On a recent stay in Dungarven in Co. Waterford I found myself at a loose end with my 2 toddlers so decided to take a spin aboard the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway. Arriving just in time to watch the 11am train pull away we decided to check out the local village of Kilmeaden while we waited. A sleepy village famous for it’s cheese (Kilmeaden, the fillet of Irish Cheddar) it boasted a very well equipped childrens playground with a conveniently situated shop. So the kids got to play and I got my coffee and a happy hour passed quickly in the late August sunshine.
Returning to the train we stepped aboard the restored mark 2 railway carriage which serves as a ticket office, small shop and waiting room. The kids quickly found the toys and books down the back so were happy until the train pulled in.
There was great excitement boarding the partially open carriages which are pulled by a Simplex Locomotive which was used in the peat industry in the North of England and Scotland. We gave our tickets to the conductor and with a blow of his whistle we were off at high speeds of 15 miles an hour. It made me grateful for todays transportation methods as I wouldn’t have fancied a trip to Dublin at that speed it must be said.
The train winds along a very pretty stretch of the River Suir passing Kilmeaden Castle along the way. We particularily enjoyed the Mossy Wood, with its luxurious coating of green moss on the banks either side of the track. The journey takes about 50 minutes and is a very pleasant way to pass away an hour and see some of the pretty Waterford Countryside from a different and slower vantage point.