Diversion of Railway at Bray Head in 1912

Tunnel construction in early 20th century
From Engineering Record, 22nd of January 1916 - Vol 73 Issue 4

In the start of 1912, it was decided by the D and G S Railway to take drastic action, by diverting the railway line at Bray Head. This work would require new tunnels at intervals being built through Bray Head. The reason for this work was the severe erosion at certain areas of the coast of Bray Head close to the railway Line.

In May 1913 it was reported that the railway diversion is about to start. The contractor was a Mr. Naylor from Huddersfield and would appear to be looking for accommodation in Greystones. It was the tunnel nearest Bray that was to be diverted. The work did not actually start until October 1913.

In December 1913 the railway work on the diversion was proceeding rapidly and the tunnel has assumed a tolerable shape and the men were already deep into the hill. The machinery was stored near Greystones station.

In April 1914 it was recorded that the new tunnel was progressing rapidly and three quarters of the entire distance had been bored. The works were temporally brought to a a stop when a labourer was accidently killed while working on the railway during the year. In February 1915 work was going slow, though it was hoped that spring and summer work would progress better.

In May 1916 the contractors of the new railway tunnel, Messrs. Naylor Brothers relinquished the contract for the diversion. The D and S E railway company were to continue the work necessary to finish the tunnel and they employed the Greystones resident Mr. W H Hinde as engineer on their behalf. The work that remained was several hundred yards of tunnelling. Naylor had built 516 feet of the tunnel and his reason for relinquishing the contract was due to the First World War.

In March 1917 the diversion of which 1100 yards were in tunnel was still needing a good deal of work to be complete. The work was under contract to Greystones man William H Hinde C E. Work under Hinde went rapidly as circumstances allowed.  On Friday August 3rd 1917 the railway company had the press assembled at Bray Head to inspect the new single Line tunnel and the new diverted line which ran from the No 3 tunnel to the road bridge near the harbour. The chief engineer was C. E. Moore, who was present along with resident engineer W. H. Hinde and the company general manager J Coghlan. The diversion was recorded as one- and three-quarter miles long and the tunnel was 1100 yards long and had a width of 15 and a half feet and the height was 13 feet. When complete, the tunnel was the longest tunnel on that railway. The general manager was Mr. W. M’Garry. The New diversion officially opened to traffic on Monday the 17th of December 1917.


Traffic between Dublin and Wexford resumed, Dublin Daily Express, Tuesday 18th of December 1917, page 6.

Diverted Railway Line, A new tunnel under Bray Head, Irish Independent of August 4th 1917, page 3.

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