Opening of the Railway line to Kilkenny
The line from Carlow to Kilkenny opened for public traffic on Thursday November 14th 1850. A direct railway link from Kilkenny to Dublin had in fact been established. The meeting of the Waterford and Kilkenny railway and the Irish South-Eastern Railway line at Lavistown completed the connection. The first trial excursion on the new line was given by the Directors of the Irish South-Eastern Railway on the previous Friday November 8th. On that occasion an engine and first class carriage arrived at the Kilkenny terminus shortly after noon. An invited party of gentlemen had made the journey and the return trip started at one o'clock to Carlow.
Return Railway Journey Kilkenny to Carlow
The report of the trial journey from Kilkenny to Carlow on the newly completed line was reported in the "Carlow Sentinel" of November 9th 1850. "The country through which the line passes appears to have been most favourable for railway purposes, it being nearly dead level throughout, and the line running almost as straight as an arrow; however, everywhere that embankments or cuttings occurred, the excellence of the work was most apparent."
"In ten minutes from the time of starting the train passed Gowran, and ten minutes more carried it over the Barrow Viaduct – a work of great extent and importance, and which has been executed with the utmost taste and skill. At twenty-two minutes past one o'clock the train paused at the Bagenalstown station, which building was much admired by the company for the taste exhibited in its design, and the striking effect produced by a judicious intermixture of the blue limestone of Kilkenny and the white granite of Carlow. A delay of twelve minutes here took place, the previous journey being performed at the rate of 45 miles an hour; but again starting, the distance to Carlow was effected in twelve minutes and a-half, being at the rate of 50 miles per hour, over the portion of the road formerly used for traffic."
"At Carlow the train stopped, and the company was received by the Directors of the South Eastern Line. Shortly after the special train which left the King's-bridge Terminus, Dublin, at 12 o'clock arrived, making the journey in two hours; and thus showing that the distance between Kilkenny and the metropolis may be now annihilated in the brief space of two hours and a half!"
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