Midland Great Western Railway

Introduction

One of the historical main railway companies in Ireland, usually styled ^The Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland^. Lines radiated west and north west from Dublin Broadstone.






Dates

  /  /1845Midland Great Western Railway
Incorporated. Act for line from Dublin Broadstone to Mullingar and Athlone [MGWR], and purchase the Royal Canal and its hotels.
  /  /1847Midland Great Western Railway
Portion authorised from Mullingar to Athlone [MGWR] and Galway.
28/06/1847Midland Great Western Railway
Dublin Broadstone to Enfield [Dublin] opened. Engineer G W Hemans. Contractor William Jeffs.
06/12/1847Midland Great Western Railway
Extended from Enfield [Dublin] to Hill of Down.
02/10/1848Midland Great Western Railway
Extended from Hill of Down to Mullingar.
  /  /1849Midland Great Western Railway
Dublin Broadstone to Enfield [Ireland] and Hill of Down to Killucan doubled.
  /07/1849Midland Great Western Railway
Construction of Mullingar to Athlone [MGWR] and Galway begins. Contractor William Dargan.
  /  /1850Midland Great Western Railway
Killucan to Mullingar doubled.
  /  /1851Midland Great Western Railway
Enfield [Ireland] to Hill of Down doubled.
  /  /1851Midland Great Western Railway
Ballinasloe to Athlone [MGWR] and Oranmore to Galway doubled.
  /  /1851Midland Great Western Railway
Builds the Railway Hotel in Galway (now The Hardiman). The hotel was leased to operators.
01/08/1851Midland Great Western Railway
Extended from Mullingar to Athlone [MGWR] and Galway. Double as far as Streamstown.
  /  /1852Midland Great Western Railway
Doubled from Streamstown to Athlone [MGWR].
  /  /1855Longford Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Opened from Mullingar (Midland Great Western Railway) to Longford. First step in the line to Sligo.
  /  /1856Cavan Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Opened from Cavan Junction (Longford Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)) to Cavan.
  /  /1857Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Authorised.
  /  /1857Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Act gives permission for line from Longford to Strokestown, Boyle and Sligo.
  /  /1858Midland Great Western Railway
Goods branch to Galway Docks opened.
  /  /1858Longford Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Mullingar to Cavan Junction doubled.
  /  /1859Chester and Holyhead Railway North Wall Extension (Midland and Great Western Railway)
London and North Western Railway steamers from Holyhead serve Dublin North Wall, where the LNWR opens a station and sidings connected to the Midland Great Western Railway line, the station located just east of Dublin North Wall Goods.
  /  /1859Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Deviation Act for the 1857 Sligo branch Act, for avoidance of mid-Roscommon (Great Northern and Western Railway territory).
  /  /1860Athlone Branch (Great Southern and Western Railway)
Connection to Midland Great Western Railway between Athlone [MGWR] and Athlone installed.
  /  /1860Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Attempt to abandon powers to build line.
  /  /1860Great Northern and Western Railway
Opened from Athlone [MGWR] (Midland Great Western Railway) to Roscommon.
  /  /1860Athenry and Tuam Railway
Line opened from Athenry (Midland Great Western Railway) to Tuam.Worked by the MGWR until 1870.
  /  /1862Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Opened from Longford (Longford Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)) to Sligo.
07/04/1862Cavan Branch (Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway)
Branch opened from Clones to Cavan (Cavan Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)). Worked by the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway. The line crossed the border between north and south six times between Clones and Redhills stations.
29/08/1862Dublin and Meath Railway
Opened from Consilla (Midland Great Western Railway) to a temporary Navan [DMR] terminus. After earlier consideration of an independent Dublin station, access was granted to Dublin Broadstone. Contractor Moore Brothers.
  /  /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.
  /  /1864Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Permanent station at Sligo opened.
  /  /1864Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Sligo to Ballysodare doubled.
  /  /1867Athenry and Ennis Junction Railway
Approaches the Midland Great Western Railway to operate line.
  /  /1869Athenry and Ennis Junction Railway
Line opened from Ennis (Limerick and Ennis Railway) to Athenry (Midland Great Western Railway). Line operated by company.
01/06/1869Dublin and Meath Railway
Midland Great Western Railway takes over the working of the Meath line.
  /10/1869Dublin and Meath Railway
Midland Great Western Railway cuts Kells service cut back to Navan [DMR] .
  /  /1870Athenry and Tuam Railway
Midland Great Western Railway ceases to operate the line.
  /  /1874Sligo and Ballaghadereen Junction Railway
Opened from Kilfree Junction (Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)) to Ballaghadereen.
01/11/1875Navan and Kingscourt Railway
Completed to Kingscourt. Worked by the Midland Great Western Railway.
  /  /1877Sligo and Ballaghadereen Junction Railway
Absorbed by Midland Great Western Railway. (Alternative date 1879.)
  /  /1877Edenderry Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Branch opened from Nesbitt Junction to Edenderry. Contractor Bagnell.
01/12/1877Dublin North Wall London and North Western Railway
First served by Great Northern Railway [Ireland] (ex Dublin and Drogheda Railway) and Midland Great Western Railway passenger trains.
  /  /1878Longford Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Cavan Junction renamed Inny Junction.
  /  /1878Longford Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Cavan Junction to Longford doubled.
  /  /1879Midland Great Western Railway
Broadstone Works commences building locomotives.
  /  /1882Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Double track extended from Ballysodare to Carrignagat Junction, in anticipation of the opening of the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway.
  /  /1883Cavan, Leitrim and Roscommon Light Railway and Tramway
Incorporated. Act for a narrow gauge line from Dromod (exchange with the Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)) via Ballinamore to Belturbet (exchange with the Belturbet Branch (Great Northern Railway [Ireland]). Act includes a branch from Ballinamore to Arigna.
  /  /1883Killeshandra Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Branch authorised from Crossdoney to Killeshandra. (Considered a possible start point for a line to Enniskillen [DandER].)
  /  /1885Belturbet Branch (Great Northern Railway [Ireland])
Opened from Ballyhaise Junction station (Cavan Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)) to Belturbet.
  /  /1886Killeshandra Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Opened from Crossdoney (Cavan Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)) to Killeshandra.
  /  /1888Dublin and Meath Railway
Absorbed by Midland Great Western Railway. (Or 1889?)
  /  /1888Navan and Kingscourt Railway
Absorbed by Midland Great Western Railway.
  /  /1890Midland Great Western Railway
Loch Atalia Viaduct, Galway, swing span fixed in position.
  /  /1890Loughrea and Attymon Light Railway
Opened from Attymon (Midland Great Western Railway) to Loughrea.
  /  /1890Ballinrobe and Claremorris Light Railway
Working agreement concluded with the Midland Great Western Railway.
  /  /1890Claremorris and Swinford Railway Collooney and Swinford Railway Sligo Branch (Waterford and Limerick Railway)
Light railway companies created for the Waterford and Limerick Railway to complete from Claremorris (Great Northern and Western Railway)to Sligo Collooney Junction (Midland Great Western Railway). Initially proposed by the Sligo, Leitrim and North Counties Railway.
01/07/1890Great Northern and Western Railway
Absorbed by Midland Great Western Railway.
  /  /1891Midland Great Western Railway
Increasing traffic leads to decreasing the lengths of sections with the addition of five extra signal cabins, including 34th, 39th and 46th, named for the distance from Dublin.
  /  /1894Drumcondra and North Dublin Link Railway
Act for a line between Drumcondra Junction and Church Road Junction, and a curve from North Strand Junction to Dublin Amiens Street. This line follows an easier gradient than the parallel Dublin North Wall Extension (Midland Great Western Railway).
  /  /1895Clifden Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Opened from Galway to Oughterard, the first part of the Connemara Railway.
  /  /1895Clifden Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Extended from Oughterard to Clifden.
  /  /1895Achill Extension Railway
Line opened from Mallaranny [2nd] (replacing the Mullaranny [1st] of the Westport and Mullaranny Railway) to Achill. The Government backed line was handed over to the Midland Great Western Railway on completion.
  /  /1895Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Doubled from Collooney [MGWR] north to Collooney Junction (junction for the Sligo Branch (Waterford and Limerick Railway)) Double track was not extended a little further north to the nearby Carrignagat Junction.
  /  /1895Claremorris and Swinford Railway Collooney and Swinford Railway Sligo Branch (Waterford and Limerick Railway)
Sligo branch of the Waterford and Limerick Railway opened from Claremorris terminus ([Athenry and Tuam Extension to Claremorris Railway]]) to Claremorris (Great Northern and Western Railway) and on to Collooney Junction (Midland Great Western Railway), Sligo.
  /  /1895Claremorris and Swinford Railway Collooney and Swinford Railway Sligo Branch (Waterford and Limerick Railway)
Connection under the Midland Great Western Railway to the Sligo, Leitrim and North Counties Railway near Collooney Junction opened to goods.
  /07/1896Claremorris and Swinford Railway Collooney and Swinford Railway Sligo Branch (Waterford and Limerick Railway)
Connection under the Midland Great Western Railway to the Sligo, Leitrim and North Counties Railway near Collooney Junction opened to passengers.
  /  /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.
  /  /1902Clifden Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Recess Hotel Platform opened to serve the railway company hotel (acquired 1895, rebuilt 1898).
  /  /1911Edenderry Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Served by a slip coach.
  /  /1911Shantalla Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
A 1.5 mile mineral branch is laid from close to Corrib Viaduct on the Clifden Branch (Midland Great Western Railway) to Shantalla for granite and marble quarry workings.
  /  /1911Waterford and Limerick Railway
The Midland Great Western Railway ceases stabling two engines at Limerick for its traffic using running powers to and from Athenry.
  /  /1912Midland Great Western Railway
Attymon Junction to Athenry doubled.
  /  /1922Clifden Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Recess Hotel Platform closed with burning down of the railway owned hotel by Republicans during the Civil War, preventing its use by the Free State Army.
  /  /1922Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Sligo station burned down.
  /  /1924Bantry Bay Extension Railway Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway Great Southern and Western Railway Midland Great Western Railway
Absorbed by Great Southern Railway.
  /  /1924Longford Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Longford to Inny Junction singled.
  /  /1925Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway) Clara and Banagher Railway
Great Southern Railways - Clara exchange platforms closed, service altered so a single engine could serve both lines.
  /  /1926Midland Great Western Railway
Oranmore to Galway singled.
  /  /1927Midland Great Western Railway
Broadstone Works ceases building locomotives, having built 132 steam locomotives.
  /  /1927Midland Great Western Railway
Attymon Junction to Athenry singled.
  /  /1928Midland Great Western Railway
Ballinasloe to Athlone [MGWR] singled.
  /  /1928Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Sligo station replaced.
  /  /1929Midland Great Western Railway
Mulligar to Killucan singled.
  /  /1929Midland Great Western Railway
Athlone [MGWR] to Mullingar singled.
  /  /1929Longford Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Inny Junction to Mullingar singled.
01/10/1929Midland Great Western Railway
Meath and Cavan trains diverted from Dublin Broadstone to Dublin Amiens Street.
  /  /1930Midland Great Western Railway
Killucan to Consilla singled. Nesbitt Junction to Consilla becomes two parallel single track lines - the main line and Edenderry branch.
  /  /1930Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Carrignagat Junction taken out, the line runs as two single track lines south from Ballysodare.
  /  /1930Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Collooney [MGWR] north to Collooney Junction singled. Collooney Junction controlled by power points from Ballysodare.
  /  /1931Edenderry Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Closed to passengers. Remains open to excursions and goods.
  /  /1931Longford Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Inny Junction station closed to public (platforms still used by railway families), exchange of passengers changed to Multyfarnham. Junction cabin replaced by power points.
  /  /1932Edenderry Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Closed to goods, with the exception of cattle trains.
  /  /1933Midland Great Western Railway
Broadstone Works ceases maintaining locomotives and is closed. Transferred to the road services division of the railway.
27/04/1935Clifden Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Line closed. In closing the line, the Great Southern Railways particularly cited the increase in road competition.
22/11/1936Midland Great Western Railway Drumcondra and North Dublin Link Railway
New link installed at Glasnevin reversing the previous connection. This allows access to North Strand Junction from the Liffey Junction direction.
18/01/1937Midland Great Western Railway
Dublin Broadstone closed to passengers.
  /  /1941Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Closed to most trains.
  /  /1944Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Goods withdrawn.
  /  /1945Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Goods restart.
  /  /1946Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Passenger trains restart.
  /  /1947Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Scheduled trains withdrawn.
  /  /1947Killeshandra Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Regular trains withdrawn.
  /  /1947Cavan Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Passenger trains withdrawn (also withdrawn in Second World War). However, Cavan station remains open, served from the north by the former Cavan Branch (Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway) branch trains from Clones.
  /  /1955Killeshandra Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Closed.
14/10/1957Cavan Branch (Midland Great Western Railway) Cavan Branch (Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway)
Cavan station closed following withdrawal of passenger trains via the Cavan Branch (Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway) branch from Clones.
  /  /1959Sligo Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Ballysodare to Sligo singled following the closure of the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway in 1957.
  /  /1960Midland Great Western Railway
Galway Docks goods branch closed.
01/01/1960Cavan Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Cavan Junction to Cavan branch closed.
  /  /1963Edenderry Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Closed.
  /  /1965Clara Branch (Midland Great Western Railway)
Closed.
10/04/1966Midland Great Western Railway
Galway renamed Galway Ceannt to honour √Čamonn Ceannt, one of the executed leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.
  /  /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).
14/01/1985Midland Great Western Railway
Athlone [MGWR] closed with the re-opening of Athlone (Great Southern and Western Railway).
  /  /1987Midland Great Western Railway
Regular Athlone [MGWR] to Mullingar trains cease.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.

Dublin to Mullingar

Looking east over Liffey Junction from a Sligo train in 1993. To the right is the former main line to the Midland Great Western Railway^s Broadstone ...
Bill Roberton //1993
A train for Dublin [Pearce] approaching Coolmine on 19 January 2014. ...
John Steven 19/01/2014
A Maynooth to Dublin (Pearse) DMU awaits its departure time at Coolmine station, Co Dublin, on 18 January 2014. ...
John Steven 18/01/2014
Passing through Mullingar on the Dublin - Sligo line in 1993. ...
Bill Roberton //1993
The 1830 Dublin Connolly to Sligo train about to restart from Mullingar, County Westmeath, in July 1993. ...
David Panton /07/1993
View through Mullingar station, County Westmeath, in April 1996. ...
Ian Dinmore /04/1996


Mullingar to Galway

Passing through Mullingar on the Dublin - Sligo line in 1993. ...
Bill Roberton //1993
The 1830 Dublin Connolly to Sligo train about to restart from Mullingar, County Westmeath, in July 1993. ...
David Panton /07/1993
View through Mullingar station, County Westmeath, in April 1996. ...
Ian Dinmore /04/1996
Level crossing and signal box at Athenry on the Dublin - Galway main line on a rainy day in 1988. ...
Bill Roberton //1988
Athenry station, looking east towards Athlone and Dublin, on 26th May 2019.
...
Mark Poustie 26/05/2019
Athenry station. The Sundays only 11.55 from Galway Ceannt to Limerick Junction has just arrived and is waiting to reverse onto the line to Ennis and ...
Mark Poustie 26/05/2019
CIE 019 stands in the rain at Athenry, Co Galway, in 1988. ...
Bill Roberton //1988
Approaching Oranmore, County Galway, from the west past the former goods facilities in 1988. The station, located between Galway and Athenry, closed ...
Bill Roberton //1988
Leaving Galway in 1991. ...
Bill Roberton //1991
CIE 083 about to take a train out of Galway in 1991. ...
Bill Roberton //1991
The afternoon train from Dublin overtakes a jogger (or vice versa?) on the approach to Galway station in 1991. ...
Bill Roberton //1991
Iarnrod Eireann 03 22342 to Dublin Heuston at Galway station on 21st June 2017. ...
David Bosher 22/12/2018
Galway Ceannt Station on 26th May 2019. The Sundays only 11.55 to Limerick Junction awaits departure from Platform 2.
...
Mark Poustie 26/05/2019
083 leaving Galway in 1991. ...
Bill Roberton //1991
Galway Ceannt Station signal box, seen on 25th May 2019.
...
Mark Poustie 25/05/2019