Dargan Saloon

Location: Ulster Transport Museum / Rail & Road Galleries

William Dargan, the ‘father of Irish railways’, had this luxurious carriage built in 1844 for his own use when travelling to supervise his projects. Dargan was the leading Irish railway engineer of his generation. He also was involved in canal construction credited with work on the Northern Ireland canal and railway network before moving to the south and even some work in England.

Dargan presented his carriage to the Midland Great Western Railway Company on completion of the line from Athlone to Galway. It was used as a Directors’ saloon, and by European royalty when visiting Ireland on hunting trips. The hooks on the roof gutter were for a communication cord, one end of which was connected to the train engine’s whistle; passengers could pull the cord to attract the driver’s attention. Carriage no. 47 was in service until at least 1919, but in 1947 it was discovered being used as a paint store. It was rescued, given to the museum and restored.

Image: Dargan Saloon - HOYFM.277.1990
Dargan Saloon - HOYFM.277.1990