Short History of Velorail

The closure of the Railway line through Kiltimagh in the mid 70’s was a disaster for the area as it removed another piece of infrastructure from our small town. The last passenger train departed Kiltimagh Station in 1963 and for many years before its closure, the trains leaving Kiltimagh Station carried away our young people who were emigrating from the area, many never to return. The track had lain idle since 1975 and become overgrown in many parts.

However, the Kiltimagh Community is renowned for turning adversity into a resource and now many years after its closure, 15 km of that railway line has been converted into a unique tourism resource and outdoor amenity, due to a unique partnership between the local community through IRD Kiltimagh CLG & Kiltimagh Tourism Association and Mayo County Council, that will bring people to visit the area and this unique tourism activity.

Together the parties have developed a project which is unique, the first of its kind in Ireland and the UK. While the tracks were substantially intact since the closure, permissions had to be gained from Irish Rail to use the section of track either side of Kiltimagh. Much work had to be done in clearing and repairing the track, perfecting the road crossings and the Station Area. Funding for this was by way of Public Funds from the Department of Rural and Community Development through Mayo County Council and through the LEADER programme via Mayo LAG and South West Mayo Development Company CLG. The public funds were matched with funds from the project partners Mayo County Council and IRD Kiltimagh CLG.

In 2023, Velorail carried its first passengers to and from Kiltimagh Station, some 60 years after the railway line last carried passengers.”