Bord na Móna

A Brief History

Bord na Móna (BnM), or Irish Peat Commission, is a semi-state body formed in 1946 to develop the peat reserves of the Republic to best advantage. Upon its formation, BnM acquired bogs worked previously by the Turf Development Board at Glenties, Clonsast and Lullymore.

The business of BnM is split into three main operating areas, the Peat Energy Division, the Horticultural Division and the Home Fuels Division. The largest division, Peat Energy, supplies peat for use as fuel in the Electricity Supply Boards (ESB) power stations. The Home Fuels Division uses peat to make a peat briquette for use as a home fuel. The Horticultural Division supplies peat for, as its name suggests, horticultural use. Shamrock Peat is the trade name used by the Horticultural Division.

Bord na Móna is not just some small industrial operator, this operation is big. BnM operate nearly 1,200 miles of 3ft gauge track throughout the Republic, moving some 5 million tons annually. This makes it not only larger than the state passenger carrier Iarnród Éireann, but surely one of the largest industrial railways in Europe.

Most of the Bord's operations are concentrated in the Bog of Allen, a vast tract of bogland stretching from the outskirts of Dublin in the east almost to Galway in the west.

The Bord have a varied fleet of some 350 locomotives to haul the trains of bogie wagons around the countryside. The majority of the fleet is made up of Hunslet Wagonmasters. The Wagonmaster is a Bord designed locomotive built by the Hunslet Engine Company. Other types include various Ruston's, Deutz and Gleismac locomotives. Recently, the Bord have started to build their own locomotives in their own works.