The well known university city of Galway was first served by rail in 1851 when Midland Great Western Railway achieved their goal by opening their mainline from Dublin. The Government of Ireland Act of 1885, funded the MGWR to build a line from the Galway terminus out to the Atlantic coast to serve the poor and sparsely populated area of Connemara to Clifden, this opened in 1895, and featured a tunnel and a large bridge across the River Corrib in Galway City, the stone piers of which still stand today. The unprofitable line lasted just 40 years, been closed by the Great Southern Railway in 1935.
Galway Station was partially modernised in the 1960s, but retains its large MGWR station building and railway hotel, located on Eyre Square. The station also retains its trainshed, but now with just one platform. The former bay platform for the Clifden line remains opposite the MGWR engine shed and now disconnected turntable. Mechanical signalling has now been replaced by CTC on the Galway line in 2004, but the typical MGWR signal cabin remains. From March 2010 onwards trains from Limerick began operating to Galway via the reopened Athenry to Limerick line.