J3474 : Steam train, Belfast

near to Belfast County Borough, Shankill, Ballymacarret, Beal Feirste and Sydenham, Ireland

Steam train, Belfast
Steam train, Belfast
Preserved locomotive no 186 LinkExternal link just after crossing the Lagan railway bridge J3474 : The Lagan (railway) bridge, Belfast, while working one of two public trips from Belfast to Whitehead. A damp, dull, miserable and bitterly cold day. Not helped by a north wind.
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: LinkExternal 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: LinkExternal link . For photographs at Queen's Quay station and Central Services Depot, please go to: LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2011
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J3474, 2748 images   (more nearby)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 17 December, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 17 December, 2011
Geographical Context
Sport, Leisure  City, Town centre  Railways 
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 346 742 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:35.8853N 5:55.0314W
Photographer Location
Irish: geotagged! J 346 741
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Belfast  Railway  Railway Bridge  Steam Locomotive  Steam Train 

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