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The Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway 1879-1957

Sligo-Ballisodare (station now closed)-Collooney ( SLNCR line begins) Ballygawley -Ballintogher-Dromahair-Lisgorman halt-Manorhamilton (Works)-Kilmakerril halt-Glenfarne-Belcoo & Blacklion-Abohill halt-Florencecourt-Mullaghy halt-Enniskillen (GNR & company offices)

Then ..and now

Also known as the Slow, Lazy and Never Comfortable, parliamentary approval was given in 1875, Enniskillen-Belcoo was opened in 1879 and the full length in 1882. In 1880 Glenfarne was the terminus, announced as the railhead for Sligo, 24 miles away through the mountains. The route went through sparsely populated country. In 1862 it was served by a four-horse coach which took 5 hours for the journey. However the line lasted for nearly 80 years and only finally succumbed after the GNR link to Enniskillen had been cut and deprived it of a link to Belfast. Because it crossed the border it was never amalgamated into either state systems and was the last independent railway in Ireland.

As the surrounding countryside was fairly empty the management went to great lengths to stress the convenience of the railway and to exaggarate the attractions accessible from its stations . From Enniskillen the first station was Florencecourt, which was a halt for the Earl of Enniskillen's mansion, itself 3 miles off. There was no settlement nearby, but it was advertised as the station for Swanlinbar, six miles away , (and from 1921 in another country!) and Bawnboy, 9 miles distant and better served by the Cavan & Leitrim Railway. Belcoo station also served Blacklion, only half a mile but again across the border, but also for Dowra, 9 miles distant.

Manorhamilton station advertised Glencar waterfall, which was about 9 miles from it. In fact Glencar was nearer to Sligo, but to mention the fact might have driven away the customers altogether.

At Dromahair travellers were advised of the beauties of Lough Gill, O'Rourkes Castle and other places far and near, and at Collooney the line joined the main line to Sligo. The route is not the most direct, between Sligo and Enniskillen but is less steep than the main road, which is about 25% shorter all the same.

The war of independence, the civil war and partition all affected the line. Sligo station was burned and the locomitive Glencar destroyed.

The lines in detail