Dublin and South Eastern Railway

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The Dublin and South Eastern Railway (DSE) was an Irish gauge (1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)) railway in Ireland from 1846 to 1925.

It was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1846 as the "Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow and Dublin Railway Company". In 1860 it was renamed the "Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway Company" and on 31 December 1906 it was renamed again as the DSE. Amongst the lines forming the DSE was the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, which was authorised in 1831 and opened in 1834 – the first public railway in Ireland. The Kingstown – Dalkey section was operated by atmospheric traction for a short while. The railway formed part of the Royal Mail route between London and Dublin via Dun Laoghaire railway station at Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire).

One DSE steam locomotive is preserved: a 2-6-0 goods locomotive No. 15 (later Great Southern Railways No. 461) owned by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland at Whitehead, County Antrim.


The DSE had two main stations in Dublin on separate lines: Westland Row (renamed after Patrick Pearse in 1966) and a terminus at Harcourt Street. Apart from the main line to Wexford there were also branches to Shillelagh and Waterford. Sections were opened as follows:

  • Dublin to Kingstown Pier: 17 December 1834.
    The original alignment at Ballybrack
  • Kingstown Pier to Kingstown (location of current station): 13 May 1837
  • Kingstown to Sandycove: 19 March 1844 1
  • Sandycove to Dalkey (atmospheric station): 19 August 1843 1
  • Dalkey (atmospheric station) to Dalkey: 10 October 1855
  • Dalkey to Bray: 10 July 1854 2
  • Bray to Wicklow (Murrough): 30 October 1855 3,4
  • Wicklow Junction to Rathdrum (Kilcommon): 20 August 1861
  • Rathdrum to Ovoca (Avoca): 18 July 1863
  • Ovoca (Avoca) to Enniscorthy: 16 November 1863
  • Enniscorthy to Wexford (Carcur): 17 August 1872
  • Wexford (Carcur) to Wexford North: August 1874
  • branch to New Ross: 1887
  • City of Dublin Junction Railways: 1 May 1891
  • extension from New Ross to Waterford: 1904. This extension connected with the Great Southern and Western Railway, which in turn connected with trains for the south of Ireland.
  1. These two sections were opened as the Dalkey Atmospheric Railway
  2. A deviation between Ballybrack and Bray was opened on 1 October 1915 due to coastal erosion
  3. From Wicklow Junction to the Murrough station was bypassed when the line was extended to Rathdrum (Kilcommon). It remained in use as a freight station and saw occasional passenger services.
  4. There have been numerous deviations between Bray and Wicklow due to coastal erosion.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Bray Head in 1867
Harcourt Street



  • Rolling stock: 60 locomotives; 253 coaching vehicles; 1,005 goods vehicles. Locomotives painted black picked out with red bands and gold lines; passenger vehicles crimson lake with gold lines
  • Route mileage: 161 miles (259 km)
  • Hotels: Marine Station Hotel at Bray and the Grand Central Hotel at Rathdrum, south of Wicklow.
  • Passengers carried in 1911: 4,626,226
The information in this section is from The Railway Year Book 1912 (Railway Publishing Co)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 15. ISBN 0-906899-01-X. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Shepherd, W. Ernest; Beesley, Gerry (2003) [1998]. The Dublin and South Eastern Railway: An Illustrated History. Leicester, Shepperton: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-082-6. 

External links[edit]