Station Name: RATHVILLY

 

[Source: Nick Catford]



Date opened: 1.6.1886
Location: At the end of Station Road
Company on opening: Great Southern and Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 27.1.1947
Date closed completely: 15.6.1959
Company on closing: Córas Iompair Éireann
Present state: The station building is in private occupation with an undertaking business run from it.
County: Co. Carlow
Date of visit: April 1981

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TULLOW BRANCH
The Great Southern and Western Railway Act was passed in 1881 reviving an earlier abandoned proposal to build a branch line from the Cork - Dublin line at Sallins to Baltinglass. Robert Worthington was the contractor and construction of the line started in March 1883 and was completed as far as Colbinstown opening on June 22, 1885, in September 1885 and reaching the terminus at Baltinglass on 1st September 1885. Intermediate stations on the twenty four and a half mile branch were at intermediate stations at Naas, Harriston, Dunlavin, Coldbinstown, Grangecon.

Worthington then extended the line south to a new terminus at Tullow with one further intermediate at Rathvilly. At 35 miles in length was the longest branch line on the Great Southern and Western Railway opening to Tullow on 1st June 1886. The terminus at Tullow had an overall (trainshed) roof with a turntable and water tower on the south side of the station.

There was a fatal accident at Tullow Station on 21st November 1901. Shortly after leaving that station the fireman noticed that there was no driver. Having stopped the train he walked back along the track where he found the driver. It would appear the driver had got out onto the footplate to make adjustments while the engine was moving out of the station and he slipped and fell under the train. He dies the following morning.

Initially the branch was served by ten trains a day but the lines popularity soon declined losing traffic to road transport and this was reduced to three passenger trains and one goods train a day. In 1928 a Sentinel – Cammel steam rail car was used on the line to reduce costs but it didn't prove popular with passengers or staff and was quickly withdrawn. Passenger numbers continued to decline with the popularity of the car and the passenger service was eventually withdrawn on 22nd January 1947 with the freight service ceasing shortly afterwards on 10th March 1947

A monthly goods service was retained mainly for the transportation of livestock with occasional passenger excursions for special events such as All-Ireland final or annual pilgrimages to Knock Shrine.

A daily goods service was reintroduced in 1957 but this was short lived with final closure of the line coming on 15th June 1959 with a special excursion.

Although the station house remains in private occupation all other station buildings have been demolished with only a section of wall remaining and a new housing estate now stands on the station site.

For more history and photographs of the Tullow branch line see Carlow County Museum web site

See also TULLOW

 

Rathvilly Station, goods shed and signal box in April 1981
P
hoto by Nick Catford



Rathvilly Station in April 1981
P
hoto by Nick Catford

Rathvilly goods shed in April 1981
P
hoto by Nick Catford




 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


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