The first train to leave Cavan departed for Dublin on 8th July 1856 and was open to passengers and goods transporters. Many people turned out to witness this historic occasion. In 1884 a branch line was added linking Killashandra to Crossdoney on the MGR line.
In 1860 the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway Company built a branch line between Shantonagh in Co. Monaghan through Rockcorry to Cootehill. Then, in 1862 an extension line was built between Cavan town and Clones. In 1863 the railway between Clones and Monaghan town was completed and Cavan was integrated into the northern transport network. In the 1870s the Navan and Kingscourt Railway Company built a line from Kingscourt through Kilmainham Wood to Navan, while later in the 1870s the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway Co joined Enniskillen with Manorhamilton. This passed through north-west Cavan for four miles, although no stations were built in the county. Its construction was accompanied by inclement weather and heavy rain, and the construction of the railway bridge over the Arney River between Blacklion and Belcoo was an act involving both heroism and engineering ingenuity. A planned southward spur from this railway to Dowra was never built. In 1887 the last, and perhaps most famous piece of the Co. Cavan railway jigsaw was put in place when the grandiosely named Cavan, Leitrim and Roscommon Light Railway and Tramway Co. (better known perhaps as the Cavan and Leitrim Railway) built a rail line between Dromod in Co. Leitrim and Belturbet. This was subsequently joined to the existing rail network via a line to Ballyhaise. This marked the de facto completion of Cavan’s rail network.
Cavan became the link between the NGR and MGR, thus making Cavan a busy trade centre and increasing business in the Town. Goods could now be moved easily to and from both Belfast, and the North and Dublin.
With the foundation of the GAA in Ireland in 1884, trains became a huge part of its culture, transporting sport fans easily and in great numbers to and from games. These games were, and mostly still are, held on Sundays, and this wasn’t always popular with the more religious memebers of the community. A story is told of one particular station master in the Village of Redhills, who turned out the station lights so that the train wouldn’t see the station, and all the passangers who were attending the GAA match and hoping to get off at Redhills, missed their stop!
The last passenger train left on October 14th 1957, and all services stopped on January 1st 1960.
Town Hall Designed by Scott 1905.