The large town of Abbeyleix in Co.Laois was served by rail on the Great Southern & Western Railway's Portlaoise to Kilkenny line, opened in 1868. The line however ran parallel to the GSWR's other more populated line to Kilkenny and Waterford which ran via Carlow. The line between Kilkenny and Portlaoise via Abbeyleix finally succumbed to closure in January 1963.
The stone built station building at Abbeyleix still survives, now a private residence, as well as the former up & down platforms, though they have covered over. A small GSWR wooden waiting shelter also survives on the up side of the station. At the south end of the station the former goods yard and shed have been taken over by an industrial complex.
The stone built station building at Abbeyleix, as viewed from the platform side of the station. The structure has a minor extension at the south end. This is the down platform at Abbeyleix Station, looking south towards Kilkenny. The platform edge is visible on the right. Abbeyleix, as viewed from the station forecourt, with the 1970s extension to the southern end of the building on the left. A survivor on the up platform at Abbeyleix Station is the wooden waiting room, still largely in original condition.
The owner of Abbeyleix Station kindly showed me a late 19th century photograph of the station, depicting a Great Southern & Western D17 Class 4-4-0 locomotive hauled train for Portlaoise. Visible in the background is the signal cabin and goods shed. A view looking north towards Portlaoise from end of the platform at Abbeyleix Station, showing the road bridge carrying the R433 road from the town. An old gated pedestrian entrance to Abbeyleix Station is visible on the former up platform. A pathway led from here to the privately owned Abbeyleix House and Demesne. This is the former road overbridge at the southern end of Abbeyleix, looking back towards the station. It carried the main N8 road over the railway, but this was re-aligned across the old trackbed in the 1980s.
A view from the old N8 road bridge towards Abbeyleix Station. This was the former goods yard and the stone built goods shed still survives, visible in the background amongst the newer industrial buildings. A view looking south towards Kilkenny from the old N8 road bridge, the trackbed visibly turned into a country lane. The N8 itself has since been superceeded by the newer M8 motorway which bypasses the town altogether.