River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme.
These images were taken during the first week of July, 2017.
The levels of activity fluctuate along this stretch of the riverbank, and especially around the Irish Rail bridge, informed by the tides and priorities.
Since Summer 2016, this is where the heavy-duty engineering works have been taking place.
This is a section of the flood protection scheme that I have not covered in detail — it’s inconvenient for me to access, and others cover it much better.
Standing on an access bridge, adjacent to the Bray Boxing Club (from whence sprang Katie Taylor, and others of illustrious note), looking back up the river, towards the town direction.
In the foreground is the Railway bridge, and in the distance we can see some construction works taking place on the Ravenswell Road, temporarily closed due to on-going works.
That was the site of the old Bray Golf Club — hotly contested as a (potentially) poorly considered site for a shopping centre development complex, and still an area of ground that has to act as a flood plain in the event of tidal surges.
As well as raising a heightened flood protection wall, they’ve created an access ramp down to the riverside.
The area in the background, site of the old Bray Golf course, was both a works compound and vehicle route for the transportation of material to/from the other sectors along the River Dargle involved in construction works.
The Irish Rail Bridge, Bray Harbour:
Phase 1 flood defence works to the Irish Rail bridge commenced in August 2016.
Phase 2 flood defence works will be completed during May to September 2017. This work is being undertaken directly by Irish Rail.
The work includes strengthening the integrity of the bridge by creating buttresses around the base of each pillar.
To do this they have to pile-drive sheets into the river bedrock.
The work is complicated by;
(a) the need not to damage or disturb in any way the actual bridge itself (Irish Rail train and DART carriages pass overhead on an hourly basis), (b) the confined spaces under the bridge, and (c) the twice-daily rising tides from Bray Harbour which spill upriver into the newly expanded basin.
Bray Harbour / Irish Rail Bridge:
The harbour was constructed between the years of 1891 and 1895.
A railway bridge was first built here in 1853.
The following year saw the opening of a railway line between Dublin and Bray.
It was also known as the ‘Harcourt Street Line’
Famed Irish engineer William Dargan, known affectionately as ‘the father of the Irish Railways’, was the man involved with bringing the rail to Bray, and in it’s construction, and which moulded the town into a fashionable resort.
Dargan designed and built Ireland’s first railway line from Dublin to Dún Laoghaire in 1833.
Mid-18th century plans proposed the building of a 12.5-mile (20 km) railway from Bray Daly, which opened on 10 July 1854 to initially terminate at Harcourt Road. (Harcourt Street Station was not built until 1859).
The building of the line was done by two railway companies: The Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway (DW&WR), who built the line from Dundrum to Bray and the Dublin, Dundrum and Rathfarnham Railway (DD&RR), who were to build the line from Harcourt Street to Dundrum.
The latter failed to do so, and the ‘Dublin & Wicklow Railway’ took over the line works.
Following the Beddy Report of 1957, CIÉ began to realise that in an effort to save money, all the non-profitable rural railway branch lines would have to close. The Harcourt Street line was one of these unprofitable railway lines and so the decision to close the line was ultimately reached.
In October 1958, CIÉ gave notice of the closure in the local papers.
The last train, CIÉ 2600 Class AEC railcar number 2652, left Harcourt Street at 4:25pm on 31 December 1958.
The route was preserved after closure, allowing for a potential future reopening. The route corridor remained mostly in-situ until the 2000s. The section between the Grand Canal crossing and the old Stillorgan station was chosen for use by the Luas light rail system whose Green Line opened in 2004. The line crosses Dundrum on the brand-new William Dargan cable-stayed bridge.
An extension of the Luas to Cherrywood opened for passenger service on Saturday 16 October 2010, using most of the old railway alignment.
Bray Railway Station was renamed Bray Daly Railway Station in 1966 in honour of Edward Daly, one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.
The eastern platform features an interesting set of murals depicting the history of Ireland’s railways.