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Blessington Tram

The Blessington Tram:
In 1856 the area between Terenure and Blessington had no public transport except for a stagecoach service. In 1887, it was decided that a 15-mile long tramway system from Terenure to Blessington was to be operated by steam. The tram was designed so that each carriage could carry 68 passengers, 30 inside and 38 outside. Seats on the roof were arranged to take in the local scenery en route.

 On Wednesday August 1st 1888 the steam tramway opened for public traffic. Its first journey started from Terenure at 8:35 a.m., carrying mail from the G.P.O. and passengers. Its stops included Templeogue, Tallaght, Saggart, Glenanareen, Brittas, Tinode and finally Blessington was reached at 10:20 am. The length of the journey was 16 miles. With the rise of motorbuses the Blessington Tram was put out of service on December 31st 1932.

Photograph of the Blessington tram

There were many fatal accidents concerning the tram, including people falling off or being run over by it. In fact, at one time there were so many crosses along the route that it became known as “the longest graveyard in the world”.  Sometimes, too, sparks from the engine set fire to houses as it passed by (especially those with thatched roofs).

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