Living History at Ballyglunin Station

Let Ballyglunin Station be your starting point to discover the rich architectural, industrial, and social history of the railways.

Living History at Ballyglunin Station

First established in 1860, the development of the track and station at Ballyglunin marks a point in Irish history when many small towns and villages across Ireland were connected by rail. Described by experts as an outstanding example of a late 19th century train station, Ballyglunin Station has been lovingly restored to its former glory. Visit us and understand how the old railways worked, through original buildings like the Station House, Storehouse and Signal Cabin!

At Ballyglunin Station, you can enjoy an immersive living history experience. Not only can you feel the history of these walls, but also discover the stories they have to tell: stories of arrivals and departures over 100 years of Irish history;

the influential Blake family from nearby Ballyglunin Park and their Royal visitors; ambushes during the War of Independence; the many emigrants who departed from here to seek a better life; and those who return to retrace their roots. Ballyglunin Station came under the ownership of the Great Southern and Western Railway Company in 1903, who added a new west platform with canopy and footbridge, among other enhancements to the station. The station was finally closed to goods traffic in July 1967, reopening just for short periods to transport beet until 1980.

Living History at Ballyglunin Station

First established in 1860, the development of the track and station at Ballyglunin marks a point in Irish history when many small towns and villages across Ireland were connected by rail. Described by experts as an outstanding example of a late 19th century train station, Ballyglunin Station has been lovingly restored to its former glory. Visit us and understand how the old railways worked, through original buildings like the Station House, Storehouse and Signal Cabin!

At Ballyglunin Station, you can enjoy an immersive living history experience. Not only can you feel the history of these walls, but also discover the stories they have to tell: stories of arrivals and departures over 100 years of Irish history;

the influential Blake family from nearby Ballyglunin Park and their Royal visitors; ambushes during the War of Independence; the many emigrants who departed from here to seek a better life; and those who return to retrace their roots. Ballyglunin Station came under the ownership of the Great Southern and Western Railway Company in 1903, who added a new west platform with canopy and footbridge, among other enhancements to the station. The station was finally closed to goods traffic in July 1967, reopening just for short periods to transport beet until 1980.

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The Quiet Man

The significance of the local train station in the Irish emigrant journey is a theme best illustrated in the film The Quiet Man, ‘Castletown’, with iconic scenes featuring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara filmed right here on the platform at Ballyglunin in June 1951. Visit us and discover the story behind filming those iconic scenes, which took 3 weeks to complete!

The Blake Family

Ballyglunin Station owes its presence to the Blake family who lived in nearby
Ballyglunin Park. In 1858 a bill was lodged in the English Parliament to construct the Athenry and Tuam Railway. Martin J. Blake of Ballyglunin Park was one of seven local gentlemen landowners promoting this bill. The Bill was passed, and shares were sold to fund the project. On September 27 th 1860 the first passenger train left Athenry for Tuam under the operation of the Midland Great Western Railway Company with a stop at Ballyglunin serving the Blake estate. A train station in the locality added prestige and was the most elegant way for esteemed members of the community like the Blakes to arrive at Parliament and impress their peers! Visit Ballyglunin and find out more about  how the Blake family used the local train station to welcome guests and build their influence.

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Restoration

By the year 2000, Ballyglunin Station had fallen into disrepair and was in danger of being lost forever. A small group of volunteers from the local community got together in 2004 with the aim of raising money to restore and reopen the station through fund raising, which in turn attracted County Council and Government funding.

Bit by bit, the station and ancillary buildings have been restored to retain the charm and character of a late 19 th century railway station. Facilities have been refurbished to assist Ballyglunin in its new role as a visitor centre and modern community hub for local groups and the creative arts. Key parts of the restoration included re-slating of the roof, restoration of the flooring, re plumbing, rewiring and the installation of a new heating system and treatment plant.

The restoration of Ballyglunin Station has been an amazing achievement by all involved, including committee members, supporters from around the world, and local people who have all contributed their time and skills to the project.

Listen to some of our Ballyglunin stories here

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