J3373 : 80-class - No. 2 Platform - Great Victoria Street station

taken 43 years ago, near to Belfast County Borough, Shankill, Beal Feirste and Springfield, Northern Ireland

80-class - No. 2 Platform - Great Victoria Street station
80-class - No. 2 Platform - Great Victoria Street station
BREL built 80-class DEMU No. 87 lurks in No. 2 Platform, Great Victoria Street on the day the station closed. Evident at left is the concrete barrier constructed to prevent passengers arriving from Dublin attempting to escape examination by HM Customs, whose shed can just be glimpsed behind the train. Entering service in March 1975, 87 survived until stopped on 28 November 2003 with a major engine failure. It was scrapped in May 2005.
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, 2672 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Saturday, 24 April, 1976   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 31 March, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Business, Retail, Services  City, Town centre  Railways 
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 333 737 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:35.6524N 5:56.2224W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 333 737
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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