J3373 : Steam train leaving Great Victoria Street station - 1975

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

Steam train leaving Great Victoria Street station - 1975
Steam train leaving Great Victoria Street station - 1975
Former GNR(I) S-Class 4.4.0 No. 171 "Slieve Gullion" hauls the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland "Ardee" railtour out of Great Victoria Street station. This was the last steam train to depart from the old GNR(I) terminus.

The destination was Ardee, then a small town at the end of a 4.66 mile branch from Dromin Junction, between Dundalk and Drogheda. This line opened in 1896, lost passenger trains in 1934 and closed to all traffic on 3 November 1975. Images of the branch may be found: LinkExternal link
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

Trains of the RPSI :: J3474

Formed in 1964, the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) is a registered charity which preserves steam and diesel locomotives and other rolling stock built for the Irish railway system. The RPSI maintains a museum at Whitehead and operates steam-hauled excursions over the present day Irish railway network for families and enthusiasts.
The purpose of this Shared Description is to provide a single reference point for photographs of RPSI trains. All queries regarding past or future RPSI operations should be directed to the RPSI through its web site: 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, 4 October, 1975   (more nearby)
Submitted
Wednesday, 3 April, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Business, Retail, Services  City, Town centre  Railways 
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 331 736 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:35.5869N 5:56.4949W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 331 736
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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