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Slow Train Coming…


There’s little doubt that should the railway journey from Bray to Greystones suddenly pop up somewhere along the Orient Express route, most passengers would gasp with delight.

And rightly so. It’s a stunning journey, full of beauty, birds, and more than a little heart-pounding, cliff-edge bouncing.

Built between 1847 and 1856, this particular stretch of railway – serving what was then called Delgany Station – was a major feat of engineering. And back-breaking work, given that much of the track was brought through the cliff rather than over it.

As the Greystones Archaelogical & Historical Society geeks state, ‘the crucial factor in Greystones’ development came in the mid-19th century, with the opening of the railway. Although the station itself was not built until 1859, the line from Bray to Wicklow was completed four years earlier, opening in October 1855 with what was dubbed the ‘experimental trip’.

The man largely responsible for the Greystones railway was, of course, the spectacularly-named Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who drew up plans for the tunnels under Bray Head little more than a decade after the line was opened. A firm called Messrs Crowe & Sons secured the contract for both Greystones and Wicklow stations, for £3,000. The dangers of this new mode of transport hit home with the Brandy Hole railway disaster of August 9th, 1867, in which two people were killed and several injured.

For those of you tempted to walk just above the railway line, you can get a good idea of just how wonderful that trek is right here. Oh, and you can take a steam train ride from Dublin to Greystones right now, right here. And two 1990s train rides through Greystones here. You can also see some of the extra shots from this gallery right here.

In the meantime, we’ve been busy gathering all the archive pics relating to this little wonder. And if you haven’t taken this Class A train journey yet, bejiggers, take a look at Skycam Ireland’s footage of The Sea Breeze chugging along to Heaven Central in July 2017… 

Greystones Railway Station 1906

Greystones Railway Station 1920. Source Derek Paine

Hinde oversees the south end of The Long Tunnel

North Beacher Michael Byrne gets to work on the Mile Long Tunnel. Source Derek Paine

Dublin & South Eastern Railway creosoting yard near the north beach

Engine and trucks removing rock along the Cliff Walk

South Beach Tracks Trouble 13th Nov 1901

The north entrance of the long tunnel 1917

The north entrance of the long tunnel 1917

The Greystones-to-Bray tunnels. Source Derek Paine

The Greystones-to-Bray tunnels. Source Derek Paine

Wexford to Dublin Mail Train at Greystones 1919

Great Western Railways luggage tag

Third Class Ticket Westland Row to Greystones 2nd July 1958 Source: Derek Paine

1st Class Train Ticket from Greystones to Bray 17th July 1918

Train Timetable Summer 1959

Railway Preservation Loco

Harbour & Steam Train. Source Derek Paine

Church Road 1910. Source: Derek Paine

Steam Train at Watson & Johnson’s. Source Niall Farrell

Steam Train Greystones MON 17APR17 13

The Greystones 150 heading through Newcastle

Railway Station 1980s Pic Niall Farrell

Railway Station 1980s Pic Niall Farrell

Ammonia train 1986. Pic: Albert Bridge

Replacing the railway bridge. Source Derek Paine

Horse taxis at the ready. Source Derek Paine

When it was almost all fields. Source Derek Paine

Trouble at sea. Or thereabouts.

Viaduct damage after April 23rd 1865 accident

Rock fall being cleared from Ram’s Scalp. Source Derek Paine

Brandy Hole tunnel Bray Head. Pic: Lawrence Collection

The steam engine and steam winch used. Source Derek Paine

I Hear That Train A-Comin’. Source Derek Paine

Greystones Station, built in 1856 by Crowe & Sons

Not sure when it was posted, but, arrived last Tuesday

Tears Of My Tracks. Source Derek Paine

Inspector W. McGarry at the long tunnel’s north end

The wooden viaduct later at the centre of the 1860s collapse

Ruins to the left of the Brandy Hole tunnel. Source Derek & Gary Paine

Steam digger at the long tunnel’s south end 1914

Railway company’s beach stabilisers. Source Derek Paine

Ennis Gap Bridge 2007. Source Derek Paine

Greystones Railway Station 1950s. Source Derek Paine

Girls At The Station. Source: Gary Paine

Stone Me!

Greystones Railway Station by Val Byrne

Greystones Railway Station by Val Byrne

Back when trains were trains…

Railway Hotel (now The Burnaby)

Greystones Railway Turntable in operation

Early train station taxi rank. Source Derek Paine

Locomotive & Maintenance Workers – Full Steam Ahead. Source Derek Paine

Steam Train Arriving… Source: Gary Paine

Greystones Railway Station with Val and Carol Couchman

Greystones Railway Hotel 1890

Greystones Railway Hotel postcard Sean Tierney

Railway Hotel & main street

Sam French (who would later become a lawyer and local historian) with his sister Henrietta at Greystones Railway Station

Greystones Railway Station circa 1900 with third goods tracks

Waiting room on the right, plus stables

Greystones Railway Station – note Grand Hotel laundry basket bound for Dublin

Greystones Railway Station – goods yard on left

Frank Doyle & John Gunning

Railway Bridge 7th Feb 1999 feat Frank Doyle

Greystones Railway Bridge 7th Feb 1999 Pic Frank Doyle (2)

Greystones Railway Bridge 7th Feb 1999 Pic Frank Doyle

Railway Bridge Repairs 7th Feb 2015 Pic Patrick Neary

Cliff Walk First Railway – Bridge Disaster

A 1978 train passes the 1923 derailment spot

Greystones Railway Station Pic Patrick Neary

Train shuttle to Greystones pre-Dart

Steam Train 21st April 2014

Barry Gammell & Liam Foley outside Greystones Train Station

Greystones South Beach and Railway Robert French

Greystonse Misty Railway Tracks 06apr15

Modern Life Is Goodish May 2017

Out of the mist… April 2015

South Beach Colour Scheme, baby!

Dart Bray Head Cliff Walk Pic Nicky Cox June 2016

We’ve got even more Greystones trains right about here.

1 Comment

  1. Tony Roeder says:

    I enjoyed all the pictures. Thanks.

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