Our Heritage

AuthorMessage DateMessage
Kathy Currivan04/05/2009Caomhnaigh Ceantar C.I.E.!

Caomhnaigh Cloigtheach Chluain Dolcáin!

Caomhnaigh ár n-oidhreacht!
Michael O'Flanagan04/05/2009Ní neart go cur le chéile.

Taken from The Second Report of the Commisioners appointed to inquire into the manner in which Railway Communications can be most advantageously promoted in Ireland
Printed by W. Clowes and Sons Duke Street, Stamford Street London 1838.
WE, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed by his late Majesty, under Letters Patent, bearing date the 20th day of October, 1836, to inquire into the manner in which Railway Communications can be most advantageously promoted in Ireland, and re-appointed by your Majesty, under date the 4th day of November, 1837, humbly beg to submit to your Majesty this our Second and Final Report.
It appeared exceedingly desirable that the general terminus, or rather point of departure of the Main Trunk Line of Railway for the south and south-western districts of Ireland, should be advanced as far as possible into the city of Dublin; and I therefore strongly recommended to your Commission, and you were pleased to approve, that the general terminating station should be fixed at Barrack-bridge, at the west end of the quays bounding the south shores of the river Liffey. Barrack-bridge is only 1 mile from the General Post Office in Sackville-street, and is approached from the first contemplated station at Island-bridge Road, entirely through open and unimproved land, without disturbing a single building; and an additional mile of Railway into Dublin is thus attained at a comparatively minor cost. A further, though prospective advantage attends the terminus at Barrack-bridge, viz., that the Railways at each extremity of the city may be hereafter connected, in the manner explained in a Report I have already laid before the Commissioners; and, though such an extension through Dublin may form no part of the Report or recommendation of your Commission, it may not be altogether unworthy of consideration, that such a Railway connexion may, at some future time and favourable occasion, be made at a moderate expense, and with great facility. In the commencement of these surveys, although the mode of entering Dublin had not been decided upon, it was necessary to forward the engraving of the plans and sections; and the road near Sallins being found to be 17 miles from the outskirts of Dublin, at Island-bridge Road, and the road from Celbridge to Newcastle, about 11 miles from the same point, the mileage was regulated forward accordingly. After your Commission had decided which line into Dublin should be adopted, the zero of the mileage, as measured back from Sallins, was found to fall upon or near the avenue to Inchicore House, three miles from the General Post Office; and throughout this Report and the annexed Plans and Sections, this point will be considered as the commencement of the distances, while the space from Inchicore Avenue to Barrack-bridge, one and three quarter mile, will be designated as the ENTRANCE INTO DUBLIN, and treated as a separate subdivision of the Main Trunk Line. The General Station being fixed at Barrack-bridge, the course from thence, as approved by the Commissioners, is along the valley of the Liffey, first crossing the King's-bridge Road and the Military Road below the Royal Hospital, next going over Island-bridge Road, close above the Artillery Barracks, and thence direct to Inchicore Avenue. The estimates for this subdivision are considerable, from the value of property, and the extent of earth-work and masonry, the bed of the Railway being prepared for four lines of road. The level of the station at Barrack-bridge is rather elevated, being 43 feet above the high-water datum, and about 30 feet over the street, and the mound averaging nearly this latter height all the way to the Island-bridge Road. In execution it may be advisable, on several accounts, besides the saving of expense, to lower this elevation. From Barrack-bridge to the Artillery Barracks, I have estimated to construct the Railway within retaining walls, filling in with earth, and forming the bridges, &c., for four lines, precisely as was done on the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, but laying at first only two tracks: this filling may be done either by common carts bringing rubbish from the city and parts adjacent, or by the excavated material being brought from the cuttings westward, by locomotive engines, when the works there are advanced. After passing through the whole length of Inchicore demesne, the turnpike-road is crossed, and the Railway keeps parallel thereto, at little more than 100 yards distance, to near
Michael O'Flanagan04/05/2009Palmerston, when it re- crosses the road and enters the enclosures of Palmerston House, and, skirting the rising grounds which overhang the right bank of the Liffey, pervades several other demesnes, Hermitage being the last, and once more crosses the turnpike-road to Lucan, at the entrance of the aveuue leading to Woodville. After passing the ravines near Esker, a remarkably fine line is obtained,'almost on the surface of the country for many miles, approaching near Leixlip, then over Celbridge Commons, and thence, nearly direct to Whitechurch and the vicinity of Sallins, with very favourable gradients.

In the early 1800’s Inchicore was an area of fields and pastures. The Cow and Calf Inn was on land owned by Lord Cloncurry. Nearby was the Cow and Calf farm, which stretched along Grattan Crescent and lower Tyrconnell Road. An Act of Parliament to establish a railway was passed in 1844. Thus began the Great Southern and Western Railway Company, later C.I.E. at Inchicore. The newly formed Railroad Company acquired a seventy-three acre site locally. Here the Railroad began, but due to the Great Famine it was not completed until October 1849. The expansion of the railway works created a need for houses in the area. The Railroad Company built houses for their workers, beginning with North and South Terrace and Inchicore Square. Later other terraces were built. A school was also a necessity and with the construction of the Inchicore National Schools or Model Schools came the demise of the Cow and Calf Inn, as it was on this very site, on land belonging to the Railroad Company, and with their financial assistance, that the school was built in 1853. John Aspinall was born in 1852. He arrived in Ireland in 1875 at the age of 23 from his former post in Crewe to take up the post of assistant chief engineer at the Great Southern and Western Railway Works at Inchicore. He was promptly installed in the manager’s house in the Inchicore Works which his young wife re-named “Mount Vernon.” Within two years of his arrival the workforce in the railway works had swelled to 1,200 including 80 apprentices. Aspinall became chief engineer in 1882. He was a hugely innovative engineer designing several new engines and perfecting and patenting the vacuum brake 1878. (otherwise know as the deadman’s brake). Aspinall had a progressive attitude to employer –employee relations and it was thanks to his foresight that a proper dining room and reading room were established at the railway works. It was during his stewardship that the first Inchicore Gala was held in 1879 to which 2000 people came to enjoy a day of sports, entertainment and public exhibitions. Besides designing new engines Aspinall oversaw the establishment of a larger wagon shop which eventually was turning out four new railway wagons every week. Within three years the works were turning out faster engines for the mail trains particularly the Cork Mail Train. In 1885 the Prince and Princess of Wales made a special journey to Cork on the mail train accompanied by John Aspinall. The “Daily News” of April 17th 1885 reported that “ The special train in which the Royal party are travelling consists of seven carriages, with engine and tender, all of which have been built at the works of the Great Southern and Western Railway Company at Inchicore, Dublin from the designs of Mr. John AF Aspinall, the locomotive engineer.” In 1886 John Aspinall left Inchicore when he was appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer at the works of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. Oliver Bulleid was born Devon in 1882. He arrived in Ireland in 1949 to take up a post as consultant mechanical engineer at CIE’s Railways Works in Inchicore. He had previously been employed by The Southern Railways in England where he had designed a number of important locomotive engines most notably the Austerity Class. Bulleid was a brilliant but controversial engineer and was viewed as slightly eccentric by his colleagues and contemporaries. No sooner had he arrived in Ireland than he went on Radio Eireann to suggest that all the workers in the railway should be granted vegetable plots. He also requested that a crucifix be placed on the footplate of every locomotive, an idea that was strongly resisted by the crews even at a time when more and more Catholics were being employed as drivers. At a time when diesel engines were being introduced both in Britain and Ireland, Bulleid was dedicated to extending the life of the steam engine. Nevertheless, he was appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer in 1951. His great experiment was to try and develop an efficient turf-burning steam engine. This was despite the fact that tests in Inchicore as far back as
Michael O'Flanagan04/05/2009the 1870’s had established that the produce of Ireland’s bogs was totally inefficient as a fuel for steam engines. Indeed throughout the second world war from 1939 to 1945 the railway was forced to use this inefficient fuel because of the impossibility of importing British coal. The result was disastrous in terms of constant delays and breakdowns of engines. However Bulleid was determined to give turf another chance. He devised a scheme whereby the tender was converted to provide turbine-blowers to blow the turf in milled form across a specially constructed worm to the front fire plate where steam jets were fitted to blow the turf across the fire. After months and months of experimenting the first test engine called the 365 was ready for trial. Bulleid invited the Minister for Transport and Power, Mister Erskine Childers to ride on the footplate even though the engine had not even been given a trial run. To everybody’s surprise the engine performed perfectly and the Minister was conveyed safely to Sallins and back. The engine subsequently ran on several trials on the main line to Cork and Portarlington and the crews were pleasantly surprised by the smooth and almost silent running of the engine. Bulleid had broken with all previous locomotive tradition by putting his steam traction motors on the axles. It was a real first in locomotive design. Bulleid also had a great success in producing light-weight rolling stock built of a special laminate process of his own design. However the higher bureaucracy within CIE at that time had been converted to the adoption of diesel engines believing them to be more reliable. Bulleid worked on at Inchicore until 1958 when retired at the age of 76. He retired to his native Devon where he lived out the rest of his life. (Source; The Works, Celebrating 150 years Gregg Ryan 1998)