Not surprisingly, the basic principles of signalling in Ireland run closely to British practice, and most of the signalling was provided by UK contractors. However, many signal cabins were built to designs specified by the railway companies themselves.

Modernisation did not seem to afflict Ireland in any great way and, apart from a few small power installations, most of the traditional signalling has soldiered on for years. It is only very recently that extensive resignalling has taken place, and for many years Ireland was regarded as a Mecca for old-fashioned signalling. A few pockets survive, with Harper's blocks, electric train staffs and lower quadrant signals regarded as the norm.

Modern signalling in Ireland is described as Centralised Traffic Control, which is similar to the Track Circuit Block areas of UK power boxes with remote relay rooms. Early panels were of the OCS type. One NX panel is known to have been installed at Drogheda in 1994, controlling North Dublin, but no others are known of and all subsequent SSI signalling (called CTC) is controlled through a computer interface.

Railways operating wholly within the Republic of Ireland became part of Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) in 1945, which in turn became Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) in 1985. The railways of Northern Ireland were absorbed piecemeal into the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) beginning in 1948. Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) succeeded the UTA in 1967.

Index to pages

Additional notes by Andy Boal, Edmund Calvert-Harrison and Simon Lowe