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Steam power | by National Library of Ireland on The Commons
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Steam power

Work on construction of a new railway cutting in Waterford. This photo was commissioned by a Mr Cuthbert, perhaps of Gracedieu, Waterford.


Interesting juxtaposition of old and new technologies - horse versus steam power. We asked if anyone had a name for the infernal machine, and got Steam Excavator; Crane Navvy; Steam Shovel; Navvy; Steam Navvy... Thanks to everyone who commented below!


Marra Man made this observation:

"Interesting shot of Irish Navvies on home soil. They are so often associated with everybody elses railway projects at that time in history. An unusual crude set of points in the foreground too I guess the length of rail behind the shovel could be placed to allow the muck wagon to be swapped to the other track by horse power without the need for a conventional set of points."


Thanks to desmondg47 for telling us:

"The Terminus of the Waterford Cork railway line was in Waterford South Station in Bilberry until a new railway bridge was built across the Suir c1905 which meant the terminus could be transferred to the Waterford North Station (the present Waterford Railway Station). The cutting at Gracedieu was necessary to redirect the line across the new bridge although the old line into Bilberry was in existence until 1970 and is now part of the Waterford/ Kilmeaden tourist railway."


Date: Tuesday, 29 August 1905



NLI Ref.: P_WP_1494


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Taken on August 29, 1905