Waterford & Suir Valley Railway

Waterford & Suir Valley Railway

Since opening in 2003 as a tourist attraction offering a 40 minute trip on six kilometers of the abandoned Waterford – Dungarvan route, from the station at Kilmeadan into Carriganore we have had close to 100,000 visitors. Last year alone 22,000 visitors experienced the beauty of the Suir Valley from a partially opened carriage as they take in the panoramic views of the river and rolling farmland of Waterford offering a glimpse into the world famous Mount Congreve Gardens and the Viking site in Woodstown.

This is an area rich in history and only accessible by train. During the Summer we open Monday to Saturday 11am to 4pm and on Sunday 12 noon to 5pm but we are always trying to develop our product range to bring this wonderful attraction to a broader audience through the Summer-Sunset Express, the Halloween- Spooky Express and the Santa Express in December.

We have worked with Waterford Local Enterprise Office since 1999 when they gave a group of Waterford business people a feasibility study grant to assess the viability of developing one of Waterford's abandoned railway lines as a tourist attraction. It was through this study the decision was made to develop this section of the Waterford – Dungarvan Railway. This was the beginning of the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway. In 2001 a capital grant from Waterford City and Waterford County Enterprise Boards enabled us to purchase two carriages and a Simplex diesel Locomotive which we called the Enterprise 3 in recognition of the Enterprise Boards support.

In addition in 2000 the Enterprise Board helped us produced a brochure and sponsorship programme to raise money to develop the railway and in 2002 through the Empower Initiative helped the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway to create a website to promote our activities.

We hope as we move into an even more exciting phase to continue to work with the Enterprise Board to purchase a new 50 seat rail coach and build a platform and car park in Bilberry, Waterford City which will allow us to operate a commuter service between Waterford City and the Waterford Institute of Technology at Carriganore, Woodstown Viking Site, Mount Congreve Gardens and Kilmeaden. This will give access to a much wider market and the railway will operate on a full time basis guaranteeing tourist growth and employment. What a way to travel!

 

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