Dublin and South Eastern Railway
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|Dates of operation||1846–31 December 1924|
Dublin and Kingstown Railway|
Dalkey Atmospheric Railway
|Successor||Great Southern Railways|
|Track gauge||1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)|
|Length||161 miles (259 km)|
The Dublin and South Eastern Railway (DSER) was an Irish gauge (1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)) railway in Ireland from 1846 to 1925. It carried 4,626,226 passengers in 1911. It was the fourth largest railway operation in Ireland operating a main line from Dublin to Wexford, with branch lines to Shillelagh and Waterford.:12
- 1 History
- 2 Network and Infrastructure
- 3 Rolling Stock
- 4 Accidents and incidents
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
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 DSER. Amongst the lines forming the DSER 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 Dún Laoghaire railway station at Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire).
The DSER was much affected by the Irish Civil War including 31 major incidents. When added to shortages and inflationary costs arising from and after the First World War the DSER found itself, in common with other railway companies in Ireland, in difficult financial and operational conditions.:11—14
A railway bill of 1924 attempted to amalgamate the Great Southern and Western Railway (GS&WR), Midland Great Western Railway (MGWR) and DSER into the Great Southern Railway whose networks were entirely within the Irish Free State. The DSER, being part British owned, stayed out of the merger which occurred on 12 November 1924, with a preference to merge with the Great Northern Railway of Ireland (GNRI) which covered lines north from Dublin and throughout the North of Ireland. The DSER finally merged with the Great Southern Railway to form the Great Southern Railways (GSR) on 1 January 1925.:11—14
Dublin and Kingstown Railway
The Dublin and Kingstown Railway (D&KR) was Ireland’s first railway. It linked Westland Row in Dublin with Kingstown Harbour in County Dublin. It was authorised in 1831, and the first part of the line running from Dublin to Kingstown Pier was opened on 17 December 1834, with an extension to Kingstown ( Dún Laoghaire station’s current location) opened on 13 May 1837.
The Dalkey Atmospheric Railway was an extension of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway to Atmospheric Road in Dalkey in County Dublin. It was unofficially opened as far as Sandycove on 19 August 1843. The route from Sandycove to Dalkley (atmospheric station) was opened on 19 March 1844, in time for the official opening of the on 29 March 1844. It used part of the Dalkey Quarry industrial tramway, which was earlier used for the construction of Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) Harbour. It was the first railway of its type in the world.
Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway Company
The DSER 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". They leased the Dublin and Kingstown railway in 1854, converted it from 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) gauge to their 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) gauge. The remainder of the line to Wexford was opened over the next 20 years in stages.
The first section of DW&W line from Dalkey to Bray was opened on 10 July 1854. A continuous route from Dublin to Wicklow was established the following year, when the section from the Dublin and Kingston terminus at Dalkey (atmospheric station) to DW&W's Dalkey station was opened on 10 October 1855, and the extension from Bray to Wicklow (Murrough) opened 3 weeks later on 30 October. Coastal erosion has been a problem on the route to Wicklow, forcing the opening of a deviation between Ballybrack and Bray on 1 October 1915, and numerous deviations between Bray and Wicklow.
The line was extended onward to Enniscorthy in the early 1860s, starting with the line from Wicklow Junction to Rathdrum (Kilcommon), which opened on 20 August 1861. At this time the line from Wicklow Junction to the Murrough station was bypassed. It remained in use as a freight station and saw occasional passenger services. This was followed by further extensions to Ovoca (Avoca) on 18 July 1863 and Enniscorthy on 16 November 1863.
In the early 1870s the route was finally completed to Wexford in the 1870s, with the route from Enniscorthy to Wexford (Carcur) opening on 17 August 1872, and extended to Wexford North in August 1874.
Branch To Waterford
A branch was opened to New Ross in 1887. This left the main line at Macmine near Wexford. It was extended from New Ross to Waterford in 1904. This extension connected with the Great Southern and Western Railway, which in turn connected with trains for the south of Ireland.
City of Dublin Junction Railway
The City of Dublin Junction railway opened on 1 May 1891. This connected the DW&W and Westland Row station with Dublin Connolly railway station in the north of the city.
Network and Infrastructure
The DSER had two main stations in Dublin on separate lines; Westland Row (renamed Pearse Station in 1966) and a terminus at Harcourt Street. It also owned the Marine Station Hotel at Bray and the Grand Central Hotel at Rathdrum, south of Wicklow.
The Factory railway works
The locomotive workshop for the DSER was The Factory, a two-storey converted distillery at Grand Canal Street, Dublin. With no lifting crane and poor workshop layout the works was increasingly stretched by larger locomotives and the shortages from the First World War and damages due to the Irish Civil War.:129—132
According to the Railway Year Book 1912, the railway operated 60 locomotives, hauling 253 passenger coaches and 1,005 goods vehicles. The locomotives were painted black picked out with red bands and gold lines, while the passenger vehicles were crimson lake with gold lines.
Accidents and incidents
- Bray, County Wicklow due to sudden subsidence. A passenger train was derailed and most of the coaches fell into the ravine below. Two passengers were killed, and there were a further 25 injuries.
- Harcourt Street station, Dublin.
- Railway Yearbook 1912. London: Railway Publishing Co. 1912.
- Clements, Jeremy; McMahon, Michael (2008). Locomotives of the GSR. Colourpoint Books. ISBN 9781906578268.
- "Board of Trade, Bray Head, 1867" (PDF). Railways Archive.
- Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 15. ISBN 0-906899-01-X.
- Shepherd, W. Ernest; Beesley, Gerry (2003) . The Dublin and South Eastern Railway: An Illustrated History. Leicester, Shepperton: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-082-6.