The magic of rails golden age has been brought to life in Kilmeadan, Co Waterford. A heritage narrow gauge railway follows the route of the abandoned Waterford – Dungarvan route, from the station at Kilmeadan into Gracedieu Junction.
Kilmeadan Station which closed to passengers in 1967 has been beautifully restored with the original coping stones on the platform and the Kilmeadan Station sign. The ticket office / shop / coffee shop is a converted Irish Rail Mark 2 carriage. There are toilet facilities at the station and all the facilities are wheelchair accessible including the train. There is a large car park for coach and car parking.
On boarding the train the conductor checks your tickets and when everyone is safely on board he blows the whistle and the driver pulls away from the station. On the journey experience the beauty of the Suir Valley from a partially opened carriage as you take in the panoramic views of the river and rolling farmland of Waterford and across the river to County Kilkenny. The track runs mostly along the picturesque banks of the River Suir offering a glimpse into the world famous Mount Congreve Gardens and across the river to County Kilkenny. This is an area rich in history and only accessible by train. Children enjoy the Magic Wood. This is a magical glade where Fairies and Leprechauns live happily together. They come out to play and enjoy the sunshine during the day and at night they curl up to sleep in their little houses. Sometimes they can be seen among the trees but you have to look carefully. Make a wish as you pass by. The return trip lasts 40 minutes.
On Saturday’s the trip is extended by 2.5km to journey beside the new N25, then through a 40 meter tunnel under the duel carriageway and on to the toll plaza for the River Suir Bridge. This is a 17km round trip. On Saturday the return journey takes just under an hour.
Summer Magic events every Wednesday and Sundays throughout the summer – Cartoon Characters, Magic Shows and Teddy Bears Picnics. Follow the link for events and dates.
The rolling stock is a Simplex diesel locomotive that was built to operate in the peat industry and then used when digging out the channel tunnel. The carriages which have both closed in and partially opened seats were specially built for the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway. There is seating capacity for up to 70 passengers.
Waterford & Suir Valley Railway is a community heritage project with charitable status Ref : Chy 13857. It is mainly operated by volunteers with support from people on government-backed job training schemes. It is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the South East of Ireland. Special events are held throughout the year with updates available on the website.