January 5 1898 AD: Athlone Circular Railway

The Athlone to Athlone Circular Railway Company launches its inaugural train service. The first train, the 10.01 from Athlone to Athlone via The Back Of Athlone carries local dignitaries on the twelve minute journey back to where they started. The railway’s owner, entrepreneur and discredited engineer Billy Gargle disappears with the fares and a sack of pension books that evening. Plans to extend the railway line to Athlone West come to nothing when four drivers loose their lives in successive attempts to ford the Shannon without a railway bridge.

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