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THE CAVAN AND LEITRIM
NARROW GAUGE RAILWAY
From his book
Bawnboy and Templeport
By Chris Maguire

The building of the Narrow Gauge Railway which was called the 'Cavan and Leitrim' or 'C and L' was an important event for Templeport parish. Bawnboy and Ballymagauran were noted for their fairs, and the coming of the railway eased greatly not alone the travel problems of the dealers but provided transport for cattle to every corner of the country. C and L joined Dublin-Sligo line at Dromod and the Northern Railways at Belturbet. It opened up the country not just for business people but for sport, pleasure and social activities.
In July 1887 two gangs of men working in opposite directions from Belturbet and Ballinamore met at Killyran, having completed the railway link between Cavan and Leitrim. Shortly afterwards the first train made the run from Belturbet to Ballinamore. A railway station was built in the centre of Templeport parish in the townland of Cloneary. Naming the station was a problem. The first name decided upon was 'Templeport -- for Bawnboy and Swanlinbar. The Clerk of the Union, Bawnboy, acting on instructions wrote to the Railway Company, informing them that the name should be 'Bawnboy Road'. The official name then decided upon was 'Bawnboy Road and Templeport'.
although most people used only the first two words in the name. Trains could also be boarded at Bellaheady and Killyran by request.
There were a few accidents on the railway - one at Bellaheady where a trickster interfered with the signals arid caused the train to crash through the gates. Another accident occurred on 29th June 1957, the evening of the Templeport Show in Murray's field, Kilnavart. News of the accident reached the show grounds in the evening. George Gott, who was at the show went immediately on his bicycle to Bawnboy Road railway station where he saw a group of men working on the railway line. The train had left the line and the engine had ploughed into a siding before it came to a halt. The men worked all day, on Sunday, getting the sleepers back into place and the rails secured in position.

Last trip on Narrow Gauge 31-3-1959 (left to right):- Catherine, Griffith, Donal and Barney O'Reilly of Ballyconnell

Above
Driver Paddy Rowley
Balinamore
Above Left
Station_Masters
P McNamara
Ballinamore
Left
F McKiernan
Belturbet

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