The World Class Great Western Greenway (Newport – Mallaranny ) is an 18km trac free cycling and walking facility which primarily follows the line of the famous Newport / Mulranny Railway, which closed in 1937.
This route has gentle hills and some of the most beautiful scenery in the west of Ireland. The route forms part of the National Cycle Network and it is the longest road cycling experience in the Country.
From Railway to Green-way
The Newport / Mullaranny railway formed part of the once famous Westport / Achill Railway. The first station onthis extension was Newport which opened in February 1894, followed by Mullaranny in August of the same year. The line to Achill was completed in May 1895.
Individual towns and villages prospered with the arrival of the Great Western and Midland Railway company. The luxurious Great Western Hotel opened at Mallaranny in 1897 and a combined rail and hotel ticket was available. The hotel was equipped with every modern convenience of the time, including electric light and hot and cold water baths were also available.
The promoters of the line had high hopes for its future and it proved to be a great social and economic asset to West Mayo, however the train track
never consistently reached the levels originally anticipated. Development of road trac in the 1930’s sealed the fate of the line. The last train ran in the Autumn of 1937, a mere 42 years after the line had opened.
Today the section of the line between Newport and Mullaranny with its many fine engineering structures, gentle gradients and outstanding scenery has been converted into an off road walking and cycling route – a fitting reminder to the glorious railway era.