The Troubles And The Waterford Railways

Train Hanging Over Ballyvoyle Viaduct - Click To Visit Photo GalleryDuring the period 1914-1918 the line was closed for sometime, due to the loss of several ships. The troubles in Ireland caused much interruption to train services, which was even worse during the following Civil War. In the years 1920-21 however, the Waterford Dungarvan Railway Line became a trap for the men and the Army who had engineered and constructed it, trains were being ambushed and on one day a lengthy inconclusive battle took place near Durrow Station which resulted in British Army and IRA casualties. The IRA company being substantially outnumbered by the British forces withdrew under cover of darkness.

On the 8th August 1922 the Ballyvoyle viaduct was blown up. One arch was destroyed but in the two weeks following, all the arches collapsed. A train carrying jurors from Waterford courthouse crashed into the breach. This created more trouble for the army, who from then on searched the area with some of the first aircraft ever used in international combat, but the airplanes were of little use at night time and the volunteer's knowledge of the country side defeated the army.

The viaduct was rebuilt by the English contractor Sir Robert McAlpine with concrete piers. The route was not reopened until 1 July 1924. Many local men, who worked on the reconstruction of the viaduct, later went to England to work for McAlpine's. Their hard work was recognised and many went on to hold managerial posts within the company.

Waterford & Suir Valley Heritage Railway, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Phone: 051 384058
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