Plaque unveiled to mark 150 years of the railway line between Enniscorthy and Wexford

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Wexford Mayor Maura Bell was at Wexford O’Hanrahan station on Wednesday morning to mark 150 years of the railway line between Enniscorthy and Wexford.

he was joined by Kay Doyle, a native of Wexford and Director of Security for Iarnród Éireann, for the unveiling of a specially designed bronze plaque to commemorate the occasion. Music was provided by local train driver Ger Brennan.

The line opened exactly 150 years ago on August 17, 1872. The extension of the railway to Wexford was a considerable technical feat which involved the construction of a 54 meter bridge over the River Slaney and a number of tunnels were also needed, including at Killurin and Ferrycarrig.

The line opened with a temporary station at Carcur, with the current Redmond Square station opening two years later in 1874, half a mile further south. There was an intermediate station at Killurin and another at Edermine Ferry opened soon after.

The arrival of the railway in Wexford marked a new era for the people of the town and changed their economy and their lives for the better.

The agricultural machinery company, the Star Iron Works, had a private siding at the old South Station, a second city station which opened in 1885. Their goods were loaded onto trains to be distributed with machines from Pierces Foundry. At the time, the two companies were the main manufacturers of agricultural machinery in Ireland.

At a time when private car use was low, the railroad allowed people of modest means to take a day trip to the beach, but it also provided transport to schools and employment for people who would otherwise have to cycle long distances. .

The railway to Wexford also carried the body of one of Wexford’s most famous sons, John Redmond, to his final resting place. During the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, some of the most serious disturbances to the railway in those years occurred at Wexford.

Today, with the Dublin-Rosslare line considered Ireland’s most scenic railway line, the challenge of coastal erosion and climate change is having a major impact and work has begun on the protection scheme of the East Coast Railway Infrastructure (ECRIPP) to ensure that the railway in Wexford can be enjoyed for many generations to come.

Speaking at the unveiling, Mayor Bell said the railway line between Enniscorthy and Wexford has opened up travel for the majority of people who would otherwise have had to cycle or walk long distances.

“It is an honor to be here today to mark this great occasion. I have made many trips on this railway over the past 50 years and will continue to use it in the future.

Kay Doyle said: “As a woman from Wexford, it is a very proud day for me to be here to mark 150 years of the railway to Wexford.

“Railways connect communities and that’s exactly what the arrival of the railway in Wexford has done. It has given people in my home county the ability to get to work or school more easily and gave people the option of transportation to explore new places.

“Today, the railway continues to serve the city and its hinterland and provide safe and sustainable travel for all.”

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