Great Southern and Western Railway

Great Southern And Western Railway

Great Southern and Western Railway

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The Great Southern and Western Railway (GS&WR) was one of the main railway operations in Ireland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company was the largest of Ireland's "Big Four" railway operators, buying up smaller operations and expanding its route mileage for much of its existence.

The heart of the GS&WR was the Cork–Dublin main line, the "Premier Line", a route still important in Ireland today. William Dargan was the driving force behind this and other GS&WR routes, and he was also responsible for other routes in Ireland not part of the GS&WR. The company's base of operations was Kingsbridge (now Heuston) Station in Dublin. At its height, the GS&WR included, in addition to the Dublin–Cork main line, the Dublin - Waterford and Mallow - Waterford lines as well as numerous branch lines.


The GS&WR competed with the Midland Great Western Railway for many years. Both ran services west out of Dublin: the GS&WR's services south to Limerick, Cork and Waterford, with the MGWR running to Galway, Westport, Ballina, and Sligo, all destinations still served by rail. The GS&WR also had designs on rail traffic to the west of Ireland. A branch was built from the Dublin–Cork main line to connect with the MGWR Dublin–Galway line at Athlone. In the end, the GS&WR route was the one chosen many years later by the single rail operator, Córas Iompair Éireann, and is the...
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