Clonsilla, on the extremity of Dublin's western suburbs, was once an important location on the Midland Great Western Railway's Dublin to Sligo line. Clonsilla was original closed in 1947, but reopened in 1981 with the introduction of the new commuter service to Maynooth, by which time most of the original station buildings had been demolished. Clonsilla was also the junction of the 1862 built Dublin & Meath Railway line, which diverged just west of the station and headed north to Navan. Passenger services on the Navan line ceased in 1947, but the line remained in use for occasional goods traffic until 1963. However in September 2010 part of the Navan line was reopened as far as Dunboyne, with a proposed reinstatement to Navan in the future.

The line between Clonsilla and Maynooth was re-doubled between 1999 & 2000, having been singled by the Great Southern Railway way back in 1929. This also brought about upgrading of the signalling and stations on the line, however due to the busy level crossing at Clonsilla; the typical MGWR signal cabin survives and still controls the crossing gates.
A scene at the east end of Clonsilla Station sees the signalman having given the single token to the driver of 001 Class loco No.023, heading the Dublin to Sligo oil train on 26th Sept 1990. ©Colm O'Callaghan An older generation of diesel railcar, represented by an orange liveried 'Arrow' 2800 Class approaches the station with a service to Maynooth. On the left can be seen the newer modern booking office, a common feature on the Maynooth line. Today the jointed track, semaphore signals and the old station building at Clonsilla has given way to concrete sleepers, long welded rails and colour light signals. 22000 Class railcar No.22005, heading a morning Dublin to Sligo service. This 2800 Class railcar is seen standing at the down platform at Clonsilla Station. The 'Arrow' livery later gave way to a more modern 'commuter' branding
Until railcars began operating on the Dublin to Sligo services, the 071 Class locos were the main motive on these trains, such as No.072, heading past Clonsilla in 2003. 'Enterprise' liveried 201 Class loco No.233 stands at Clonsilla Station while working the Irish Traction Group's Docklands Pioneer railtour. Mk3 pushpull driving van trailer No.6103 is seen on the rear of the ITG's Docklands Pioneer railtour. This tour would shortly depart Clonsilla and travel to the new Docklands terminus in Dublin. Taking the curve through Clonsilla Station is the 071 Class loco leader, No.071, seen heading the Waterford to Sligo empty timber train.
A 29000 Class railcar set consisting of 4-cars arrives into Clonsilla with a morning service from the Docklands in Dublin City. 29000 Class railcar No.29120 standing at the down platform at Clonsilla, preparing to depart with a service to the Docklands Station in Dublin City. Nowadays the Docklands services run on to Dunboyne. Seen through the cast iron lattice footbridge at Clonsilla is 29000 Class 29115, arriving with a commuter service to Dublin. A 29000 Class railcar gets the green light as it departs away from Clonsilla with a service to the Docklands. The white lights above the main signal aspect are known as 'feathers' which indicate the direction of the points set for the train.
The third member of the 22000 Class diesel railcar fleet, No.22003, passes through Clonsilla Station with a service to Sligo. The cue ball number on these railcars have since been replaced. Approaching the station at the west end of Clonsilla is a Sligo to Dublin service headed by 22000 Class No.22009. In the background is the turnback siding for Dockland services, which now forms part of the re-opened line to Dunboyne on the former Navan line. No.22021 passes the site of the one time double track junction at Clonsilla Station. There was quadruple track between here and the Navan line divergence, later reduced to a single track junction after 1929. Clonsilla signal cabin, seen following its renovation. Due to the awkward location of the narrow level crossing beside the Royal Canal, the cabin will continue to control the gates.
The ancient Midland Great Western wooden name board mounted on Clonsilla signal cabin, probably pre-1925 origin. The 62-lever frame within Clonsilla signal cabin, manufactured by the 'Railway Signal Company'. The levers became largely redundant following the installation of CTC signalling in 2000 as part of the commuter upgrade. Two levels remain in use within the signal cabin at Clonsilla, which lock and unlock the level crossing gates. This is the large wheel within the signal cabin which controls the level crossing gate on the adjacent busy road which runs between Lucan and Clonsilla.
Close up shot of Clonsilla level crossing gates, showing the large oil lamp discs. The crossing is designated XG010, as displayed on the sign in the background. These discs have since been removed. This is the attractive Victorian footbridge at Clonsilla Station, which was installed here in 1981 when the station re-opened. The footbridge is Great Southern & Western origin, and came from Listowel Station on the former Limerick to Tralee line in Co.Kerry Clonsilla became a junction in 1862 with the construction of the Dublin & Meath Railway from Navan, latterly operated by the MGWR. Passenger services to Navan ceased in 1947, and the line eventually closed in 1963. The turnback siding seen in the background now forms part of the re-opened section to Dunboyne. A view from the Grand Canal of Clonsilla Junction, with a 22000 Class railcar taking the sharp curve towards Sligo. Visible to the right beside the Navan line is a former locomotive shed.
This is the 1870 built Dublin & Meath Railway locomotive shed, located within the 'v' of Clonsilla Junction. It is bricked up and has been derelict for many years. Viewed from the Royal Canal, a 29000 Class railcar passes the site of Clonsilla Junction with a service from Maynooth. The bufferstop at the end of the turnback siding can be seen on the Navan line. Just beyond the junction are the stone bridge abutments which once carried the 1862 built line from Clonsilla to Navan over the Royal Canal After closure in 1963, the cast iron bridge remained in situ until 1989. Coming up to date, a new railway bridge has been constructed across the canal, carrying the relaid line from Clonsilla to Dunboyne. The bridge is arched, until like that of the original.
A view of Clonsilla Jct before the new railway bridge was installed. The turnback siding can be seen, and in the distance is Clonsilla Station. A similar view but with the bridge now in place. A double track line now crosses the canal towards Clonsilla Junction. Substituting steam traction on the RPSI's 'Santa Special' is 071 Class loco No.083, seen passing through Clonsilla Station complete with headboard as it heads towards Maynooth. On this occasion, 201 motive is employed on the RPSI 'Santa Special' with 'Intercity' liveried loco No.215, seen approaching Porterstown level crossing just east of Clonsilla with a working to Maynooth.
No.215 is captured again at Porterstown, this time heading east back towards Dublin with the return special from Maynooth. The 'Santa Special's consisted of the RPSI's 1960s built Craven stock. 22000 Class railcar No.22242 leads a 6-car set from Sligo to Dublin, seen having just passed the automatic level crossing at Porterstown, east of Clonsilla. No.215 is caught again, this time passing the MGWR signal cabin at Clonsilla Station as works an afternoon 'Santa Special' from Dublin to Maynooth. Behind the loco is the Mk1 steam generator van.