The Mount Elliot Bridge and Tunnel are both part of an abandoned railway line that ran from Waterford City to New Ross, Wexford. The track as far as Macmine Junction was removed in 1963 and the line to Waterford closed in 1994. There was much debate about re-opening the line however the decision has now been made to turn it into a greenway following the success of the Waterford Greenway.
The railway bridge leads into a tunnel north of the town and has a total length of 684 metres. The line first opened in 1887 linking New Ross in Co. Wexford to Macmine Junction on the Dublin to Wexford Town line. It was extended in 1904 to Waterford City.
The line between Macmine Junction and New Ross closed in 1963 and the track was removed. The line between New Ross and Waterford remained open until 1976 for goods traffic. Fertilizer traffic from the Albatros fertilizer factory continued until 1995. The tracks have now been covered on the New Ross side of the bridge and the link to Waterford has been cut of by the removal of tracks in some parts.
Like the Old Red Iron bridge in Waterford, the declining number of railway lines in Ireland led to the abandonment of the Mount Elliot Bridge and Tunnel. Today, there is no railway link to New Ross.
Calls for a commuter service using the line to link New Ross to Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny were made during Ireland’s boom of the early 2000s but came to nothing. There were advocates for reopening the line to rail traffic however with the success of the Waterford Greenway, discussions soon turned to extending the cycle route to New Ross. The two will meet at the North Quays in Waterford City.