Inchicore railway works

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Inchicore Railway Works
Train passing Inchicore railway works.jpg
Train passing Inchicore railway works in 1975
OperatedSince 1846 (1846)[1]
LocationInchicore, Dublin, Ireland
Coordinates53°20′25″N 6°19′39″W / 53.3403°N 6.3274°W / 53.3403; -6.3274Coordinates: 53°20′25″N 6°19′39″W / 53.3403°N 6.3274°W / 53.3403; -6.3274
IndustryRail transport
Area73 acres (30 ha)[1]
Owner(s)GS&WR (1844-1924)
Great Southern (1925-1944)
CIÉ (1945-1987)
Irish Rail (1987-present)
Armoured train at Inchicore Works 1922

Inchicore Railway Works, or simply Inchicore or The Works as known in railway circles,[2] was founded by the Great Southern & Western Railway in 1846 and emerged to become the major engineering centre for railways in Ireland.[3] It has a site area of about 73 acres (300,000 m2).[1]

The works are responsible for the overhaul, repair, servicing, spraying and washing of locomotives and rolling stock. Manufacture, assembly and rebuild of locomotives and rolling stock has been performed at Inchicore works in the past.[4]


At the beginning in 1846 there were a total of 39 employed at the works.[5][6] The locomotive erecting shop had 18 pits on one side and 16 on the other.[7] By 1886 the works had expanded to 52 acres.[5][6] In 1934 the erecting shop was replaced by a building with through roads.[7] In 1976 the works employed over one thousand people and was 72 acres in size.[5][6]


The works are situated alongside and to the south of the Dublin to Cork main line about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) out of Heuston (formerly Kingsbridge) station. The line also serves Waterford, Limerick, Athlone, Galway and Ballina. The Dublin to Belfast, Sligo and Wexford lines and North Wall complex can be reached via a link line near Heuston station.

Besides the works which is used for overhaul and heavy repairs the site also contains a depot for the regular maintenance of locomotives and carriages.

A small stream, sometimes known as the "Creosote Stream" owing to pollutants from the works in earlier times, rises west of the works, runs through the site, and joins the River Liffey close to the Irish National War Memorial Gardens.[8]

Engineering achievements[edit]

In addition to building and maintaining trains, locomotives, buses, and trucks, the works achieved a number of notable engineering accomplishments.[2] These included "armoured vehicles, armour-plated trains, experimental battery trains, turf-burning locomotives [and] munitions".[2]

While initially Inchicore did not build locomotives by 1851 with the expertise accumulated the GS&WR board felt this was now practical and in 1852 the first locomotive, an 0-4-2 number 57, entered service.[9]

In the 1920s and 1930s, in conjunction with James J. Drumm, engineers at the works created the "Drumm Battery Train" using electric storage batteries. These ran generally on services to Bray in the period 1931-1949.[10]

Issues with the supply of quality coal from 1941 precipitated some experiments with turf burning and other initiatives. Further coal supply issues in 1946 resulted in a conversion of a number of locomotives to oil burning in 1947 and 1948. Increased availability of coal, and issues with oil prices, led to these being converted back to coal from 1948. In 1957, despite the dieselisation programme then being underway, an experimental turf burning locomotive, CIÉ No. CC1, was constructed but never entered full service. It was the last steam locomotive constructed at Inchicore and the last steam locomotive constructed for the commercial railways of Ireland.[11]

In 1951, the CIE 113 Class was built at the works. These were the first mainline diesel locomotives in Ireland.[12]

Proposed site developments[edit]

Originally proposed in 1972,[13] revised plans for the DART Underground project suggested that a DART station be built within the Inchicore works site.[14][15][16] The specifics of these plans were subject to some local opposition,[17] and, as of 2018, the project is not funded or scheduled.[18][19]



  1. ^ a b c "Inchicore Railway Works, Dublin 8, Dublin City". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Mulvihill 2003, p. 62.
  3. ^ Ryan 1998.
  4. ^ "Irish Rail Engineering Depot, Inchicore". Remmers. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Murray & McNeil (1976), p. 172.
  6. ^ a b c Hunt (1999), pp. 40–45.
  7. ^ a b Lowe (2014), p. 245.
  8. ^ Doyle 2013, p. 36.
  9. ^ Murray & McNeil (1976), p. 143.
  10. ^ Clements & McMahon (2008), pp. 308—317.
  11. ^ Clements & McMahon (2008), pp. 319—328.
  12. ^ "CIE 113 - 114 (1100 - 1101)". Derby Sulzers. Archived from the original on 25 January 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Could an underground Dart solve Dublin's traffic gridlock? It's being considered". The Journal. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018. the Dart Underground, previously known as the Interconnector [was] Originally conceived of in the 1972 Transportation in Dublin plan
  14. ^ DART Underground (YouTube). Iarnrod Eireann. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
  15. ^ Agency 2014 Project Approval Application for DART Underground Phase 3 (PDF) (Report). National Transport Authority. 13 February 2014. p. 1. DART Underground consists of [..] a surface station [..] within the CIÉ Works at Inchicore
  16. ^ DART Expansion Programme Business Case (PDF) (Report). Irish Rail. 24 April 2015. p. 46. On the basis of the issues raised [in 2008] during the design review, Iarnród Éireann [instead proposed] extending DART Underground to terminate within CIÉ lands at Inchicore as opposed to Heuston Station
  17. ^ "Opposition to Inchicore Dart plan". Irish Times. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Office plan scrapped to facilitate shelved Dart Underground". Irish Times. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018. the [DART Underground] project having been shelved by the Government [in 2011, does] not have government funding [and] was not included in the 10-year National Development Plan published earlier [in 2018]
  19. ^ "Dáil Éireann Debate - Questions - Rail Network Expansion". Houses of the Oireachtas. 12 June 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018. the DART Underground Tunnel - is not scheduled for delivery within the period of the [National Development Plan 2018-2027]. However, over that time [2018-2027], it is envisaged that the route for the proposed project will be established


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