J3273 : City Jct, Belfast (July 2014)

taken 5 years ago, near to Beal Feirste, Belfast County Borough, Shankill and Springfield, Northern Ireland

City Jct, Belfast (July 2014)
City Jct, Belfast (July 2014)
City Jct (no public access) is where the line to Gt Victoria Street diverges (right) from the Belfast Central line. It opened in 1995 J3273 : City Jct, Belfast (1995) as part of the restoration of the line between Central Jct and Gt Victoria Street (closed in 1976) and allows trains to/from the Bangor direction to serve Gt Victoria Street without a reversal at Central Jct. This view is from City Hospital station with the road set for the 08.58 Bangor – Portadown J3373 : Train, City Hospital station, Belfast - July 2014(2).
The Belfast Central Railway & The Cross-Harbour Rail Link :: J3474
Opened in 1875, the Belfast Central Railway (BCR) initially connected Central Junction (at MP 112 on the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) Dublin – Belfast main line, just west of Great Victoria Street station) with Ballymacarrett Junction at MP0.44, outside Queen’s Quay station on the Belfast & County Down Railway. A later extension to the BCR permitted running from East Bridge Junction (near the current site of Belfast Central station) to the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway (BNCR) at York Road. Passenger and freight trains could therefore travel from Dublin to Bangor (although seldom did), but only freight traffic passed through the tunnel under the Queen’s Bridge between East Bridge Junction and the BNCR. While the BCR did initially offer passenger services between Great Victoria Street and Queen’s Quay, these lasted only a short time as reversal was required at both Central Junction and Ballymacarrett Junction. The BCR became part of the GNR(I) empire in 1885.
The BCR system was closed by the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) in 1965, with the railway bridge over Middlepath Street demolished in 1966. However, the line from Central Junction to Ballymacarret Junction was reopened by Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) in 1976 as part of the Belfast Central project, which involved constructing new stations at Belfast Central (East Bridge Street) and Botanic (Botanic Avenue) and replacement of the “shaky bridge” over the River Lagan.
Plans to bring trains from the former BNCR Larne line into Central station were first mooted in 1977, but rejected – then approved – and finally cancelled following the 1979 UK general election. The proposal was revived again in 1987, but continually postponed by Northern Ireland’s direct rule administration until work finally started in summer 1991. In addition to a rail link from a new Lagan Junction (on the east of the River Lagan) via a bridge over the River Lagan to Yorkgate station and the Larne line, the Sydenham By-Pass (A2 Belfast – Bangor road) was extended to the existing M2 Motorway. The cross-harbour rail link opened on 28 November 1994 with the Lagan rail bridge named “Dargan Bridge” by HM Queen Elizabeth II on 9 March 1995.
Separately to the cross-harbour link, NIR succeeded in returning rail services to Great Victoria Street station on 30 September 1995. In addition to a new station, this project involved new track from Westlink Junction to City Junction which permitted through running from Great Victoria Street to Bangor, Londonderry/Derry and, for the first time, Larne.
For the purpose of this Shared Description, the area covered includes Central Junction/Westlink Junction to Ballymacarrett Junction and Lagan Junction to Yorkgate station. For views from Central Junction to Great Victoria Street station, see: LinkExternal link . For Queen’s Quay to Ballymacarrett Junction, see: LinkExternal link . For York Road/Yorkgate to Larne Harbour, see: LinkExternal link . For photographs of surviving structures on the BCDR line to Newcastle (and branches), see: LinkExternal link and for photographs on the line between Ballymacarrett Junction and Bangor, see: LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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J3273, 156 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Sunday, 27 July, 2014   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 27 July, 2014
Geographical Context
Railways 
Place (from Tags)
Belfast 
Railway (from Tags)
Northern Ireland Railways 
Primary Subject of Photo
Railway 
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 329 732 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:35.3789N 5:56.6261W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 331 731
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Other Tags
Railway  Railway Junction  Signal  Railway Signal  Colour Light Signal  Translink 

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