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Harcourt Street station

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Harcourt Street Station

Staísiún Sráid Fhearchair
Iarnród Éireann
Harcourt St station & tram, 1910.jpg
The facade of Harcourt Street station, 1910
General information
Coordinates53°20′00″N 6°15′45″W / 53.3334550°N 6.2624722°W / 53.3334550; -6.2624722Coordinates: 53°20′00″N 6°15′45″W / 53.3334550°N 6.2624722°W / 53.3334550; -6.2624722
Owned byCIÉ Railways Division
Operated byCIÉ Railways Division
Structure typeAt-grade
Original companyDublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway
Pre-groupingDublin and South Eastern Railway
Post-groupingGreat Southern Railways
Key dates
7 February 1859Station opened
31 December 1958Station closed
30 June 2004Luas Green Line stop opens outside station building
Preceding station   Luas   Following station
St Stephen's Green
towards Parnell or Broombridge
  Green Line   Charlemont
towards Sandyford or Brides Glen
Disused railways
Terminus   Dublin and South Eastern Railway
  Ranelagh & Rathmines
Line and station closed

Harcourt Street railway station is a former railway terminus in Dublin. The station opened in 1859 and served as the terminus of the line from Dublin to Bray in County Wicklow. It closed in 1958. There is currently a Luas tram stop outside the front of the old station.


The station opened on 7 February 1859, after the initial opening of the railway line itself.[1]

The station facade was designed by George Wilkinson, and contains a central arch and a colonnade of doric columns. The station was constructed on an embankment, with the line 25 feet above street level and a Gilbey's bonded spirits store in the undercroft.[2]

Although the line was double track, the station only had a single 597-foot-long (182 m) platform on the west side of the railway, which terminated in a 48'-diameter (14.6 m) turntable at the Hatch Street end of the station. There were two through sidings on the east side of the station, beyond which lay Harcourt Street goods station and the D&WR's locomotive shed. There was no direct access for arriving trains to the goods station, instead 'Up' Freight trains had to pull into the passenger station, then set back onto the 'Down' line before entering the goods station. This was a contributory factor to the 1900 train crash.[3]

The first signal box was installed in 1878, and was replaced with an electro-mechanical installation in 1938 at which point the station was re-signalled with colour light signals.[citation needed]

The station is perhaps most famous for a train crash in 1900 - a cattle train from Enniscorthy failed to stop and crashed through the end wall of the station, leaving the locomotive suspended over Hatch Street. Nobody was killed, though the driver, William Hyland, had his right arm amputated. The locomotive was lowered down onto the existing DUTC tramway and moved to Harcourt Rd., then by temporary track up the goods entrance (modern Harcourt Court) to the station.[citation needed]

Following the accident, the Board of Trade recommended the installation of a facing junction to allow direct access to the goods line, and until that took place all trains were to stop at Ranelagh to ensure that they made a controlled approach to Harcourt Street station.[4] This practice continued up to its closure.[citation needed]

After the formation of The Great Southern Railways in 1925, Harcourt Street gradually declined in importance as services to the South East were increasingly concentrated on Westland Row (now Pearse) station with goods facilities transferred to the North Wall goods station. Thereafter, apart from during the 1933 GNR(I) strike, Harcourt Street became predominantly a passenger station. The station continued operating until 31 December 1958, when Córas Iompair Éireann, during its rationalisation programme of the railway network, closed the line from Harcourt Street.[citation needed]

The Luas light rail network that opened on 30 June 2004 utilised parts of the old route. The station building has been converted into a leisure venue with bars and music venues.[5]

Liquor museum[edit]

In 1958, C.I.É. opened a liquor museum in the station basement.[6] The exit was to the station refreshment room which was, unlike most other local licensed premises, permitted to sell alcohol in the holy hour between 2pm and 3pm if customers held tickets for distances over 12 miles, namely Bray and beyond.[7] After closure, the museum was moved to the basement of Heuston Station in 1961.[6]



Sráid Fhearchair
Harcourt St.jpeg
View from the platform looking north. The station building is visible on the right
General information
Owned byTransdev
Operated byLuas
Structure typeAt-grade
Other information
Fare zoneCentral
Key dates
30 June 2004Station opened
Preceding station   Luas   Following station
St Stephen's Green
towards Parnell or Broombridge
  Green Line   Charlemont
towards Sandyford or Brides Glen

In June 2004, the Green Line of the Luas - Dublin's light rail tram system - opened.[8] The Green line mostly followed the route of the old Harcourt Street line from Charlemont to Sandyford (it has since been extended south to Brides Glen). A stop called Harcourt was opened on the site of the old terminus. Because the embankment which led to the station had been demolished replaced with new developments, the Luas line diverges from the old alignment at Charlemont and descends a ramp before continuing north on the streets.

Harcourt Luas stop is directly in front of the entrance to the old station building. It has an island platform - a rarity for Luas stops - which is flanked by tracks running in lanes reserved for trams. Road traffic must travel on the western side of the street.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harcourt Street Archived 2009-03-17 at the Wayback Machine -
  2. ^ Harcourt Street station Archived 2006-03-20 at - Archiseek
  3. ^ "BOT Accident Report" (PDF).
  4. ^ News Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, Number 32, Summer 2008, National Library of Ireland
  5. ^ "The POD". Archived from the original on 17 September 2004. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Dublin's Liquor Museum". RTE archives. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  7. ^ Mac Aongusa, Brian (2003). The Harcourt Street Line - Back on Track. Curragh Press. ISBN 1-85607-907-4.
  8. ^ "Trams for Dublin 2004". RTÉ Libraries and Archives. 30 June 2014.
  9. ^ Google. "Harcourt" (Map). Google Maps. Google.