PREVIEW: The 45km Waterford Greenway

County Mayo’s Great Western Greenway is currently the top long-distance off-road cycling route in Ireland, but that looks set to change after this summer when the Waterford Greenway opens.   

Waterford City and County Council is currently developing its 45km greenway on the alignment of the disused railway line from Dungarvan to Waterford.

The route will have a hard surface all the way (although some sections will use tar and chip) and the construction including major works on bridges and underpasses. Unlike the Great Western Greenway, the old Waterford railway route remained in state ownership, so there are few detours from the railway alignment.

Hello... sorry to interrupt you: IrishCycle.com is reader-funded journalism supported by just over 250 readers like you -- they have subscribed for €5 per month or more. If you can, please join them and subscribe today. If you have already subscribed -- thank you! Now, back to the article...

Thanks to the Deise Greenway group, the below are images taken at different stages in the last year (remember to visit their Facebook page for the best updates on this greenway).

W sea side viewW Ballyvoile Bridge overview

The route is a mix of costal and inland section — with stunning views, as above.

The Ballyvoile Bridge, shown above and below, was sandblasted and repainted by contractors.

W Ballyvoile Bridge W bridge and underpass W bridge old 

While sections look finished, work is still on-going in many sections, so the current August deadline will mean a lot of long days of work ahead.

W bridge works 

Bridges and underpasses are used at intersections with many roads — work on the above has just started, where a new road dug into the railway and there was never a bridge.

W bridge Barriers and strengthening have been undertaken at a number of bridges — and railings and fences are being added or upgraded elsewhere.

W cutting 

W Durrow Stradbally signal box  

The remains of old railway infrastructure such as the Durrow/Stradbally signal box, above, can be found along the route. 

W tar 

Some sections are already paved but not officially open, as above, so the council warn users they are using it at their own risk.

W tunnel inside detail W tunnel

W tunnel 2

The tunnel shown above is now tarred, and lights are to be installed.

W underpass con Major work has gone into rebuilding or renewing underpasses.

W W&S Valley Railway

The greenway will run alongside the Waterford & Suir Valley Heritage Railway Ireland.

W map

Click the above image for an interactive map.

Hello Reader... IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.

There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!

Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.

I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.

The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of February, 210 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!

But currently, it's only around 1.3% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers

Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

24 comments

  1. This looks like it will be an exceptional piece of infrastructure. There are some very special elements shown in the pictures here: coastal views, dramatic cuttings, viaducts. The tunnel looks pretty special, I wonder how unique it is. This will set a new standard to live up to.

    I cycled the Mayo greenway last year and I’m looking forward to visiting Waterford, once this is complete. I hope in ten years time we will have a number of similar greenways around the country. There is plenty of potential on the old disused railway lines. Ireland could become a cycling mecca if we get this right. We already have the scenery, hospitality and accomodation sorted. I could see tourists coming to Ireland for a week or two to “do the Irish greenways”.

    Thank you Waterford Co Co for being ambitious for future generations.

    Reply
  2. Looks very impressive, with cuttings and viaducts.
    I remember getting stopped by a train at both level crossings on the n25 as a young fella.

    I cycled the Mullingar to Athlone greenway on good Friday, which has a very smooth 3metre tarmac surface, and is also well worth a spin along.

    Reply
  3. Will Galway beat Mayo, not if we have Willie Joe; Waterford looks like they will though. I’ve seen lots of cycleways along old railway paths and in general there great at encouraging leisure activities :-)

    Reply
  4. This is great news- we’re a group of six friends based in Dublin and desperately seeking more cycle ways! Please keep us in the info loop…

    Reply
  5. These cycle ways look fantastic. Well done for converting disused railway lines into such a great public amenity. Let’s hope the whole of Ireland follows suit. Loving it!

    Reply
  6. Great “Rails to Trails” work. What a tourism amenity! Any chance in Northern Ireland of clawing back abandoned track from farmers who added the rights-of-way to their land?

    Reply
  7. Great development this in a place of beauty and genuine welcome for tourists.Hopefully many more similar projects will come to fruition in the coming years for all to enjoy :-)

    Reply
  8. Cycled from Dungarvan to Kilmacthomas today and was well impressed with it -beautiful scenery and the tunnel and fern approach section were stunning -wonderful for families and great amenity.

    Reply
  9. Hi Mary,

    Have tried to get in to Flahavan’s progress oatlet’s – dunno if they are interested.
    THey really should be – an amenity in their back yard in Kilmacthomas.
    Slán,
    Aodhán Quinlan

    Reply
  10. What has Waterford County Council got that other county councils lack to some extent: vision and drive. It is extraordinary that (i) the track of the old railway was kept in public ownership and not sold off for a “quick buck” (ii) members of WCC clearly saw its potential and (iii) work on the project is being completed so quickly.
    I’m a Déise native, living in Ballincollig for over 30 years and still a proud blue and white supporter. Located almost in the centre of Ballincoiiig Town, are the ruins of the Royal Gunpowder Mills which were closed in 1903 and bought by Cork County Council in 1974. Since then, CCC has developed the almost 2 square km site into the Ballincollig Regional Park, and in recent years has built pathways, pitches and play areas, and begun to clear some of the canals. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. This area, if comprehensively developed, could become another of Ireland’s top tourist attractions. It would cost millions, as I’m sure the Waterford Greenway is costing, but the rewards would be substantial, not least a heritage for the next generation. Perhaps WCC would pay us a visit?

    Reply
  11. We are planning to go to Waterford in the next few days and were wondering if there are bicycles available for hire, and if so what is the backup service like ? Are there shuttle buses for your return back.?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.