Cork Blackrock & Passage Railway


In the early years of the nineteenth century, the harbour town of Passage West played an important role in the commercial life of Cork City . Because the river was not fully navigable beyond Passage, ships' cargoes were regularly discharged there and transshipped in lighters, or carried overland to the city. Likewise emigrant and passenger ships frequently discharged or collected clients at Passage.

Allied to this the Passage area attracted many visitors who enjoyed its bathing and scenic attractions. In 1815 passenger carrying paddle steamers began to ply the river between the city and the harbour villages and towns. The traditional overland route between Cork and Cove still consisted of a journey to Passage, a ferry crossing to Great Island and a two mile trip to Cove.

Proposed Rail Link

The potential of a railway link between Cork City and the lower harbour was obvious and the early 1830s mooted such a scheme linking Passage and Cork . Before the end of the 1830s a number of rival companies, each suggesting a different route to Passage, had been established. Eventually, rivals amalgamated but the project did not commence until the mid 1840s when parliamentary obstacles were surmounted, an agreed route selected and various legalities, such as obtaining land rights, had been finalised. The eventual line route went from the city to Blackrock and then through cuttings and over embankments to Rochestown, before making its way along a scenic riverside causeway to Horsehead and then along a quay to the Steam Packet Quay at Passage.

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