A place where a lot of visitors to will start and end their visits to Sligo Town, Sligo Railway Station (co-ordinates 54.27190 -8.48200), officially called the Mac Diarmada station after the Irish patriot Sean Mac Diarmada, was opened on 3rd December 1862, with the completion of the Midland Great Western Railway‘s 58 mile extension from Longford to Sligo Town.
The station consisted of two passenger platforms with a small loading dock on the ‘up’ side and two storage sidings between the platform lines.
Outside the station were the engine sheds, a locomotive turntable and of course the signal cabin.
In it’s heyday, Sligo Railway Station handled railway traffic for three different railway companies.
The Midland Great Western Railway which ran passenger and goods traffic from Dublin to Sligo Town, the Sligo Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway which operated regular passenger and goods traffic from Enniskillen to Sligo Town and the Waterford and Limerick Railway which operated passenger and goods traffic on the Claremorris to Sligo Town section of the line between Limerick and Sligo Town.
All three railways companies used the double track railway lines which existed at the time, through the long closed Ballysadare Railway Station, and onto Collooney where they each went off on their own railway lines to reach their final destinations.
It’s quite exceptional to think that a small village the size of Collooney had three different railway stations, each catering for a different railway company.
If you stand in the car park, you will notice the station is on a very elevated site from which you can see quite a few of the landmarks around Sligo Town.
Looking South you cannot fail to see the great spire of The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.