As celebrations went on all along the route of the Waterford Greenway during the weekend, the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway Company decided to commemorate the railway line on which the Greenway has been developed.
Visitors to Kilmeadan Station took a step back in time to remember the Waterford to Cork railway line which opened as a passenger service on the on the 12th August 1878. The Waterford & Suir Valley Railway crew dressed in 1878 costume, there was a pig roasting on a spit, Metalman Brewing Company provided the Ale, a Victorian railway luggage trolley and trunks were on the platform. Other props included milk churns and wooded casks as both would have been delivered to Kilmeadan Station by train to be collected by shop keepers and publicans. The background music was a mix of Irish and English from the Victorian era including Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, also first performed in 1878.
The atmosphere at Kilmeadan Station was celebratory as cyclists and walkers entered the station from both the Waterford and Dungarvan direction. They stopped for refreshments and mingled with the visitors who came to enjoy the railway experience. Children played together in the play area, making friends.
Along the train route between Kilmeadan and Carriganore, it was wonderful to see the activity, as cyclists, walkers and passengers waved to each other in passing. One of the train drivers remarked, as well as the longest greenway in Ireland it will probably also be the friendliest.
Maria Kyte, Manager of the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway welcomed the opening of the Waterford Greenway, she said, “The vision for the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway since its inception in 2001 was that the area through which it operates would become a linear park with so much to do visitors would have to spend a few days in Waterford to experience it all. The Waterford Greenway is the start of this becoming a reality. In a few weeks it will be possible to access Mount Congreve Gardens from the Waterford Greenway. A railway platform is being built there at the moment. Other future developments will include the excavation of the Woodstown Viking Site and the Gracedieu Native Woodland Trust Park. This is a very exciting time to be working in tourism in Waterford.”
While the beautiful weather contributed to the success of the opening weekend, it is already possible to see what a wonderful amenity Waterford Greenway is for the people of Waterford and Waterford & Suir Valley Railway is an essential part of it.