The Belfast – Bangor railway line :: Shared Description

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: LinkExternal 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: LinkExternal link . For photographs at Queen's Quay station and Central Services Depot, please go to: LinkExternal link
by The Carlisle Kid
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381 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

J4180 : Former station building, Cultra - September 2014(1) by Albert Bridge
J4582 : Train, Helen's Bay (May 2014) by Albert Bridge
J3979 : Locomotive hauled passenger train leaving Holywood - 1990 by The Carlisle Kid
J4180 : Train, Cultra station (September 2015) by Albert Bridge
J4079 : Train, the Holywood bank (2) by Albert Bridge
J4881 : Railway at Bangor West by Albert Bridge
J4180 : Former station building, Cultra - September 2015(1) by Albert Bridge
J5081 : Departure from Bangor station by Albert Bridge
J5081 : Park and ride car park, Bangor by Albert Bridge
J3474 : Railway speed limit sign, Bridge End, Belfast (February 2016) by Albert Bridge
J4582 : Banner signal, Helen's Bay station by Albert Bridge
J3474 : The Laganbank Road railway bridge, Belfast (2) by Albert Bridge
J3675 : Subway, Victoria Park, Belfast (August 2014) by Albert Bridge
J4280 : MED at Craigavad station - 1975 - (1) by The Carlisle Kid
J3979 : Train leaving Holywood station - 1985 by The Carlisle Kid
J4481 : Seahill Railway halt by Rossographer
J4881 : Approaching Bangor West by Rossographer
J4881 : Train, Bangor West by Rossographer
J4582 : Railway renewal, Helen's Bay (2) by Albert Bridge
J3979 : Underpass, Holywood station (1) by Albert Bridge
J3775 : Irish Rail weed control train approaching Sydenham - 1989 by The Carlisle Kid
J5081 : Bangor Railway Station by Rossographer
J4180 : Old station building, Cultra (6) by Albert Bridge
J3675 : Subway, Victoria Park, Belfast (1) by Albert Bridge
J4881 : Bangor West station (3) by Albert Bridge

... and 356 more images.

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Created: Tue, 19 Nov 2013, Updated: Sun, 22 Dec 2013

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2013 The Carlisle Kid, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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