Limerick was first served by rail when the Waterford & Limerick Railway opened their line from Limerick City to the Great Southern & Western's main line at Limerick Jct in July 1848. The W&LR was re-titled to become the Waterford Limerick & Western Railway who added an additional line from Limerick City to far away places such as Collooney via Athenry and Claremorris. The Great Southern & Western Railway also built an additional line to Limerick from Foynes and Tralee via the North Kerry route. Finally in 1901 the GSWR took over the WL&WR lines, becoming Ireland's largest railway company. The line from Limerick to Claremorris lost its passenger services in 1976, but was reinstated in March 2010 as far as Athenry. The North Kerry line however lost its passenger service in February 1963, but remained in use for freight as far as Foynes until 2002.
Limerick is the starting point for trains to Galway, Ballybrophy via Nenagh, Waterford and of course Dublin. Unfortunately the modern freight depot beside the station is now out of use. Limerick was also the home to the W&LR workshops, now used by Irish Rail as a railcar and wagon depot. The signal cabin at the station replaced the original mechanical one in the late 1970s.