Railways 2: Carlow-Bagenalstown-Wexford

In 1846, the Irish South-Eastern Railway presented two proposals for a line from Carlow to Wexford. The chosen route was for one that would run from Bagenalstown to Ballywilliam and from there eastwards to Wexford. The Bagenalstown and Wexford Railway Act was passed in the year 1854. The Great Southern and Western Railway assisted with funding to a total sum of £50,000.

They were also authorised to appoint three members to the Board of the Bagenalstown and Wexford Railway. John Redmond, the M.P. for Wexford was the Chairman of this Board.

The first sod was turned for the Bagenalstown and Wexford Railway on January 4th 1855 in Borris. Fourteen miles of the line was designated to run through the property of the Kavanagh family of Borris House. Lady Harriet Kavanagh was present at the ceremony Mr. Alexander M.P. was also present. A large crowd of rural dwellers also assembled. The health of Mr. Kavanagh and Lady Kavanagh was proposed at a dinner in Kelly's Hotel, later that evening. Works commenced on the line on the following day overseen by John Redmond.

The Line Opens

The first section of the Bagenalstown and Wexford Railway was opened in December, 1858. It ran from Bagenalstown to Borris. Two trains ran daily in each direction. The intermediate station was at Goresbridge. Stage Coaches connected Borris with Wexford. In the same year authority to borrow funds in order to complete the line to Enniscorthy, was granted. A siding to the Ballyellen quarry from Goresbridge was also planned. Peter O'Reilly was awarded the contract. J.J. Bagnall completed the contract in 1862, as far as Ballywilliam. An important feature of the Bagenalstown and Wexford Railway was the viaduct at Borris. It was designed by the Dublin born engineer, William Richard Le Fanu circa 1860. It is constructed of limestone and consists of 16 arches of 11 metres span. It runs 50 metres above the road. Two trains ran daily on the line but traffic was disappointing. The Bagenalstown and Wexford Railway Company was declared bankrupt in June 1864, and the line was closed.

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