Great Southern and Western Railway

Introduction

The main line of this former railway company remains open between Dublin Heuston and Cork Kent.






Dates

  /  /1844Great Southern and Western Railway
Authorised. Line to run from Dublin Kingsbridge (Dublin Heuston) to Cashel, County Tipperary, with a branch to Carlow. Contractors McCormick and William Dargan.
03/08/1846Great Southern and Western Railway
Passenger train runs from Dublin to the Curragh.
04/08/1846Great Southern and Western Railway
Line opened between Dublin Kingsbridge to Carlow, 56 miles.
  /  /1847Great Southern and Western Railway
Dublin Kingsbridge goods yard laid in.
  /  /1847Tullamore Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Authorised.
26/06/1847Great Southern and Western Railway
Opened from Cherryville Junction to Portarlington and Maryborough.
01/09/1847Great Southern and Western Railway
Extended from Maryborough to Borris and Roscrea.
13/03/1848Great Southern and Western Railway
Extended from Borris and Roscrea to Thurles.
03/07/1848Great Southern and Western Railway
Extended from Thurles to Limerick Junction.
19/03/1849Great Southern and Western Railway
Extended from Limerick Junction to Mallow.
29/10/1849Great Southern and Western Railway
Extended from Mallow to Cork Victoria, known as Blackpool.
  /11/1849Great Southern and Western Railway
Doubled as far as Buttevant.
  /  /1850Great Southern and Western Railway
Doubled to Mallow and Cork Victoria.
  /  /1852Great Southern and Western Railway
Inchicore Workshops starts building locomotives. Works is 1.75 miles from Dublin Kingsbridge.
16/04/1853Killarney Junction Railway
Opened from Mallow (Great Southern and Western Railway) to Millstreet.
  /  /1854Mallow and Fermoy Railway
Incorporated to form a line from Mallow to Fermoy. (Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway - Mallow to Fermoy (Great Southern and Western Railway).)
02/10/1854Tullamore Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Portarlington (Great Southern and Western Railway) to Tullamore [1st] (south of the town) opened.
03/12/1855Great Southern and Western Railway
Extended from Cork Victoria to Penrose Quay, initially using the goods depot. Cork Victoria closed, becoming a goods yard.
  /  /1856Great Southern and Western Railway
Siding laid into the Curragh, alongside the unadvertised station.
28/07/1856Great Southern and Western Railway
Cork opened.
  /  /1857Great Southern and Western Railway
Borris and Roscrea renamed Roscrea and Parsonstown Junction on opening of the Roscrea and Parsontown Junction Railway.
  /  /1857Athlone Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Authorised.
  /  /1858Dublin and Meath Railway
Incorporated. Originally planned to run from Lucan on the Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1858Roscrea and Parsontown Junction Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1859Athlone Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Opened from alongside Tullamore [1st] to Athlone.
  /  /1860Killaney Junction Railway
Absorbed by the Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1860Tralee and Killarney Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1860Mallow to Fermoy (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Opened from Mallow to Fermoy.
  /  /1860Athlone Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Connection to Midland Great Western Railway between Athlone [MGWR] and Athlone installed.
  /  /1862Cork and Limerick Direct Railway
Opened from Charleville (Great Southern and Western Railway) to Patrickswell (Limerick and Foynes Railway). Worked by the GS&WR.
  /  /1863Irish South Eastern Railway
Absorbed by the Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1863Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Line opened from Streamstown (Midland Great Western Railway) to Clara [MGWR] and a connection to the Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1864Dublin and Baltinglass Junction Railway
Act passed, but construction does not commence. A later Act will approve the Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway).
  /  /1864Bagenalstown and Wexford Railway
With the supporting Irish South Eastern Railway being absorbed by the Great Southern and Western Railway, and the Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway un-supportive, the line closes.
  /  /1865Athlone Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Tullamore station opened on the through line, replacing Tullamore [1st] .
01/04/1865Cork and Youghal Railway
Operated by Great Southern and Western Railway.
01/07/1866Cork and Youghal Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway
01/05/1867Kilkenny Junction Railway
Kilkenny to Abbeyleix re-opened. Abbeyleix to Maryborough opened from Kilkenny to Maryborough on the Great Southern and Western Railway, where a connection is not made but a line runs into a bay platform.
  /  /1868Parsontown and Portumna Bridge Railway
Opened from Parsontown to Portumna, with the branch continuing a little further west to a pier on Lough Derg. Worked by the Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /12/1868Great Southern and Western Railway Cork and Youghal Railway
Goods diverted from Cork [Summerhill] to Cork Glanmire.
03/01/1869Great Southern and Western Railway Cork and Youghal Railway
Connection put in between the lines in Cork between Cork Glanmire and Grattan Hill Junction, used by mail trains.
  /  /1870Waterford, New Ross and Wexford Junction Railway
Opened throughout, but to a temporary Macmine [1st] station as the Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway was not extended south of Enniscorthy yet. A service, by road, to Wexford operated from Sparrowland. Service operated by Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1870Great Southern and Western Railway
Roscrea and Parsonstown Junction renamed Ballybrophy.
  /  /1871Cork and Limerick Direct Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1871Great Southern and Western Railway
Cork renamed Cork Glanmire.
  /  /1872North Wall Extension (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Act for line from Islandbridge Junction (close to Dublin Kingsbridge) to Glasnevin Junction (North Wall Extension (Midland and Great Western Railway)) then following that line and a short link from West Road Junction to Church Road Junction (Drogheda Curve (Dublin and Drogheda Railway and London and North Western Railway)).
  /  /1872Cork
Horse tramway opened between the Great Southern and Western Railway and the Cork and Bandon Railway.
  /05/1873Great Southern and Western Railway Cork and Youghal Railway
Permanent junction put in at Cork Glanmire.
  /  /1874Waterford, New Ross and Wexford Junction Railway
Great Southern and Western Railway continues operating the service, having withdrawn the previous year due to condition of the line.
  /  /1875Cork
Horse tramway between the Great Southern and Western Railway and the Cork and Bandon Railway closed.
  /01/1876Waterford, New Ross and Wexford Junction Railway
Bought by Great Southern and Western Railway.
01/01/1876Great Southern and Western Railway Cork and Youghal Railway
With a permanent junction put in passenger trains commence using the connection in Cork Glanmire.
  /  /1877Waterford, New Ross and Wexford Junction Railway
Absorbed by Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway (the portion south of Ballywilliam) and Great Southern and Western Railway.
03/09/1877North Wall Extension (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Island Branch Junction to Dublin North Wall opened, contractor T W Chester.
  /  /1878Parsontown and Portumna Bridge Railway
Great Southern and Western Railway withdraws as operator.
  /  /1879Castleisland Railway
Absorbed by the Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1880Southern Railway [Ireland] Great Southern and Western Railway
Thurles becomes junction station (actual divergence at Thurles Junction) when the line from Clonmel finally reaches the Great Southern and Western Railway. Worked by the Waterford and Limerick Railway.
  /  /1881Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Act for a line from Sallins to Baltinglass.
  /  /1884Clara and Banagher Railway
Line opened from Clara (Athlon Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)) to Banagher.
  /  /1885Waterford, New Ross and Wexford Junction Railway
Great Southern and Western Railway works line west of Ballywilliam. Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway works line east of Ballywilliam.
15/01/1885Killorglin Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Opened from Farranfore (Tralee and Killarney Railway) to Killorglin.
22/06/1885Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Opened to Colbinstown. Contractor Robert Worthington. Double track as far as Naas.
01/09/1885Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Extended to Baltinglass.
  /  /1886Tullow Extension Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1886North Wall Extension (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Goods line opened east from Church Road Junction to ^The Point^, east of Dublin North Wall.
  /  /1887New Ross Branch (Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway)
Branch opened from Palace East to New Ross. Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway asks the Great Southern and Western Railway to take over the Ballywilliam to Palace East (a portion of the former Waterford, New Ross and Wexford Junction Railway) operation (refused at this time).
  /  /1890Great Southern and Western Railway
Marsh by Cork Glanmire and Lower Glanmire Road recovered to allow a connecting line to the Cork and Youghal Railway to be laid.
  /  /1890Valentia Harbour Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Under construction, using Government finance.
  /  /1891Tralee and Dingle Light Railway
Opened from Tralee (Great Southern and Western Railway) station to Tralee [TandDLR] and on to Dingle and Dingle Pier. Castlegregory branch.
  /  /1892Kanturk and Newmarket Railway
Absorbed by the Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1893City of Dublin Junction Railways
The Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway buys locomotives from Sharp, Stewart & Co to work through trains from its line over the Junction line and Liffey line to Islandbridge Junction for through traffic to the Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1893Valentia Harbour Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Opened from Killorglin (Killorglin Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)) to Valentia Harbour.
01/02/1893Great Southern and Western Railway
New Cork Glanmire Road station trainshed opened with curving platforms and connecting line to the Cork and Youghal Railway, replacing Cork Glanmire.
01/03/1893Fermoy and Lismore Railway
Operation taken over by the Waterford, Dungarvan and Lismore Railway from the Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1895Clara and Banagher Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1896Drumcondra and North Dublin Link Railway
Purchased by the Great Southern and Western Railway before opening.
  /  /1897Great Southern and Western Railway Cork and Limerick Direct Railway
One way only north to east curve installed north of Charleville for cattle trains.
12/02/1898Waterford and Wexford Railway
Operated by the Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway on behalf of the Great Southern and Western Railway.
01/11/1898Waterford, Dungarvan and Lismore Railway
Great Southern and Western Railway takes over train operation.
01/11/1898Waterford and Wexford Railway
Great Southern and Western Railway takes over operation directly.
  /05/1899Mallow to Fermoy (Great Southern and Western Railway) Fermoy and Lismore Railway Waterford, Dungarvan and Lismore Railway
Through services between Cork and Waterford begin.
  /  /1900Waterford and Central Ireland Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1901Waterford, Limerick and Western Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway. Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway granted running powers from Waterford to Limerick. Midland Great Western Railway (who had opposed the merger) granted running powers from Athenry to Limerick, used for a passenger train, goods and cattle trains until 1911.
  /  /1901Drumcondra and North Dublin Link Railway
Opened by the Great Southern and Western Railway from Drumcondra Junction to Church Road Junction with stations at Glasnevin and Drumcondra.
  /  /1901Great Southern and Western Railway Kilkenny Junction Railway
Junction installed at Maryborough.
  /  /1901Cashel Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Act for branch from Goolds Cross.
  /  /1902Limerick and Kerry Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway.
  /  /1902Rathkeale and Newcastle Junction Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern and Western Railway.
01/10/1902Waterford, New Ross and Wexford Junction Railway
Great Southern and Western Railway extends its operation of the line from Ballywilliam to Palace East.
  /  /1904Cashel Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Opened.
  /  /1906Great Southern and Western Railway Cork and Limerick Direct Railway
North to east curve north of Charleville closed.
30/08/1906Mallow to Fermoy (Great Southern and Western Railway) Fermoy and Lismore Railway Waterford, Dungarvan and Lismore Railway
Through services between Cork and Rosslare Pier begin. In addition to the new lines opening a new Rosslare Pier station opens.
  /  /1914Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway) Tullow Extension Railway
Ceases to be served by a slip coach which came off at Sallins.
  /  /1918Wolfhill Branch
Kildangan to Athy and Mageny to Carlow singled, the lifted line being used for collieries. Connecting with the Great Southern and Western Railway, Athy to Wolfhill opened. Built by British Government. (Castlecomer line opened in 1919.)
  /  /1919Great Southern and Western Railway
All of Carlow line singled.
  /  /1921North Wall Extension (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Drumcondra Junction to Glasnevin Junction taken out.
  /08/1922Great Southern and Western Railway
Mallow Viaduct blown up. Temporary station Mallow South opened to the south of the viaduct.
  /  /1923Great Southern and Western Railway Cork and Limerick Direct Railway
Power points controlled from Charleville installed at junction.
  /  /1923Cork City Railways
Great Western Railway transfers its share for free to the Great Southern and Western Railway.
16/10/1923Great Southern and Western Railway
New Mallow Viaduct opened.
  /  /1924Bantry Bay Extension Railway Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway Great Southern and Western Railway Midland Great Western Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern Railway.
  /  /1925Athlon Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Athlone (Great Southern and Western Railway) closed.
  /  /1928Cashel Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Petrol railcar introduced (water at Cashel was in short supply).
  /  /1932Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway) Tullow Extension Railway
Announcement of closure (did not close at this time).
  /  /1937Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Sallins to Naas singled.
  /  /1941Athlon Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Clonsast Power Station siding laid in.
  /  /1944Cashel Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Services suspended.
  /  /1945Cashel Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Re-opened.
  /  /1947Cashel Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Closed to regular passengers and goods.
10/03/1947Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway) Tullow Extension Railway
Regular goods trains cease. Cattle trains continue.
27/10/1947Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway) Tullow Extension Railway
Regular passenger trains cease. Specials to Naas continue.
  /  /1954Cashel Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Closed.
  /  /1957Great Southern and Western Railway
Inchicore Workshops ceases building steam locomotives.
  /  /1958Killorglin Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway) Valentia Harbour Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Diesel introduced.
21/03/1959Baltinglass Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway) Tullow Extension Railway
Closure of line after final special to Naas.
  /  /1960Killorglin Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway) Valentia Harbour Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Closed.
  /  /1965Athlon Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Clonsast Power Station siding removed.
  /  /1967Great Southern and Western Railway Waterford and Limerick Railway
Curve put in between Kyle Crossing (GS&WR) and Milltown (W&LR) at Limerick Junction.
  /  /1967Great Southern and Western Railway Cork and Limerick Direct Railway
Closed.
27/03/1967Mallow to Fermoy (Great Southern and Western Railway) Fermoy and Lismore Railway Waterford, Dungarvan and Lismore Railway
Waterford (excluded) to Mallow (excluded) via Lismore closed. Trains diverted via Limerick Junction.
08/08/1968Great Southern and Western Railway Waterford and Limerick Railway
First passenger train uses the new curve at Limerick Junction for the Dublin to Limerick service.
  /  /1973Midland Great Western Railway
Galway Ceannt and Mayo trains cease using the Athlone [MGWR] to Mullingar section, diverted to the Athlone Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway).
  /  /1974Athlon Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Loop installed at Clonydonnin.
09/06/1979Waterford and Kilkenny Railway Great Southern and Western Railway
The two parallel lines from Lavistown into Kilkenny become on when Lavistown Junction is laid in.
01/08/1980Great Southern and Western Railway
Derailment at Buttevant, resulting in the loss of 18 lives.
14/01/1985Midland Great Western Railway
Athlone [MGWR] closed with the re-opening of Athlone (Great Southern and Western Railway).
  /  /1986Great Southern and Western Railway Roscrea and Parsontown Junction Railway
Junction at Ballybrophy converted into a reversing spur at the station.
  /  /1994Waterford and Kilkenny Railway Great Southern and Western Railway
North to south curve laid in making Lavistown Junction a triangular junction

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.

Dublin to Carlow

A view over Dublin Heuston station roof, with the fine original terminal building visible in the centre left of the picture. Heuston opened as ...
Mark Poustie 22/05/2019
The imposing exterior of Dublin Heuston station on 8 November 2018.
...
Mark Poustie 06/11/2018
Dublin Heuston station interior, with class 22000 DMUs visible, on 6 November 2018.
...
Mark Poustie 06/11/2018
171 with a train at Heuston station, Dublin in 1991. ...
Bill Roberton //1991
Open door, Kildare, April 1996. ...
Ian Dinmore /04/1996


Cherryville Junction to Limerick Junction

Part of the restored station at Maryborough, Victoria, in May 2013. The lengthy single platform here is visited by two DMU services per day. See image ...
Colin Miller 28/05/2013
There is a standard gauge line into and beyond Maryborough from Ararat which shows no sign of recent use. This image shows the somewhat crude ...
Colin Miller /06/2013
The impressive station building at Maryborough, Victoria, in 2013. Maryborough (pop c 7600) was described by Mark Twain as a railway station with a ...
Colin Miller 02/06/2013
CIE 149 waits in the bay platform at Ballybrophy in July 1993 with a train for Limerick via Nenagh. ...
David Panton /07/1993

This is a four platform junction station in County Tipperary, north west of Tipperary.
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Limerick Junction, with Iarnrod Eireann 01 28050 waiting to depart for Limerick on right, seen from Kent Station Cork to Dublin Heuston train, behind ...
David Bosher 20/12/2018
The late running Sundays only 13.00 from Dublin Heuston to Cork is just departing Limerick Junction, with the 11.55 from Galway having just arrived in ...
Mark Poustie 26/05/2019
The Sundays only 14.00 Dublin Heuston to Cork arrives at Limerick Junction on 26th May 2019.
...
Mark Poustie 26/05/2019
A Dublin train about to leave Limerick Junction in April 1996 behind IE 204 River Barrow. ...
Ian Dinmore /04/1996


Limerick Junction to Cork

This is a four platform junction station in County Tipperary, north west of Tipperary.
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More
Limerick Junction, with Iarnrod Eireann 01 28050 waiting to depart for Limerick on right, seen from Kent Station Cork to Dublin Heuston train, behind ...
David Bosher 20/12/2018
The late running Sundays only 13.00 from Dublin Heuston to Cork is just departing Limerick Junction, with the 11.55 from Galway having just arrived in ...
Mark Poustie 26/05/2019
The Sundays only 14.00 Dublin Heuston to Cork arrives at Limerick Junction on 26th May 2019.
...
Mark Poustie 26/05/2019
A Dublin train about to leave Limerick Junction in April 1996 behind IE 204 River Barrow. ...
Ian Dinmore /04/1996
Iarnrod Eireann 22 136 to Kent Station Cork at Mallow station, the junction for the branch to Killarney and Tralee, on 19th June 2017. ...
David Bosher 19/06/2017
Mallow North signalbox from a passing train in 1988. Curving to the right is the stump of the direct line to Waterford, opened by the Waterford, ...
Bill Roberton //1988
Arrival at Mallow, Co Cork in 1988. Just south of the station is Killarney Junction where the Tralee branch joins the main Dublin - Cork line. ...
Bill Roberton //1988
Small GM diesel Bo Bo No. 144 idles and enjoys a smoke in the up yard at Mallow, County Cork in May 2008. The container base no longer exists here see ...
Colin Miller 21/05/2008

Also known as Cork Penrose Quay. Terminus of the Great Southern and Western Railway to the north of Penrose Quay.
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The former site of Cork Glanmire station, Penrose Quay, on 25th May 2019. The original Great Southern & Western Railway station in Cork was a terminus ...
Mark Poustie 25/05/2019
Cork Kent. Class 2600 DMU at rest in Platform 3, used for Cobh and Midleton trains. 31 January 2019. ...
Mark Poustie 31/01/2019
Cork Kent (formerly Glanmire Road) Station.On a plinth at the station is former Great Southern & Western Railway 2-2-2 No.36 built in Liverpool in ...
Mark Poustie 02/02/2019
CIE 133 stands in the yards at Cork in 1988. ...
Bill Roberton //1988
CIE 056 stands at the buffer stops in Cork station with parcels vans in 1988. ...
Bill Roberton //1988