Thurles, north Co.Tipperary, is an important stop on the main Dublin to Cork line. The Great Southern & Western Railway opened the line from Portlaoise through Thurles to Limerick Junction in March 1848. Thurles was also a junction for the GSWR branch line to Clonmel, which diverged from the Cork main line south of the town at the former 'Thurles Junction'. The line to Clonmel lost its passenger service in 1963 and was closed completely in March 1967. Thurles once also boasted a rail served sugar beet factory, which was closed in 1987 and replaced with the factory at Mallow, now also gone. Thurles Station itself once had a large locomotive shed and yard, but today only the 1848 built goods shed remains, used by engineering trains.
The GSWR station building, located on the up platform, is unusually smaller for serving such a large town. The station also retains its original ornate footbridge, although a modern one has recently been constructed at the southern end of the station. The signal cabin, quite a tall GSWR example, was located at the south end of the station on the up side, it closed in 1986 following CTC introduction and was demolished some years after.