J4288 : The "perishable" at Downshire

taken 39 years ago, near to Eden and Kilroot, Northern Ireland

The "perishable" at Downshire
The "perishable" at Downshire
The original “perishable” had been a mid-afternoon goods train, from Belfast to Larne Harbour, conveying perishables, for the GB market, via the evening sailing to Stranraer. Its successor, in the NIR era, was a mid afternoon train, usually hauling about six “brown” vans which ran as a passenger train to Whitehead and continued, empty, as a “fitted” to Larne Harbour.
Running at 15.55 ex-York Road, common sense eventually prevailed and it became a passenger train all the way to the harbour. When this photograph was taken the brown vans had been replaced by parcels containers and I don’t think that there were any “perishable” goods. D4102 : Larne Harbour (1982) and D4102 : "80" class railcars, Larne Harbour show the containers at Larne Harbour.
Shipping containers
The idea and creation of the modern shipping container can be credited to American businessman (and former trucking company owner) Malcolm McLean in 1955. Rather than wait days for ships to be loaded and unloaded he devised a simple system where goods could be packed into standardised, rugged containers - these could then be carried by road or rail but also loaded, locked and stacked securely on board ships for transport across the globe and easily unloaded at the other end. The system revolutionised modern transportation of goods, increasing efficiency, lowering costs but also costing thousands of jobs across ports around the world. Today around 90% of non-bulk cargo is carried via shipping containers. In the UK, enormous ships that can carry over 14,000 containers arrive into ports such as Felixstowe and Harwich or nearby Rotterdam. Containers are then unloaded and moved across the country by road, rail or onto smaller 'feeder' ships that can navigate other ports around the country. To understand more about the process see the BBC Box project at LinkExternal link which tracked the route of a shipping container across the globe or the excellent programme 'The Box that Changed Britain' - frequently repeated on BBC4 and thus available on the iPlayer at LinkExternal link .
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).
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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J4288, 43 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Saturday, 5 April, 1980   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 14 January, 2012
Geographical Context
Suburb, Urban fringe  Railways 
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 423 881 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:43.2500N 5:47.4548W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 423 881
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Other Tags
Carrickfergus  Downshire (Carrickfergus)  Train  Railway Station  Northern Ireland Railways  Shipping Containers 

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