Alexandra Road

Since the 1870s, railway lines have been serving Dublin Port when the Great Southern & Western Railway constructed some lines from their main goods yard at East Wall towards the piers on the north side of the port. These lines developed along Alexandra Road and featured several private sidings off the tramway serving all sorts of industries such a coal, oil and even flour.
With the recent decline in freight traffic only two regular freight trains traverse the tramway on Alexandra Road, these being the weekly ore trains from Tara Mines at Navan, and the IWT container train operated to and from Ballina in Co.Mayo. The Alexandra Road tramway is also used for the delivery of new Irish Rail rolling stock which arrives by ship at Dublin Port.
Climbing up to road level on the Alexandra Road tramway is 071 Class locomotive No.072 with a loaded ore train from the Tara Mines near Navan. Turning round allows another capture of 072 bringing its rake of loaded zinc/lead wagons down Alexandra Road towards the Tara Mines unloading terminal. The Tara Mines unloaded terminal features a tight curve leading off the Alexandra Road tramway. 072 is seen running around its train on this curve. Having completed its run round, 072 is now back on the tramway shunting the remainder of the train into the unloading terminal at Alexandra Road. The elevated coal conveyer belt above the locomotive has since been demolished.
072 is now seen safely off Alexandra Road at the Tara Mines unloading terminal. The double track tramway continues a further few miles down the road in Dublin Port, nowadays little used beyond here. The coal conveyer belt visible in the previous photos led into this rail connected yard opposite the Tara Mines unloading terminal. Coal trains were last loaded here in the early 1990s and by the time this photo was taken the facility and siding were derelict. In happier times, General Motors built 121 Class locomotive No.124 is seen in the siding loading a coal train in the early 1990s. ©Colm O'Callaghan This is the western end of Alexandra Road where the tramway entrance is located. In the background can be seen East Wall freight yard. The level crossing across East Wall Road was guarded by automatic barriers, but they have since been replaced by traffic lights.
A road sign on Alexandra Road, the roadway is one of two public entrances to Dublin Port. A few looking east down the Alexandra Road tramway. Nowadays only the Tara Mines trains from Navan come down here. At the eastern end of Alexandra Road was a rail connected container terminal built in the late 1990s. It quickly fell into disuse shortly after opening but a short section remained in use for the delivery of new rolling stock arriving at the port, as seen here. On this occaison, the new 22000 Class diesel railcars are seen been lifted by crane onto the adjacent track at the east end of what is known as the 'Alexandra Road Extension'.
Two large road cranes wre utilised for moving the railcar stock from the port compound onto the Alexandra Road Extension. The line originally continued a further mile around into the former container terminal, out of view to the right. Still with protective cover, a 22000 Class diesel railcar is slowly lowered into position onto the track adjacent to Alexandra Road Extension. The 22000 Class railcars arrived in sets consisting of three units, which were then couple together. One of the newly arrived 22000 Class railcars, built in 2007 by Rotem of Korea. These units have since arrived in larger numbers and now dominate Intercity services on Irish Rail.
Coupled up to the newly arrived 22000 Class railcars were veteran 141 Class locomotives No.177+173, both of which dated from 1962. 177+173 later hauled the newly arrived 22000 Class units north to the railcar depot at Drogheda, Co.Louth. A contrast of ends between the streamlined 22000 Class railcar and the vintage General Motors diesel. When No.173 arrived at Dublin Port, in February 1962, it was hauled away by a tractor. Back to the Tara Mines unloading terminal on Alexandra Road, we see 071 Class locomotive No.074. The tight curve into the terminal can clearly be seen. The unloaded wagons are just visible on the left on the adjacent track.
Seen by the gated entrance at the terminal on Alexandra Road is another orange liveried 071 Class loco, this time No.077, which had just run around its Tara Mines train. Heading in the opposite direction on a much brighter day, No.086 leaves East Wall freight yard and crosses East Wall Road as it approaches the Alexandra Raod tramway with a loaded Tara Mines train. 141 Class loco No.171 brings a rake of empty flat wagons across East Wall road prior to loaded the IWT container train on the Alexandra Road. Quickly turning around, 171 is now on Alexandra Road as it brings its train down the tramway for loading. This loading and unloading working operates every week day evening and involves the use of two locomotives.
071 Class No.079 follows 141 Class No.171 and its empty flat wagons down the Alexandra Road tramway. 079 will then haul the loaded train back into East Wall yard. A cloud cover has arrived by the time 079 returns from its loading of containers and tanks on Alexandra Road. The IWT freight container train operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between Dublin and Ballina in Co.Mayo. 01 Class locomotives also make regular appearances on Alexandra Road with the IWT freight train. Here, No.225 in 'Intercity' livery approaches East Wall yard with a rake of loaded pocket wagons. Following 201 Class 225 and surrounded by roadside furniture is 071 Class loco No.087, which is almost missing its number. The loco had previously brought the pocket wagons down the tramway for loading.
087 is now seen having just crossed the East Wall Road and entered East Wall yard, which nowadays is used for stabling the IWT freightliner prior to departure the following morning to Ballina. 087 is captured again, this time approaching Alexandra Road with a loaded ore train from the Tara Mines. The red painted wagon in this rake had recently been refurbished at the wagon works in Limerick. The evening sun shines on 071 Class 076 as it brings an empty rake of pocket container wagons along Alexandra Road. Following the pocket wagons is 141 Class locomotive No.171, dating from 1962. The level crossing on the East Wall Road is protected by ordinary traffic lights seen here.