In July 1934 the famous British railway enthusiast and photographer Henry Casserley visited the Galway to Clifden railway and recorded for posterity, possibly the best and most comprehensive set of photographs ever taken of the line.
He photographed every station, sometimes several times, from many angles. This picture of Maam Cross Up platform ( that is the platform for trains to Galway and Dublin) looking East with the Signal Cabin at the end, encapsulates the remote location and hints at the lovely scenery of this region.
The clarity of the photo also shows some evidence of the recent past troubles which befell this railway ( like many others throughout the country ) Civil War damage! Under the timber superstructure of the Cabin new brickwork can be seen – this was from the reconstruction of the building which was burnt down on October 22 1922 by retreating Republican (Irregular) forces being pursued by the National army. The Signal Cabin was reopened in 1925. While it was out of use trains were signalled by the use of a temporary Ground Frame.
After the line closed in April 1935 the cabin survived until around 1950 when it finally succumbed.
Just over a year ago, with the aid of a grant from Failte Ireland reconstruction work began for the second time on the Cabin using the original foundations which were still extant – we have built an exact replica of the structure shown in Casserley’s 1934 photo. We have installed an 13 lever Frame which was recovered with the aid of Irish Rail from the former Ennis South Cabin in Ennis Co Clare. Our beautifully rebuilt Cabin just needs some internal finishing before it’s official opening in late Spring / early Summer. Very recent external work shows the point rodding and signal wire pulleys being installed to allow our cabin once again to operate all signals and points in Maam Cross Station!