount of background information, although only some had begun to accumulate illustrations of railwayana. As of July 2001 new web links were progressively added. It should, however, be noted that the owner of this website accepts no responsibility for the content or the accuracy of the information on the websites to which it links. or indeed for this site. A long-term objective of tidying up images, and reducing their download time, began in June 2001. Large pages were split between rolling stock and lineside railwayana and thumbnails were introduced for larger images (use the back button to return to the sending pages) in July. A number of images were added in November 2001. Three coats of arms from Keldale (site gone as of November 2005) suppliers of hand painted railway heraldry, were included, by permission, on the BNCR, WLWR and CBSCR pages. Due to failure to credit one photo, images were reviewed to ensure that copyright is respected and the necessary permission is received for reproduction. Photos without an attribution are photos taken by myself. Those with source DC are the many very kindly provided by D. Cronin. Photos from auction houses will now, as far as possible, refer to the month and year of auction. The IE logo (used on pages presently without crests and the CIE page) comes from Marco van Uden's extensive company logos on a previous page of his site now moved. I am also grateful to Edmund Calvert-Harrison for permission to include his BNCR trespass photo (plus additional material furnished and now included). Images yet unverified will be indicated by a blank "Source:". Speculative coats of arms for WCIR and CLR were added in January 2002. The CMDR crest was subsequently revised. The use of clipart of a sailboat in that image requires the following declaration - "This publication includes an image from Corel Draw ® 9 which is protected by the copyright laws of US Canada and elsewhere. Used under licence". Additional images were added to many pages through February 2002 and several in June 2002 and September 2002. In August 2003, I integrated additional photos accumulated over the year and individual signalling items on company pages were copied to the signalling page. In December 2003 additional photos were added. Further photos were added in March and May 2004. In September 2004 the Cork pages were reviewed and more photos from DC (who has long since passed me out with the most extensive collection of Irish artefacts), ECH (in particular, see the signalling page, but with copies also reproduced on, the principally NCC and GNRI, company pages), and coas and monograms, courtesy GH, were added. I would stress that, for the latter, these are my own scans from pictures of the originals published in the RCJ. More photos were subsequently added in mid-November 2004 and January/February 2005 when links were also checked. In June, August and October 2005 some more photos were added. In January 2006 a number of images from back issues of the Railway Antiques Guide (RAG) were added. In May 2006, substantial additional material was integrated and a new 'fakes' page was added. In July, some old photos were replaced with new ones. In March 2007 a number of additional photos were added. In April and May, images were added to several pages (including several great photos from MMcM) and a significant number of links were added to the posters page. In July 2009 images were added to several company pages. Further images were added in March 2010. In October 2011 major updating was started with the GNRI page. In January and August 2012 a number of pages were updated. newLatest additions were in January and July 2015.

The concept is a project for all enthusiasts. Your feedback is really required! Please send anything on Irish railwayana that might be of interest to others.

Links: Will eventually have to get round to a more general links page (as on the auctions site), other than the specific company links already included on individual company pages. For a start, the IRRS is progressively getting into companies (tongue in cheek to Tim M. - "It's about time I had some all-Irish company competition. Have been waiting since 1997, in particular given the magnificent resources the IRRS has available, unfortunately in far off Dublin"). In June 2001 developments in Irish companies from 1946 were on line from the Society. The RPSI is also putting old journals on-line. The Irish railway web scene is progressively looking up! There is also a general history of Irish railways available from another source.

Copyright ©: The material on this website is subject to copyright. Copyright in images, etc., where an external source is indicated, belongs to the original owners of that material. Where no external source is shown, permission is granted for use of material on this site for non-commercial purposes, on the basis of an acknowledgement of source.

This page has been accessed counter times since it went on line.

blue ball Go to first Northern page, Great Northern Railway, Ireland. blue ball

red ball Return to auction price data on original pages red ball

red ball For genealogy, go to my Lennan genealogy pages red ball

On line on Geocities 27/7/1997. Transferred to this site June 2001. Revised 5/7/15.

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