This is the Great Southern & Western Railway's station in Athlone, built in 1859 when the GSWR opened their 'branch' line from Portarlington to the the large Co.Westmeath town. When the Great Southern Railway took over in 1924, the GSWR station was closed and all traffic was to be concentrated at the rival Midland Great Western's Athlone Midland station across the River Shannon. In 1985, it was decided to re-open the GSWR station following the gradual diversion of Galway and Westport services via Portarlington since 1973. As a result of this the MGWR station in Athlone was closed completely.
While the facade of the GSWR station is imposing, the railway side when reopened had a hideous grey brick waiting room added to the front which somewhat spoils its appearance. The station once had an overall roof, but this was removed some time after closure to passengers in 1924. When it reopened in 1985 it gained up & down platforms, the up one been an island. The former goods shed is now home to the Athlone Level Crossing Control Centre. At the western end of the station, locomotives are stabled in a loop which was formerly used for handling freight traffic. At the west end of the station is the junction with the former MGWR's main line line from Mullingar.