J3373 : Railway renewal, Belfast (2)

taken 23 years ago, near to Beal Feirste, Belfast County Borough, Shankill and Springfield, Northern Ireland

Railway renewal, Belfast (2)
Railway renewal, Belfast (2)
See J3373 : Railway renewal, Belfast. Another photograph taken on the same day. The view towards Botanic Avenue and Botanic station from the bridge at Bradbury Place, where the track had been lifted. This view is no longer possible. The air rights were sold to a developer for a building which was never built. A concrete base was constructed which converted this section of open line to a tunnel – the only one in Belfast.
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

Proposed Botanic Link, Belfast

A site, over the railway between Bradbury Place/University Road and Botanic Avenue.
There was a (now-lapsed) planning permission (22 June 2009) “Z/2007/0166/F Development of five storey building with 92 apartments over four floors with parking and retail units at ground floor level Fitzwilliam Terrace, Botanic Avenue, Belfast”.
The current (February 2019) intention is to develop the site for student accommodate.
“Details have also emerged of plans for a shop that will open on Botanic Avenue alongside 270 rooms comprising of 252 bedrooms and 21 studio flats in this forthcoming £18m investment.
A new planning application will be submitted and a pre-application public information event next Thursday at the Crescent Arts Centre on University Road. Here, Botanic Link Ltd will give details of its development plans.
Andrew Creighton, a director at William Ewart Properties, owners of the site and Anthony Best, managing director of Lacuna Developments are behind this substantial development.
Mr Best said: “We are delighted to be developing plans for what will be an £18m investment in high quality managed student accommodation in the heart of the Queen’s Quarter” - Property News, 24 June 2018.
I have no connection with the site and/or the proposed development. I cannot enter into correspondence.

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J3373, 2766 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 5 June, 1999   (more nearby)
Saturday, 15 October, 2011
Geographical Context
City, Town centre  Railways  Construction, Development 
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 335 730 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:35.2937N 5:56.0548W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 335 730
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Other Tags
Belfast  Northern Ireland Railways  Railway  Railway Cutting 

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Image classification(about): Geograph
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