Newry, Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Railway

The Newry, Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Railway (NW&RR) was a former railway line linking Newry and the port of Warrenpoint on the Carlingford Lough inlet in Ireland, and the company operating it. The railway was absorbed into the Great Northern Railway of Ireland in 1886 and the line closed in 1965.

Newry, Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Railway
Dates of operation1849 (1849)–1886 (1886)
SuccessorGreat Northern Railway (Ireland)
Track gauge5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)
Railway between Newry and Warrenpoint and nearby railways


The NW&RR was incorporated on 27 July 1846 but was only able to reach the c.7 miles (11 km) to the port of Warrenpoint, the additional stretch to Rostrevor some 1+12 miles (2.4 km) further on was never to be built.[1][2][a] The directors contracted William Dargan to construct the line which was completed in 1.5 years, publicly opening on 28 May 1849.[3]

The line was not initially connected to any other.[3] In 1954 the Newry and Armagh Railway (N&AR)[b] made a branch from Goraghwood on the Belfast to Dublin main line to their station at Edward Street.[4] At the same time the NW&RR, who had recognised the need to connect to main Irish rail network since 1852, crossed the Newry (Clanrye) River and relocated northern terminus station from Kilmorey Street to Dublin Bridge.[3][c] In the event following protracted negotiations with the Newry Navigation Company parliamentary permission was granted for the Town of Newry Connecting Railway company to establish the line crossing the Newry Canal, the 14 mile (400 m) link costing £12,700 opening on 2 September 1861,[6] and involving five level crossings.[5]

On 1 August 1876 the Dundalk, Newry and Greencore Railway (DN&GR), backed by the London North Western Railway (LNWR) of England, opened their line to a temporary terminus at Newry Bridge Street, the connection Albert Street and the rest of the Network at Newry only opening 1 July 1800.[7][d] The LNWR began their Holyhead to Greenore service on 2 August 1876,[7] and Patterson observes the NW&RR would likely have realised it was then implausible that Warrenpoint, which had never really challenged Newry as a port, would ever establish itself for cross-channel trade.[8]

The enterprise was amalgamated into the GNRI by an act of 4 June 1886.[6] The GNRI provided an improved W. H. Mills-style station building in 1891.[9] The line was transferred to the Ulster Transport Authority on 1 October 1958,[10] with the final train from Warrenpoint running on 2 January 1965.[11]



  1. ^ While the aspired extension of the railway to Rostrevor was never occurred the Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Tramway horse-tramway was built as an alternative and operated between 1877 and 1915
  2. ^ The Newry and Armagh Railway was initially under the name of the Newry and Enniskillen Railway.
  3. ^ Cunningham & Abraham claim a swivel bridge was used to cross the Newry River c.1854. However it seems plausible a swivel bridge would have been more needed for the 1861 canal crossing than for a river crossing. Additionally Bairstow claims the Dublin Bridge station was not opened until 1861.[5]
  4. ^ Patterson claims the Newry to Greenore link opened in 1873.[8]


  1. ^ Casserley 1974, p. 174.
  2. ^ Patterson 2003, p. 77.
  3. ^ a b c Cunningham & Abraham 2021, p. 4.
  4. ^ Patterson 2003, pp. 72–73.
  5. ^ a b Bairstow 2006, p. 48.
  6. ^ a b Patterson 2003, p. 81.
  7. ^ a b Bairstow 2007, p. 69.
  8. ^ a b Patterson 2003, p. 83.
  9. ^ Sinclair 2009, p. 45.
  10. ^ FitzGerald 1996, p. 14.
  11. ^ Cunningham & Abraham 2021, p. 5.


  • Bairstow, Martin (2006). Railways in Ireland. Vol. Part One: Great Northern, ... ISBN 1871944317. OCLC 1179437852.
  • Bairstow, Martin (2007). Railways in Ireland. Vol. Part Two:Belfast and County Down, ... ISBN 978-1871944334. OCLC 931393119.
  • Casserley, H. C. (1974). Outline of Irish Railway History. Newton Abbot & North Pomfret: David & Charles. ISBN 0715363778. OCLC 249227042.
  • Cunningham, Noreen; Abraham, Ken (2021). "An Excursion into the History of the Newry and Warrenpoint Railway" (PDF). Newry, Mourne, and Down District Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 October 2021. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  • FitzGerald, Des (1996). The Warrenpoint Branch. Newtownards: Colourpoint Books. ISBN 1898392145. OCLC 1280773673. OL 12248153M.
  • Patterson, Edward Mervyn (2003) [1962]. The Great Northern Railway (Ireland). Railway History. Vol. OL67. Usk: Oakwood. ISBN 9780853616023. OCLC 53393781.
  • Sinclair, Ian McLarnon (2009) [2002]. Along UTA Lines — Ulster's Rail Transport in the 1960's (2 ed.). Newtownards: Colourpoint Books. ISBN 9781906578497. OCLC 1280784854. OL 32804763M.