Standing resplendent, beside Dublin’s river Liffey, at a point where St.John’s Road West meets Victoria Quay, is the magnificent Heuston Station Building.
Formerly known as Kingsbridge Station, the front of this impressive structure was designed in 1846 by English Architect Sancton Wood. Its linked train shed, which extends back, parallel with the river Liffey, was designed by the eminent Irish Civil Engineer: Sir John Benjamin Macneill.
The front structure of the building is of Italian palazzo design featuring Corinthian columns, balustrades, carved swags, urns and domed campaniles. During the 1990s the older interior passenger concourse area of the station was extensively re-designed and refurbished with additional platforms being added in the early 2000s.
Heuston Station, probably the most elegant of all Dublin’s Train Stations, caters for both main line and suburban passengers. Five million passengers pass through this station each year on mainline routes travelling south and west and on suburban routes, travelling south west.
In 2004 Heuston Station gained a transport neighbour in the form of LUAS Red Line Trams (Dublin’s Light Rail System) with their own stop right in front of the older Heuston Station building.
In 1966 Ireland celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising and during that year, Kingsbridge Station was re-named Heuston Station after Captain Sean Heuston. Sean Heuston was vice-commandant of the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. He worked in Limerick, for the Great Southern and Western Railway Company and later in their Traffic Manager’s Office at Kingsbridge Station, hence the re-naming of the station in his honour.
Striking, is the way I would describe the typical night view of the illuminated frontage of the Heuston Station Building, as seen either from an approach along Victoria Quay or from a selected viewing point, across the river Liffey on Ellis Quay.
On a number of occasions Heuston Station has been a double act; accommodating both trains and movie makers.
During 1979, a large section of the interior of Heuston Station was transformed to represent the Victorian period London Bridge Station, during the making of the Michael Crichton film: The First Great Train Robbery. Famous actors: Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland and Lesley-Anne Down, among others, had starring roles in the film. The film, which was mostly shot in Dublin, went on to earn critical acclaim and secured a: Best Motion Picture Screen Play Edgar Award in 1980, for Director Michel Crichton.
In 2011, Stephen Soderberghs’ film: Haywire saw Heuston Station again in the lime light, as a shooting location. The fast action, Spy Thriller film starring popular actors: Gina Carano, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas, to name but a few, went on to critical acclaim and grossed $32.4 million worldwide.
Heuston Station is but a ten minute walk from another of Dublin’s most beautiful landmarks: The Phoenix Park.
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