J3775 : NIR Sandite train, Sydenham, Belfast (October 2017)

taken 2 years ago, near to Sydenham, Ballyhackamore, Queens Island and Ballymacarret, Northern Ireland

NIR Sandite train, Sydenham, Belfast (October 2017)
NIR Sandite train, Sydenham, Belfast (October 2017)
NIR’s latest acquisition, a “multi-purpose engineering train”, applying Sandite to the rails, on the up line, at Sydenham station. The following is part of a Translink press release dated 5 October 2017 “Mark Atkinson, Head of Civil Engineering at NI Railways explained, “Leaf fall season leads to challenging conditions on the rails as fallen leaves get crushed between the rails and train wheels, making the rail head slippery. This in turn can make it difficult for trains to accelerate and brake. We have teams working hard to combat these conditions to keep our services running safely.
“Around £4 million has been invested in a bespoke multi-purpose engineering train which uses high powered water jets to clear the tracks, before depositing a grit like substance on the rails to prevent slip. We spend around £450,000 each year keeping the tracks as clear as possible during leaf fall season”.
It replaces this J3373 : Sandite Train, Botanic Station Belfast and J4180 : NIR Sandite train, Cultra (November 2015). See also NY6165 : 66302 at Upper Denton crossing - September 2016.
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 . For photographs at Queen's Quay station and Central Services Depot, please go to: Link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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J3775, 1797 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Monday, 9 October, 2017   (more nearby)
Monday, 9 October, 2017
Geographical Context
Railways  Air, Sky, Weather 
Place (from Tags)
Railway (from Tags)
Northern Ireland Railways 
Season (from Tags)
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 372 756 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:36.5970N 5:52.5524W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 371 754
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Other Tags
Train  Translink  Railway Maintenance Vehicle  Autumn Leaves  Railway 

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Image Type (about): close look 
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