The first train that ever travelled from Ireland started from Pearse Station in 1834. The station was named in honour of Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising and his younger brother William, who also took part in the Easter Rising, who were born nearby.
This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.
Pearse Station in Dublin
Pearse Station in Dublin is a very special train station because the first train that ever travelled in Ireland started from here in 1834.
At that time trains were the most modern way to travel. They were pulled by steam engines. The first two steam engines that were used in Ireland were called ‘Hibernia’ and ‘Vauxhall’. They came by boat from Liverpool and were pulled through the streets to the station with crowds of people cheering. Then, using levers, teams of men lifted them up onto the new tracks which must have been pretty hard work.
To begin with, trains only ran between here and Dún Laoghaire as a sort of first commuter line, but later on it was felt that Pearse Station should be connected to Connolly Station. To achieve this, it was first planned to build a tunnel under the Liffey but in the late nineteenth century this was too difficult. So in 1891 the railway tracks were raised from street level for an overground line and a big bridge was built across the Liffey in front of the Customs House. A lot of people were opposed to this railway line, which is called the Loop Line, and the Loop Line bridge because they thought that it ruined the view of the city and in particular of the Custom House. Not much has changed – some people still do not like it.
The station itself looks pretty much the same today as it did in 1891 and so could be used as a film set for films like ‘Michael Collins’ and ‘Angela’s Ashes’.
What did change, however, was its name. It was at first called Westland Row Station, a name that is still used by some, but in 1966, around the time when steam engines were replaced with diesel engines, the station was renamed Pearse Station in honour of Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916, and his younger brother William, who also took part in the Easter Rising, who were born at no 27 Pearse Street which was then called Great Brunswick Street.