J3373 : Gt Victoria Street station - last day

taken 46 years ago, near to Belfast County Borough, Shankill, Beal Feirste and Springfield, Northern Ireland

Gt Victoria Street station - last day
Gt Victoria Street station - last day
Northern Ireland Railway's 101 class No. 103 "Merlin" hauls the 11.40 passenger service to Dublin out of Great Victoria Street station on the day the station closed. In the background is the Europa Hotel, while to the right is the now demolished Murray's Erinmore tobacco factory - see:J3373 : Murray's Exchange, Belfast (5). Eventually recognising the folly of closing a railway station in a prime city-centre location, a new Great Victoria Street opened on 30 September 1995.

For another view of the same train, see:J3273 : The Third Line, Belfast
Great Victoria Street railway station – Belfast

The Ulster Railway Company opened its railway line from Belfast (Glengall Place) to Lisburn in 1839. Designed by John Godwin, the imposing Great Victoria Street station opened in 1849 – Glengall Place and Glengall Street having been renamed at some stage in a fit of patriotic fervour. After the Ulster Railway became part of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) empire in 1876, some alterations were made to the terminal building including construction of an imposing porte-cochère. Many, including Sir John Betjeman, regarded the building as one of the finest examples of Victorian railway station architecture to be found in the British Isles.

At its height in the years before World War 1, trains left Great Victoria Street for Londonderry (Foyle Road), Enniskillen, Cavan, Bundoran, Warrenpoint, Newcastle, Antrim and Dublin. However, by 1965, services operated only to Lisburn, Portadown and Dublin.

A substantial part of the building was demolished in 1968 to make way for the Europa Hotel. What survived, including the platforms and railway related structures, disappeared following closure of the station on 24 April 1976. Subsequently, the Europa bus station and “skyscraper” office blocks were constructed on the site.

Fortunately, the hideous transport policies of the 1960s and 1970s were eventually recognised as utter folly. Despite initial opposition from Government and another transport provider, Northern Ireland Railways persisted with its plans for reinstatement of a railway line to Great Victoria Street. Designed by Robinson & McIlwain, a new Great Victoria Street station opened for business on 30 September 1995.

This Shared Description covers the area from Central Junction to Great Victoria Street station. For views on the Belfast Central lines, see: LinkExternal link

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright The Carlisle Kid and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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J3373, 2764 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Saturday, 24 April, 1976   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 21 June, 2011
Geographical Context
Railways 
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 3332 7374 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:35.6588N 5:56.2870W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 3332 7374
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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