Railway Terrace – An Abandoned Train Depot in Ireland

Railway Terrace in Mullingar, Ireland is a train depot near the current Dublin to Sligo line on the Irish railway system. It was built to serve the Midland Great Western Railway (MGWR) in 1848.

The Midland Great Western Railway was given permission to build a train line from Dublin to Mullingar and Longford. They bought the Royal Canal with a view to draining it and using the bed to lay the tracks however this plan never came about. Instead, they kept the canal open and built the railway line alongside.

The first section from Dublin to Enfield opened in May 1847, the next phase to Hill of Down in December 1847 and then to Mullingar in October 1848. Having the Royal Canal running alongside meant that construction materials could be moved easily.

Midland Great Western Railway Train in Athlone
A Midland Great Western Railway train in Athlone.

The MGWR wanted to extend the line as far as Galway but The Great Southern and Western Railway (GS&WR) also intended to do so. The MGWR built their line to Galway via Athlone and opened in August of 1851. The GS&WR line only reached Athlone in 1859 and from there, they were obliged to use the MGWR line to Galway, for which they had to pay a fee. An extension to Clifden on the Atlantic coast of County Galway opened in 1895. There were a number of branches on the line including to Navan, Athboy, Achill, Cavan and Ballaghaderreen.

Following independence, the Irish Free state passed the Railways Act of 1924 merging the MGWR, the GS&WR, the Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway and the Dublin and South Eastern Railway into a new company called Great Southern Railways. In 1945, the company and its assets were transferred to the state owned body Córas Iompair Éireann or CIE. Today, the Irish rail network is owned and operated by Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail).

How rail transport in Ireland has changed
The railway network in Ireland in 1920 compared with today.

The Railway Terrace depot was used for maintenance on the Midland Great Southern Railway. It also housed railway workers in a row of terraced houses. It is located a short distance from Mullingar Train Station which is still in operation today.

Railway Terrace is owned by the national transportation company CIE however the Railway Preservation Society Of Ireland use it as a base to restore carriages. It has one of only 2 railway turning tracks still in existence in Ireland. Apart from the abandoned buildings, there is quite a lot of railway machinery located around the site, most owned by the RPSI.

There was once grand plans to turn it into the National Transport Museum of Ireland however those plans never came to fruition and the area remains abandoned.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button