Ardee, Co.Louth, was the terminus of a short branch which diverged from the main Dublin to Belfast line at Dromin Junction. The branch was opened by the Great Northern Railway in 1896, but lost its passenger service as early as 1934, but remained in use for goods traffic until 1975. The tracks were finally lifted in the late 1980s. Despite closing in 1934, the station building at Ardee remains remarkably intact, complete with wooden canopy and train shed. It is a typical GNR terminus building, designed by W.H Mills and featured his yellow brick built construction. Behind the station can be found the roofless engine shed, and opposite the station is the typical GNR station masters house. Part of the site is still owned by Irish Rail.
Ardee Station, as viewed from the station forecourt. The building, which features the typical Great Northern Railway yellow brick, remains in excellent condition. One of the most impressive preserved Great Northern canopy entrances is to be seen at Ardee Station, a location which has not seen a regular passenger service since 1934. Like many Great Northern termini, Ardee Station features a trainshed, which today remains remarkebly intact. Some metal and plastic sheeting has been placed over the track entrance. A similar view at Ardee Station but in taken in the early 1970s. Although passenger services had ceased, Ardee remained in use for goods. Here, 181 Class loco No.188 is seen adjacent to the trainshed while running around its goods train. ©Barry Carse
This is the other end of the trainshed at Ardee Station, where part of the platform still extends out from the trainshed. The interior is no doubt little changed since the station closed. Closer view of the Great Northern trainshed at Ardee Station. Other examples of this popular style of terminus could be found at Oldcastle and nearby Carrickmacross. They offered great protection for the train and passengers during bad weather. The single road locomotive shed still survives (although roofless) at Ardee, located to the rear of the station. This is the typical red bricked built Great Northern Railway station masters house, seen opposite Ardee Station.
A view from the one of the two goods loading platforms at Ardee. In this view B203 is seen beside the goods crane and shed. There appears to be a lot of business at the station that morning. ©Barry Carse This is all that's left of the goods crane at Ardee Station today; the curved concrete foundation. The goods shed has also long since been demolished. This is the foundation of what was the stone built goods shed at Ardee. Both this and the signal cabin were demolished after closure in 1975. General view of the approach to the terminus at Ardee, with B203 visible in the background. The typical Great Northern signal cabin was sited between the main line and the goods yard. ©Barry Carse
This view shows how the station approach is now largely a derelict site. The remains of a wooden permanent way hut is visible on the left. The signal cabin was demolished shortly after the branch closed in 1975. A similar view but taken on the 4th October 1975, when ex Great Northern S Class 4-4-0 No.171 Slieve 'Gullion' was about to take out one of the last special passenger trains out of Ardee. ©Barry Carse With half of the special now shunted into goods yard, No.171 prepares to preform the next shunt movement. This is the end of the original passenger platform. ©Barry Carse This was the same location but in 1988, shortly after the track had been lifted, leaving just the wooden sleepers. The shed and the signal cabin had already been demolished. ©Barry Carse
With the remains of the goods shed on the left, this view shows how much of the former railway infrastructure at Ardee has been removed. The remains of the platform can just be seen in the foreground. Although regular passenger services to Ardee ceased in 1934, CIE still operated a number of specials throughout the year on the branch. Here, 001 Class loco No.038 is seen on one such special to Dublin in the early 1970s. ©Barry Carse A view from the cab of 001 Class 038, showing the Great Northern home semaphore signal in the 'off position' on the approach to Ardee Station. ©Barry Carse The factory and the telegraph poles remain today, but the tracks have been lifted and the former line turned into a pathway.
A view heading in the opposite way out of Ardee on board loco 038. There were no intermediate signals between here and Dromin Junction. ©Barry Carse Today it is possible to walk the majority of the former Ardee branch. Although the line closed in 1975, the track was not lifted until 1988. Just outside Ardee the line crossed the River Dee, the name from which the town took its name. The metal plate bridge remains in situ today. Behind it can be seen the N33 road which was built alongside the line after it was lifted. The bridge is incorporated into the walkway which runs along most of the former Ardee branch trackbed. The station and town are out of sight around the bend in the distance.