Publisher: Colourpoint Books
Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company
An Illustrated History
By Ernie Shepherd
Ask the average person in Ireland, or even the average railway enthusiast, how many companies own railways in the country and you can be almost certain that they will not make any mention of a Company which still technically owns the line from a point just south of Wexford Station to Rosslare Harbour a distance of some ten miles, and, although currently having no passenger service, the line between Rosslare Strand and Waterford; this is the Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company (F&RR&H).
At the height of its existence, the Company owned a total of 104 miles of track in Ireland as well as just short of a mile of line at Fishguard Harbour. The Company is now jointly owned by Irish Rail and Stena and board meetings are still held once a year, attended by representatives of both organisations. When the author began his research into the history of this Company, he was of the view that there would be little to record, bearing in mind the comparatively short mileage and the fact that the Company has only been in existence for a little over 100 years, but as time has gone by it has become patently obvious that the history of the F&RR&H is a complicated one, full of interest and, at times, intrigue. To do full justice to the story, it has been found necessary to broaden the research beyond the actual Fishguard Company. For example, on the Irish side it has been necessary to begin the story with Brunel’s original schemes for railways connecting Dublin with Waterford and the latter city with Cork. On the Welsh side, the original South Wales Railway played an important part in the story, as did the line from Clynderwen through the Preseli Mountains to Fishguard. Many years of research by author Ernie Shepherd have produced this first history of the Company including some 80 plus images, most previously unpublished.