The Lucan Steam Tram

One such area was Lucan. Situated nine miles West of Dublin it seems to have been well served by public transport. Lucan had two railway stations, Coldblow or Lucan North on the Midland and Great Western Line and Lucan South on the Great Southern and Western Line. However both of these stations were some distance from the village centre and consequently were mainly used by the residents of the big houses in the area who could travel to and from the stations in their carriages.

Lucan was developing, the mills of Shackleton and Hill had opened and the Spa Hotel, with its sulphur springs, was much frequented by the citizens of Dublin seeking cures for rheumatic ailments. It was therefore obvious that there was a need for a more direct link with the city, which would also service the intervening villages of Palmerstown and Chapelizod. Consequently a number of prominent residents decided to promote a steam railway between Lucan and Dublin to link up with the Dublin Tramway Limited service. The first public reference to the scheme was an item in the Irish Times of 19th April 1880, which reported that the County Dublin Grand Jury had a proposal before it for the building of the line. The company was to be known as the 'Dublin and Lucan Steam Tramway'

This news was greeted with acclaim by numerous letters to the papers. One letter, signed "Knockmaroon Hill" suggested a spur be provided at Chapelizod to Knockmaroon. This was to facilitate the thousands that travelled to the Strawberry Beds during the summer months.

Approval was given and in December 1880 the first rails were laid. The line started 12 yards from the end of the Dublin Tramways line at Parkgate Street. It continued along the North side of the road to Chapelizod, crossing the Liffey on the East side of the bridge. From there to Lucan it ran on the South side of the road.

Originally the line was laid level with the existing roadway so as not to interfere with other traffic. This had to be changed later as the effect of the other road users continually passing over the tracks caused them to subside. There was also the problem of mud covering the tracks during the winter months. As a result, in 1895 the tracks were reconstructed on a platform raised above road level.

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