In 1850 the Drogheda to Navan line was opened. In the previous year while construction was progressing a souterrian and other artifacts were found near Athlumney castle. The line was extended to Kells in 1853 and to Oldcastle in 1863. But to go through Drogheda from Dublin was the long way round and so a direct Dublin Navan route was proposed.
The Dublin and Meath Railway was incorporated in 1858 to make a line from Dublin to Athboy and Navan. The contractors, the Moore brothers, started work between Athboy and Trim. They had to abandon work one year later in October 1859 because the landowners were demanding too high a price for the route. They then concentrated on the Navan line.
The Navan line was completed and opened on August 29th 1862. The Dublin and Meath Railway had running power over the Dublin and Drogheda line from Navan to Kells. The Midland and Great Western Railway took a lease on the DMR in 1869 and eventually bought it out in 1888.
The line to Kingscourt was opened on the first of November 1875. The Meath line from Dublin to Navan to Kingscourt was fifty miles in length. It was proposed to extend the line to join the Great Northern Railway but the plan was never put into being.
In the early parts of this century the Great Northern Railway published an official guide which shows the Meath railways. They published this in a booklet called “Snapshots of the Valley of the Boyne, Lock Ramor and Royal Meath”. The railway and the river Boyne and the sights and buildings are described. Navan is described “Navan as a town is straggling and uninteresting. There is a famous Irish tweed manufactory on the edge of the river which is spanned by a fine railway viaduct.”
Navan Junction had four platforms, a station master, four porters and two signalmen in 1912. In 1924 a special platform was erected at Proudstown Park to cater for the race goers. A gypsum siding was put in at Kingscourt in 1939.
The Midland and Great Western Railway was absorbed by the Great Southern Railways in 1925 and that in turn was taken over by Coras Iompar Eireann in 1945. After World War II the use of the railways declined and they were gradually closed down. The Dublin to Navan line was closed for passengers in March 1947. In 1959 the Drogheda line was closed as a passenger service. The track from Dublin to Navan was removed from the 30th of March 1963 onwards. The line from Navan to Kells and Oldcastle was closed on 30th April 1963.
A half mile of the Kells track was relaid for Tara Mines to ship lead and zinc concentrates through Dublin and Drogheda to smelters abroad. Gypsum from Kingscourt was transported to the cement factories in Limerick and Drogheda. Currently there is a proposal to re-open the line from Navan to Dublin.