J3474 : Queen's Quay railway station
near to Belfast County Borough, Shankill, Ballymacarret, Cliftonville and Skegoneill, Ireland
The Belfast and County Down Railway
The Belfast and County Down Railway ran from Queen’s Quay station in Belfast to Castlewellan via Comber, Downpatrick and Newcastle. There were also lines from Comber to Donaghadee via Newtownards, Belfast to Bangor and branches from Ballynahinch Jct to Ballynahinch and Downpatrick to Ardglass. The lines opened between 1848 and 1892. All closed by 1950 except for Castlewellan – Newcastle which survived until 1955 as part of the GNR(I) route from Belfast via Banbridge and the Bangor line which remains open but from Belfast Central.
The Belfast – Bangor railway line
The Belfast & County Down Railway (BCDR) opened its railway line from Belfast (Queen’s Quay) to Holywood on 2 August 1845. This line was extended to the seaside resort of Bangor by the Belfast Holywood & Bangor Railway (BHBR), which opened on 18 May 1865. The BCDR absorbed the BHBR in 1884.
While double-track throughout, the BCDR always regarded its Bangor line as a branch off the main line to Newcastle. However, creation of the nationalised Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) in 1948 changed matters somewhat as only the Belfast – Bangor line survived the mass closures implemented by the UTA in 1950. The old BCDR Bangor line received a further blow in 1965 when it was isolated from the rest of the Irish railway system by closure of the Belfast Central Railway line from Ballymacarrett Junction (east of Queen’s Quay station) to Central Junction, just west of the former GNR(I) Great Victoria Street station (see: Link ). However, on a positive note, introduction of UTA built MED railcars gave Belfast – Bangor the distinction of being the first main railway line in the British Isles to be operated solely by diesel traction.
In 1976, the Belfast Central Railway reopened as part of a project to replace both the GNR(I) Great Victoria Street station and the BCDR Queen’s Quay with a “central” station situated in east Belfast. Today (2013), Belfast – Bangor is an important part of the Northern Ireland Railways’ system, with services to Bangor originating from Portadown or the reinstated Great Victoria Street station. While diesel locomotives may occasionally visit with engineer’s trains, all passenger services are in the hands of Spanish built 3000 or 4000 class railcars.
For photographs of the former line to Newcastle, please see: Link
- Grid Square
- J3474, 2467 images (more nearby)
- TheTurfBurner (find more nearby)
- Image classification?
- Date Taken
- July 1974 (more nearby)
- Tuesday, 17 May, 2011
- Geographical Context
- Subject Location
Irish: J 3462 7459 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:36.0960N 5:55.0578W
- Photographer Location
- Irish: J 3462 7459
- View Direction
- North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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