End of the line: Commemorating 60th anniversary of closure of Knockcroghery Railway Station

An evocative old photo of Knockcroghery Railway Station. Courtesy of Mary Dwyer (Murray) of Knockcroghery a Village Tapestry Facebook page.

The 60th anniversary of the closure of a landmark railway station will be commemorated later this month. Knockcroghery Railway Station closed its doors in June of 1963. The commemoration event, taking place on Saturday, June 17th, will feature a series of fascinating talks by guest speakers, as well as a colouring competition for children, a display of railway memorabilia, and a singing session in a shed ‘on site’ to finish what promises to be a very special evening!

The opening of Knockcroghery Railway Station in 1860 revolutionised transport to nearby towns such as Athlone and Roscommon, and ultimately Dublin.

The new service also facilitated the movement of cattle, cargo, goods and materials around the midlands. The station was a hub of activity which was much valued by locals. It enabled passengers to travel in comfort to Athlone three times a day, in less than an hour. Passengers could then travel on to Dublin.

Clay was delivered to Knockcroghery on trains to provide this vital raw material for the claypipe industry that Knockcroghery was famous for. It was mainly local men who were employed to work on the railway, the station thus enabling these people to work at home rather than take the boat to England or elsewhere.

The station was the focal point of the village, spawning ancillary cottage industries such as with regard to providing accommodation for travellers/workers, providing meals for same, and various other micro-economic activities. The community supported the station in all its aspects and its establishment and development engendered a sense of pride among the parishioners of Knockcroghery.

However, on June 17, 1963, this busy and important service closed its doors and a once-bustling, thriving station fell silent. Ever since that day, trains shuttle through the village several times daily – without stopping.

To mark 60 years since the closure, Phillip and Marina Dolan – whose home is the former railway station – are holding a special commemorative event on Saturday, June 17th, 2023 (see details alongside).

*Phillip and Marina wish to acknowledge and thank Sean Browne of Castlerea whose donation of materials and artefacts relating to the Knockcroghery Railway Station is invaluable, and much appreciated.