Published by Andalus Press.
160 pages, full colour.
Over 180 photos and illustrations.
eBook: ISBN 97809560383-7-1



by Michael B. Barry

‘Permanent Way consists of the elements… which form the road on which the railway vehicles run’
Text Book of Science, 1878

As you travel on the Irish railway network today, pause to think of the 175 years of its history. Trains run on the iarnród that traverses the Irish landscape. The permanent way men who walk the line, are its custodians. This book explores this rich seam of social history, part of the hidden infrastructure which keeps the country moving.

From the opening of the first suburban railway in the world, the Dublin & Kingstown in 1834, Ireland was in the vanguard of early railway development. The flat-bottom rail, common today across the world, was developed by an Irish railway engineer, Charles Blacker Vignoles. The Irish gauge is in use in railways in Australia and Brazil.

With a different and fresh look at the human face of the railways, author Michael Barry brings his unique insight as a railway engineer to this fascinating part of Ireland’s history and heritage. Illustrated by a splendid collection of historical photographs and engravings, this book tells the little-known story which lies at the heart of the railway. Highly readable, it skilfully interweaves the history with the stories of the people who keep Ireland’s railways on track.

This book is essential for those who are interested in Ireland’s history and heritage and particularly in the fascinating story of its railways.


Available as eBook