Lartigue Monorail & Museum

Listowel is a small market town in Co Kerry, notable in recent times as the home of the playwright John B Keane (1928-2002). It is also celebrated as one of the few places in Europe where a monorail had a measure of commercial success. The Frenchman Charles Lartigue (1834-1907) demonstrated his monorail system in London in 1886 at precisely the time that people in Listowel were attempting to build a railway to Ballybunion, a seaside resort at the mouth of the River Shannon some 14.5 km distant. A Lartigue monorail was built instead, and began to operate from 1888.The company went bankrupt in 1897 but the line remained open until 1924.

Initiatives to commemorate the monorail began in 1988, the year of its centenary. A history of the line was published in that year and some of the track was salvaged. A committee established in 1990 arranged for the construction of about 1000 m of demonstration track on which a full-scale diesel-powered replica of the original carriage can operated. A museum was set up in ex-CIE (Irish State Railways) goods shed, which shows a film of the original line in operation and a large-scale model of the Lartigue station. The site of the original Listowel terminus is preserved in a nearby park and some track foundations remain along the remarkably straight road to Ballybunion.

Lartigue Monorail & Museum
John B Keane Road
Co Kerry
+353 (0) 68 - 24393

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