In 1933, the Great Northern Railway built a short one mile branch line to the Boyne Road Cement Factory east of Drogheda on the River Boyne. The branch diverged from the main Dublin to Belfast line just north of the Boyne Viaduct at 'Cement Branch Junction', and curved sharply south east through Newfoundwell on the outskirts of Drogheda town to serve the cement factory, and an additional oil terminal. The branch line was heavily used by the GNR and later CIE, and latterly included a ballast loading point at Newfoundwell. But in 1977 a new cement factory west of Drogheda opened at Platin, and this became the main source of cement traffic in the area.
The Boyne Road Cement Factory on the branch meanwhile declined in rail traffic and by the early 1980s only the oil terminal was occasionally been served by trains. By the mid 1990s, only the section of the branch to the Newfoundwell ballast sidings were in use, primarily used for the re-ballasting of the main Dublin to Belfast line. By 1996, the ballast sidings were no longer required and Irish Rail removed the connection to the mainline at Cement Branch Junction, after which the branch was lifted as far as Newfoundwell. The remaining, and now isolated, section of the branch to the Boyne Road Cement Factory and the oil terminal is derelict and in some places heavily overgrown. All the track work, such as the oil sidings and Newfoundwell loop and loading dock however remain intact despite their disuse, and there are even a few GNR semaphore signals and posts still in situ.
This is a photographic survey of the branch, beginning at the oil sidings and cement factory at Boyne Rd, and then shows the Newfoundwell loop and ballast sidings, and the former junction to the mainline at Cement Branch Jnc.