Athy Co.Kildare is one of the larger towns served on the Great Southern & Western Railway's main line from Dublin to Waterford. Athy is the first stopping place for trains coming from Dublin. The station has up & down platforms, both of which see regular use by trains.The main station building is located on the up side and is positioned unusually at a higher elevation to the platform. It is large construction typical of the type found on the Waterford line. At the south end of the station is the large water tower, behind which is the former goods yard and shed. The nearby signal cabin which once controlled the junction with the branch to Ballylinan is now out of use.
The 12 mile Ballylinan branch was opened in 1918 to principally to serve the colliery at Wolfhill. The branch remained in use long after the colliery had ceased operated, finally closing to all traffic in April 1963. Today a stub of the branch remains in situ to serve the Tegral cement works in Athy, but this has been disused since 2005.
Arriving at the up platform at Athy Station is 201 Class loco No.223, which is heading a northbound Waterford to Dublin service. 233 has the 'off' signal as it awaits its departure time from Athy with its Dublin bound service, consisting of Mk3 stock. Heading the opposite direction is another 201 Class loco No.222, heading a southbound service to Waterford, also consisting of Mk3 stock. The semaphore signals are gone by the Mk3 pushpull driving van trailer No.6105 passes the signal cabin on the approach to the up platform at Athy Station with a Dublin bound service.
071 Class loco No.081 stands in the evening sun at the north end of Athy Station while working a Railway Preservation Society of Ireland special from Waterford to Dublin. 081, as viewed from the station footbridge at Athy. 081 was built by General Motors in 1976, entering service in May 1977. A contrast of design ends at Athy Station, between the General Motors diesel and the new streamlined 22000 Class railcar on the right. Athy Station, looking south towards Waterford, showing the footbridge connects the up & down platforms.
The elevated nature of the main station building at Athy is visible in this view, looking north towards Dublin from the down platform. A very typical early Great Southern & Western Railway station building at Athy, a tuder style design, which is located on the up side of the station. Seen attached to the Victorian GSWR footbridge at Athy Station is this notice, which features old intricate Irish letters and font. 'Arrol Brothers Gerniston Iron Works.Glasgow 1886' , is the builder's plate on the footbridge at Athy Station.
Matching to the main station building, the water tower at Athy also has similar design, it is located at the end of the down platform. The 1840s built stone built road overbridge at the north end of Athy Station. The black painted section on the bridge were used a sighting aids for the semaphore signals, which had been replaced by the new two aspect colour lights seen here. A view from Athy signal cabin, looking south towards Waterford when manual signalling was still in use. The siding converging from the left once served the goods shed and yard. In the background can be seen the former Ballylinan branch diverging to the right. The interior of Athy signal cabin, which was very neatly kept. Today the cabin is disused and boarded up.
The token machine complete with staff, inside Athy signal cabin. The cabin controlled access to the Wolfhill branch, latterly used by cement trains accessing the Tegral Factory on the south side of Athy town. The somewhat home-made track diagram within Athy signal cabin, complete with gradient profile. Of interest are the two sidings on the down side of the line behind the cabin, while to the top left can be seen the branch line to the Tegral cement factory. The semaphore signal, mounted on a pre-1925 Great Southern & Western wooden post, which guarded trains leaving the Ballylinan branch, which can be seen in the foreground. Although the branch to Ballylinan closed in 1963, a short section remained in use for access to the Tegral cement factory.