The Railway Network of Westmeath

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  • Aspects of Westmeath


Railways have played a very important role in the development of County Westmeath. Not only did they bring people to the area, it also helped create employment through the building of the network.

It all started in the 1840s, when the Midland Great Western Railway (MGWR) wanted to connect both Sligo and Galway to Dublin by rail. By 1845, the MGWR had bought land beside the Royal Canal and built a railway line by its side all the way to the outskirts of Mullingar.

The line went as far as the Hill of Down, which was 4kilometres from Mullingar. The reason it went there was because the railway line into Mullingar was still incomplete and the station wasn't built yet. To overcome this problem, a canal shuttle service was organised between the two locations.


The Mullingar section of MGWR's railway network was such a big job that over 1,900 people were employed in its construction. It was worth it in the end though when the railway line eventually reached Mullingar Town in September 1848. The following month, the first train arrived into Mullingar Railway Station.

Today, the railway station in Mullingar is just as vital to the people of Westmeath. There are close to ten trains to and from Dublin on a daily basis which makes the town a thriving location for commuters.