Visiting Dublin Pearse Station, Westland Row, Dublin, Republic of Ireland: opened 1834
For your visit, this item may be of interest
Old and new
Dubliners claim this station to be the world's first commuter railroad station. Opened in 1834, extensively rebuilt in 1884, and situated on Westland Row (Irish: Rae an Iarthair) it was originally known as Westland Row Station. The line was first known as the Dublin and Kingstown Railway; today, the station is owned and operated by Irish Rail (Irish: Iarnród Éireann).
I have supplied a photo of an early locomotive from the days of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway.
Dublin Pearse (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath Stáisiún na bPiarsach) also the city's busiest commuter station today (over 8,000,000 passenger journeys annually), meaning that trains and come and gone more or less on a daily basis for almost two centuries.
At one stage of its history it could also have be regarded as an international rail terminus: it was formerly a terminus for trains which connected with Rosslare and Dún Laoghaire. Although the Dún Laoghaire-Holyhead ferry service has been withdrawn, and although the terminus for train services which connect with Rosslare-Fishguard and Rosslare-Roscoff and Rosslare-Cherbourg ferries has been moved to Connolly, these trains to Rosslare do generally continue to stop also at Dublin Pearse.
In 1891 a rail link with Dublin Amiens Stations (now known as Connolly) was built, necessitating further rebuilding of the station's frontage.
The Station has a curved main roof built according to a design of Dublin iron founder Richard Turner. Its main roof is 155 metres (510 feet) long and almost 27 metres (90 feet) wide. At the Station's main Westland Row frontage, wrought iron pillars are interspersed between masonry abutments already existing when a bridge spanning Westland Row was attached to the building. Decorative motifs on the Station's frontage match cast iron ornamentation on the attached bridge (1).
In 1966, as part of a Irish Government policy of renaming large stations for noted Republican figures, what was previously known as Westland Row Station was renamed Dublin Pearse Station. Here some intriguing elements arise; it is sometimes referred to as Pearse Street Station, although the station is not on Pearse Street. It is also sometimes assumed to be named for Patrick Pearse (1879-1916), who read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic at the Easter Rising of 1916, and subsequently executed, and this is indeed partly true; although various members of the Pearse family were involved in the Republican movement: Willie Pearse (1881-1916), brother of Patrick, also involved in the Easter Rising and subsequently executed; Margaret Pearse (1857-1932), mother of Patrick and Willie and elected to Dáil Éireann in 1921, and Senator Margaret Mary Pearse (1878-1968), sister to Patrick and Willie (2). It is generally recognized, however, that the Station is named for both of the two brothers Pearse, Patrick and Willie.
Today, Dublin Pearse Station is the headquarters of the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) commuter network.
February 27, 2016
(1) See also: http://www.turtlebunbury.com/published/published_books/docklands/westland_row/pub_books_docklands_wr_pearsestation.html
(2) In Irish Parliamentary tradition there is a very strong tendency for relatives of well-known Republican figures to stand in elections to Ireland's Parliament, Dáil Éireann.
Some sourcing: Wikipedia
Also worth seeing
In Dublin itself, included among the numerous buildings of interest to the visitor are: the Custom House (Irish: Teach an Chustaim); Dublin Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath), Leinster House (Irish: Teach Laighean), Merrion Square (Irish: Cearnóg Mhuirfean); Government Buildings (Irish: Tithe an Rialtais); Trinity College (Irish: Coláiste na Tríonóide); the General Post Office (Irish: Ard-Oifig an Phoist) on O'Connell Street (Irish: Sráid Uí Chonaill); the Ha'penny — or: Halfpenny — Bridge; (Irish: Droichead na Leathphingine); the Four Courts (Irish: Na Ceithre Cúirteanna); the City Hall (Irish: Halla na Cathrach); and many others.
How to get there: Aer Lingus flies from New York and Boston to Dublin Airport (Irish: Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath), from where car rental is available. Car parking can be difficult in Dublin City centre and a good way to get around the city is by Dublin Bus (Irish: Bus Átha Cliath). Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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