Locomotives were painted green with red lining, later changed to black with red and white lining. Cast brass plates were attached, numbers to cabsides, nameplates to side tanks.
3 Locomotives survive today:
- The Lady Edith
- 5T Hunslet Engine
Make & type
In total there where 19 locomotives that saw service on the Cavan & Leitrim line
9 Locomotives supplied by Robert Stephenson and Co, established on 23rd June 1823 in Newcastle. This is the world’s first factory to be built specifically for the construction of locomotives.
2 Locomotives supplied by Black, Hawthorn & Co, first opened in 1835 by John and Ralph Coulthard, In 1865 Ralph Coulthard retired and the works was taken over by William Black and Thomas Hawthorn
4 Locomotives supplied by Neilson, Reid & Co. The company was started in 1836 in Glasgow to manufacture marine and stationary engines. Locomotive building began in 1843
3 Locomotives supplied by Hunslet Engine, founded in 1864 in Leeds. The company manufactured steam-powered shunting locomotives for over 100 years, and currently manufactures diesel-engined shunting locomotives.
1 Locomotive supplied by Kerr, Stuart & Co, founded in 1881 in Glasgow by James Kerr as “James Kerr & Company”, and became “Kerr, Stuart & Company” from 1883 they moved to Stoke on Trent in 1892
The railways wholly in the Irish Free State were merged into one private company — Great Southern Railways — in 1925. The GSR renumbered all the broad gauge locomotives into one series with the former Great Southern and Western Railway locomotives retaining their old number.
The GSR had two parallel classification systems – a numerical system which was the lowest number of a locomotive in that class, and an alpha – numrical which used a letter to indicate the wheel arrangement, and a number, with the lowest number given to the most powerful class with that wheel arrangement.
The latter system was only used by Inchicore works for accounting purposes, while the former was used by locomotive crews and the drawing office at Inchicore Works.
In 1945, the GSR became part of Coras lompair Eireann (CIÉ), which amalgamated the railway, road transport and canal functions of the State. CIE was nationalised in 1950 and settled on a policy of replacing steam with diesel locomotives, a process that was completed in 1962
Robert Stephenson Engines
When the line opened, there were eight 4-4-OT locomotives, numbered 1 to 8, supplied by Robert Stepphenson. A ninth locomotive, No 9, 06-4T came from the same supplier in 1904.
4-4-0 represents the arrangement of four leading wheels on two axles, usually in a leading bogie, four powered and coupled driving wheels on two axles, and no trailing wheels
No.1L was named “Isabel” after the daughter of R.H. Johnstone of Bawnboy House, the longest serving director of the C&LR. Built by Robert Stephenson & co in 1887 withdrawn in 1949 – Status – Scrapped in 1949
No.2L was named “Kathleen” after one of the Directors’ daughters. Built by Robert Stephenson & co in 1887 withdrawn in 1959 – Status – Preserved Ulster F&T Museum together with a C&LR coach
No.3L was named “Lady Edith” after one of the Directors’ daughters, Built by Robert Stephenson & co in 1887 withdrawn in 1959 – Status – Preserved in USA at the New Jersey Museum of Transportation. Currently in storage
No.4L was named “violet” after one of the Directors’ daughters, Built by Robert Stephenson & co in 1887 withdrawn in 1959 – Status – Cut at Dromod for scrap in 1960
No.5L was named “Gertrude” after one of the Directors’ daughters, Built by Robert Stephenson & co in 1887 withdrawn in 1925 – Status – Scrapped by GSR
No.6L was named “May” after one of the Directors’ daughters, Built by Robert Stephenson & co in 1887 withdrawn in 1927 = Status – Scrapped by GSR
No.7L was named “Olive” after one of the Directors’ daughters, Built by Robert Stephenson & co in 1887 withdrawn in 1945 – Status – sent to Inchicore in 1939 scrapped in1945
No.8L was named “Queen Victoria” lost her nameplates under, what were described as, ‘patriotic’ circumstances in 1923. The plates were eventually found and the C&L insisted they should be restoring to the locomotive, however within a few days they again disappeared, this time never to be found. Built by Robert Stephenson & co in 1887 withdrawn in 1959 – Status – Cut at Ballinmore for scrap
No.9L King Edward – 0-6-4 type. Not liked and over weight, Built by Robert Stephenson & co in 1904 withdrawn in 1934 – Status – Scrapped in 1934
7 of the 9 Stephenson Locos were rebuilt with a larger boiler in 1902–1906 Rebuilt from 1930 with brick arch in firebox to burn hard Welsh coal instead of the soft product from Arigna’s mines.
Black & Hawthorn Engines
Black, Hawthorn & Co. Made 3 Locomotives in 1887 for the Ballymena, Cushendall and Red Bay Railway which opened on 8 October 1876 to convey iron ore and later modified to carry passenger traffic: closed to all traffic in 1937. Three 0-4-2ST locomotives: Black Hawthorn: WN 301-3 of 1874. Running numbers 1-3. No. 3 as BNCR No. 103 withdrawn in 1911: other two, by then 101A and 102A, withdrawn in 1922, following their use on the Agrigna Vallery extension of the Cavan& Leitrim Railway where they proved very popular
101A Black, Hawthorn & Co. 0-4-2 tank. In service at Agrigna 1920-21 – Scrapped 1922
102A Black, Hawthorn & Co. 0-4-2 tank. In service at Agrigna 1920-21 – Scrapped 1922
Neilson & Reid Engines
In 1933, after the closure of the Cork, Blackrock Passage Railway, the GSR transferred its four 2-4-2T locomotives to the C&L line, renumbering them 10L to 13L
2-4-2 represents the wheel arrangements of two leading wheels on one axle, four powered and coupled driving wheels on two axles, and two trailing wheels on one axle.
2-4-2 locomotives were tank locomotives designated 2-4-2T. The symmetrical wheel arrangement suits a tank locomotive that is used to work in either direction
10L Neilson, Reid & Co. No. 5561 of 1900; 2-4-2 tank. Ex CB&PR.
In service till closure 1959 & scrapped in same year.
11L Neilson, Reid & Co. No. 5562 of 1900; 2-4-2 tank. Ex CB&PR.
12L Neilson, Reid & Co. No. 5563 of 1900; 2-4-2 tank. Ex CB&PR.
In service till closure 1959 & scrapped in same year..
13L Neilson, Reid & Co. No. 5564 of 1900; 2-4-2 tank. Ex CB&PR.
Withdrawn 1954 & scrapped in same year.
Hunslet Engine 3T in service from 1889 till 1959
1889 run on C&L
1939 sent to Inchicore Works
1941 back to C&L
5T Hunslet Engine Co. of 1892; 2-6-2 tank. Ex T&DR. In service till closure 1959.
survives. It went to America after the Cavan and Leitrim railway closed in 1959 but returned to it’s original railway, The Tralee and Dingle in the 1980s where it now rests in a shed in Blennerville. It was in use up until 2006
Hunslet engine 6T in service from 1898 till 1959
1898 run on C&L
1950 sent o Inchicore Works
1957 back to C&L
Kerr, Stuart Engine
4T was a 2-6-0T tank locomotive built in 1903 by Kerr, Stuart and Company (Stoke on Trent) for the Tralee and Dingle Light Railway. It was sent up to the Cavan and Leitrim Railway in 1941 and scrapped after the line closed in 1959
Cavan & Leitrim 4-4-0T 4L in front of the pair of Cork Blackrock 2-4-2Ts 21st March 1959.
Formerly named ‘Violet’, 4L dated from the opening of the line in 1887