J3583 : Bleach Green viaducts, Whiteabbey (2)
near to Jordanstown and Whiteabbey, Ireland
Bleach Green viaducts, Whiteabbey
Usually referred to as “Bleach Green viaduct” there are three viaducts carrying the lines from Belfast to Ballymena/Londonderry and Larne Harbour across the Three Mile Water and Valentine’s Glen, to the north of Whiteabbey station.
When opened in 1848, the line to Ballymena used the Larne line as far as Greenisland (then called “Carrickfergus Junction”) where it left, by a trailing junction, to head towards Monkstown and Ballymena.
This indirect route resulted in longer journey times and time-consuming operations as locomotives ran round their trains. In 1931 work started on the construction of a loop line from Bleach Green to Monkstown, the effect of which was to create a shorter, direct, line from Belfast to Ballymena and Londonderry and eliminate the reversing at Greenisland.
A special train, on 17 January 1934, marked the formal opening of the loop line (of just under 1½ miles) and viaduct.
The project also involved the building of a new viaduct for the down Larne line and the creation of a burrowing junction (remotely controlled) where the down Larne line ran under the main line.
The main line viaduct, of reinforced concrete, is 630ft long, 70ft at its highest and has ten arches. It has a ruling gradient of 1:176½. The down Larne line viaduct (also reinforced concrete 400ft in length and 40ft in height. The original stone viaduct carrying the up Larne line (1848) remained in use.
For further reading see “The Northern Counties Railway” by JRL Currie, David & Charles (1974).
The Belfast - Larne railway
The line between Belfast York Road and Larne Harbour opened as far to Carrickfergus in 1848 and from Carrickfergus to Larne Harbour in 1862. There were stations at Belfast York Road (1848), Greencastle (1849/1916), Whitehouse (old station 1861/1906 replaced by a new station, further north 1906/1954), Whiteabbey (1848), Bleach Green 1934/1977), Jordanstown (by 1853), Trooperslane (by 1850), Mount (1925/72), Carrickfergus (old station 1848/62), Clipperstown (1925), Carrickfergus (1862), Barn (1925/77), Downshire (originally Downshire Park, 1925), Eden (1925/77), Kilroot (1862/77), Whitehead (first station 1863/64), Whitehead (second station 1864/77), Whitehead (1877), Whitehead Excursion (1907), Ballycarry (1862), Ballylig (now Magheramorne, 1862), Glynn (1864), Larne (1862/1974), Larne Town (new alignment, 1974) and Larne Harbour (1862).
York Road station closed in 1992, replaced by Yorkgate (on a different site) as part of the opening of the new cross-harbour line to Belfast Central.
The line between Belfast Central and Bleach Green Jct is also used by trains serving the Londonderry/Portrush lines.
Sources: Irish Railways Today (1967), the Northern Counties Railway (1973) and Johnson’s Atlas & Gazetteer of the Railways of Ireland (1997).
- Grid Square
- J3583, 42 images (more nearby)
- Albert Bridge (find more nearby)
- Image classification?
- Supplemental image
- Date Taken
- Wednesday, 1 February, 2012 (more nearby)
- Wednesday, 1 February, 2012
- Geographical Context
- Subject Location
Irish: J 354 834 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:40.8665N 5:54.0879W
- Photographer Location
- Irish: J 354 834
- View Direction
- Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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