Sweet Dreams at Navan
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
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2y ago
Upon my first visit to Navan in 2018 in search of the railway station I was astounded that such a large town could have had its train service removed, when much smaller villages along the Sligo and Maynooth routes were still connected to the capital. Little did I know that two years later I would marry a Navan-native, settle in the area and pass the station every day, miffed and mournful at its wasted potential. The line opened with ambition 172 years ago in 1850, built by the Dublin and Drogheda Railway as a branch line from Drogheda to Oldcastle. Boyne Valley Railtour at Navan, 1977, R ..read more
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Escaping to the Country at Beauparc
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
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2y ago
After my pilgrimage to Newgrange via Duleek, my beady eyes follow the railway line westward. At a cross-roads a two-storey building points toward the sky rising above its neighbours, its moulded bargeboards perforated with circular motifs. Bingo.  Former Beauparc Station (Osgood, S.) Beauparc station was opened on the original Drogheda to Navan branch line in 1850. A plaque above the platform-side doorway is impressed with the date 1857 when the station was built. But an outline of pointed red bricks to the middle of the building shows that the upper storey was a later addition ..read more
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Branching off at Duleek
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
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2y ago
The branch line from Drogheda to Oldcastle passes through the ancient Boyne Valley landscape of Newgrange toward the Loughcrew Cairns. It was opened to Navan in 1850, first mooted by the Dublin and Belfast Junction Railway in 1845, but then managed by the Dublin and Drogheda Railway by the time it opened. Kells was reached by 1853, and then the line extended to Oldcastle in 1863. In 1876 the line was then subsumed into the Great Northern Railway. Duleek is our first stop along this line.  Former Duleek Station and Master's Hosue (Osgood, S.) Along Station Road northward every bun ..read more
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Valley of the Engineers: The Boyne Viaduct
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
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2y ago
Leaving my Roman sojourn into George Papworth’s Drogheda railway station, I head northward to the Boyne Viaduct. I pass the original Dublin and Drogheda stone engine shed and then – holy moley – the earth falls from under me and the Mesopotamian arch of Ctesiphon is recreated twelve-fold.  Boyne Viaduct (S. Osgood) Agog, I needed to watch my step and not the towering vertigo-inducing spans which rose piercingly from the River Boyne’s embankment. I stopped, composed and consoled myself that the steep steps down would be worth the ascension after my mooching about.  Boyn ..read more
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Up to Drogheda - Finally!
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
by
2y ago
Following my sunny escapade to Laytown my station safari continued to Drogheda - finally. Sitting to the south of the illustrious River Boyne marking County Louth’s dent into County Meath, I drive up the approach ramp to be met with the mini-temple that is Drogheda railway station.  Drogheda Station (Buildings of Ireland) Designed by the renowned architect George Papworth for the Dublin and Drogheda Railway (DDR) the station was not built by the time the line ran its first train from Dublin in 1844. The original holding station was located to the south-west at Newtown, with the o ..read more
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Velvet Strands at Laytown
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
by
2y ago
 A beautiful sunny afternoon heralded my arrival at the seaside station of Laytown. Alighting from the train the light bounced off the ice-cream yellow paintwork on the former GNR wooden station building.  Originally opened in 1844 by the Dublin and Drogheda Railway, Laytown promised “celebrated Velvet Strands” and it is not difficult to see why: the station is raised above its nearby coastline, offering views across the southern bay to the hinterland of Braymore Point, whilst Bettystown’s strand, famous for horseracing, is located to the north.   The station built by the ..read more
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Up for the Chop at Gormanston
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
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2y ago
Delayed by Covid-19 lockdowns, I finally made a site visit to Gormanston one cloudy afternoon last year when freedom was temporarily restored. What greeted me was enough to elicit social distancing long before any state intervention.  For alone now stands the final cube of the original GNR wooden station which once served Gormanston. Dilapidated, peeling, unsure of its purpose, the remnants seemed to encapsulate the mood of a nation coping with a pandemic.  Gormanston was originally opened as part of the Dublin and Drogheda Railway line in 1845, and had a new station, waiting shelt ..read more
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Spinning at Balbriggan
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
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2y ago
Recovered from my rather cranky experience at Skerries, my eyes are rewarded and my heart gladdened on the approach to Balbriggan. Arriving from the south and entering the station over John Macneill’s viaduct, a neat, contained lump of a station reassures me as I alight. Designed by George Papworth for the Dublin and Drogheda Railway (DDR) and built in 1853, Balbriggan railway station is a single-storey H-plan brown brick affair, with flanking Romanesque arches. The current stairway from hell take me across the tracks and provide a sweeping view of the beach and harbour, as well as a stairw ..read more
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Returning from the Regatta: Skerries
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
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2y ago
Recovered from my sugar crash at Rush and Lusk, the Dart chugged along to my next destination: Skerries. Opened along the Dublin and Drogheda Railway route in 1844 and built in 1852, my arrival wasn’t exactly the wedding feast at Cana. Resembling a recession-hit local shop, the grey shutters told me the station building was not open for business despite it being 2.30pm on a Monday. Dismayed, I strolled along the platform to snap the signal cabin – we all know the GNR standard at this point – which still retains its solitary position and exposed brick-base (albeit painted a lurid shade of 1990 ..read more
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Sugar Crash at Rush and Lusk
Irish Railway Architecture Blog
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2y ago
The sugar-high from Donabate spurred me on to my next stop: Rush and Lusk. Sounding like an overpriced bar of soap, the railway station serves the villages of Rush to the east and Lusk to the west. Perhaps they should merchandise some station-scented bars? The station opened on the original Dublin and Drogheda Railway line in 1844, though I am hesitant in saying that the station and its buildings were constructed at this time. There are features of pre- and post-GNR architecture, so I am more inclined to view Rush and Lusk as a composite of eras and companies. Rush and Lusk Station, Ja ..read more
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