Dublin Heuston, commonly called Heuston station (Stáisiún Heuston), is one of Ireland's main railway stations, serving the south, southwest and west. It is operated by Iarnród Éireann (IE), the national railway operator. It houses the head office of IE's parent company, Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ).
The station opened on 4 August 1846
as the terminus and headquarters of the Great Southern and Western Railway
(GS&WR). It was originally called Kingsbridge Station
from the nearby Kings Bridge
over the Liffey
, but was renamed in 1966
after Sean Heuston
, an Easter Rising
leader who had worked in the station offices.
Designed by Sancton Wood
, the handsome original buildings remain. The five panels along the front represent, in order:
- VIII.VIC - being the Act of Parliament that incorporated the GS&WR
- The Coat of Arms of Cork City
- The Coat of Arms of Dublin City
- The Coat of Arms of Limerick City
- AD. 1844 - being the year of incorporation of the GS&WR
When it was opened, the station was the largest enclosed structure on earth.
Since its renewal (by Quinn Savage Smyth architects and engineers Buro Happold) it includes two branches of Eason's, as well as some cafés/restaurants, including a Supermacs, and a pub.
Although there is a physical rail link between Connolly Station
and Heuston, this is usually only used for freight and rolling stock movements — once or twice a year special trains may operate, usually from Cork
to Connolly for Gaelic Athletic Association
matches in Croke Park
However, both the No. 90 bus
and the Luas
light rail system connect the two stations.
There are nine platforms - eight terminal platforms and one through platform. The through platform is known as "Platform 10", and is unused; there is no platform nine. It is some distance from the main concourse. Prior to its recent upgrade, there were five terminal platforms. Platform 1 is an extension to Platform 2, and reachable only via that platform.
Intercity and Commuter services leave the station on a triple line to Inchicore and double beyond. This is the main line to Cork, serving Kildare [end of Commuter services at milepost 30] and junction for Kilkenny & Waterford; Portarlington, diverging route to west via Tullamore and Athlone; Portlaoise; Ballybrophy, junction for Limerick via Nenagh; Thurles; Limerick Junction, for direct Limerick and Ennis services and Waterford via Clonmel; Mallow, junction for Killarney & Tralee. For a full list of stops on these routes, and route descriptions, see Rail transport in Ireland.
The main maintenance depot, at Inchicore, is approximately three kilometres (two miles) away.
The Government Transport 21 initiative plans by 2015 to have an Interconnector tunnel linking Heuston with Pearse Station and onwards to the new Docklands railway station.