This Day in History – October 9th, 1834

Yesterday we looked at Stephenson’s Rocket, the first successful locomotive to be made into a commercial train; fast forward five years and a day and we witness the opening of the first public railway in Ireland.


The Dublin and Kingstown Railway Company was founded in 1831 by businessmen in the city to look into building a railway. Within two years, they had a contractor and a parliamentary act. The construction contract was awarded to William Dargan.

D&KR_view_1840Building of the 6 mile line was delayed by opposition from two different landowners who insisted on large cash compensations and in the case of Lord Cloncurry the building of a private foot bridge over the line to a bathing area complete with a Romanesque temple, a short tunnel and a cutting to maintain his privacy. Part of the line ran on an embankment built across the strand between Merrion and Blackrock which later led to the formation of Booterstown marsh. The first train ran on October 9th, 1834, consisting of eight carriages hauled by the locomotive Hibernia.

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