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Inside the 139-year-old Phoenix Park tunnel

The line is due to re-open as a link for commuter trains this autumn.
Dec 22nd 2016, 6:00 PM 112,981 102

OLDER INHABITANTS OF Dublin will likely know of the railway line running under the Phoenix Park from Cabra to Islandbridge.

First opened in 1877, the 692-metre tunnel once facilitated direct services from Limerick to Drogheda, Dundalk to Galway and Cork to Belfast. During World World II, it became a storage area for emergency food supplies.

The line stopped being regularly used by passenger trains about a decade and a half ago but still carries freight and out-of-service carriages between Heuston and Connolly, the city’s two biggest stations.

From time to time, it also serves to ferry GAA fans to Croke Park on the day of the all-Ireland final.

And from this autumn, thanks to a €13.7 million Irish Rail project, commuter trains from Kildare will be able to pass through the link as a shortcut to the Connolly, Tara St, Pearse St and Grand Canal Dock stations.

One Dublin photographer recently got a rare glimpse inside the tunnel before it gets back up and running. Here’s what he saw.

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This article was originally published on 19 March 2016

Read: NTA defends planned use of Phoenix Park tunnel following Irish Rail concerns

Read: A driver was clocked doing 176km/h on St Patrick’s Day

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Catherine Healy

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