Belfast Central Railway


This railway runs through central Belfast joining together the former Ulster Railway, to the south and Dublin, and Belfast and County Down Railway, running east to Bangor. The much more recent addition of the Cross Harbour Link connects to the former Belfast and Northern Counties Railway line to the north.


  /  /1864Belfast Central Railway
Incorporated. Plans included a railway linking the Ulster Railway, Belfast and Northern Counties Railway and Belfast and County Down Railway lines and a central station on Victoria Street.
  /  /1865Belfast Central Railway
Lines to quaysides on the east side of the River Lagan authorised.
  /  /1874Belfast Central Railway
Opened to goods and minerals from Central Junction [Belfast] (also known as Ulster Junction with the Ulster Railway) to East Bridge Junction (branch to Queen's Bridge on the west bank of the River Laggan) and Ballymacarrett Junction (Belfast and County Down Railway) and Abercorn Basin.
  /  /1875Belfast Central Railway
Opened to passengers from Central Junction [Belfast] to Queen's Bridge.
  /  /1876Belfast Central Railway
Opened to goods and minerals from Queen's Bridge to Donegall Quay Junction (Belfast Harbour Commissioners Railway) opened, reaching the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway via the BHC tracks. East Bridge Street was crossed on the level.
  /  /1880Belfast Central Railway
East Bridge Street Level Crossing replaced by subway.
  /  /1885Belfast Central Railway
To Great Northern Railway [Ireland].
  /  /1885Belfast Central Railway
Closed to passengers. From 1921 it was used for excursions and through carriages later.
  /  /1914Belfast Central Railway
Great Northern Railway [Ireland] opens Maysfield Cattle Depot on the line.
  /  /1964Belfast Central Railway
Line singled.
  /  /1965Belfast, Holywood and Bangor Railway
Severed from the rest of the network with the closure of the Belfast Central Railway.
  /  /1965Belfast Central Railway
Closed. The tracks are not maintained but also not removed.
  /  /1967Belfast Central Railway
Relaid as a double track line. The Lagan Viaduct is replaced. Bangor line re-signalled at its western end.
10/04/1976Belfast, Holywood and Bangor Railway
Belfast Queen^s Quay closes with the re-opening of the Belfast Central Railway.
12/04/1976Belfast Central Railway
Belfast Central opened. Bangor line trains diverted to the new station from Belfast Queen^s Quay.
26/04/1976Belfast Central Railway
Portadown trains diverted to Belfast Central from Belfast Great Victoria Street.
  /  /1978Belfast Central Railway
Londonderry trains diverted via Lisburn to Belfast Central.
  /  /1986Belfast Central Railway
City Hospital opened.
17/10/1992Cross Harbour Link
Yorkgate opened as a temporary terminus for the former Belfast and Ballymena Railway while the link to the Belfast Central Railway is under construction. Belfast York Road closed.
28/11/1994Cross Harbour Link
Opens to link Yorkgate, temporary terminus of the former Belfast and Ballymena Railway, to the new Lagan Junction on the Belfast Central Railway. The line is largely on viaducts and is single track with a passing loop at Donegall Quay [Belfast], site of a planned station. Londonderry trains cease running via Crumlin and return to the route via Whiteabbey. The viaduct, 4,675ft, is named for William Dargan.
30/09/1995Ulster Railway
Belfast Great Victoria Street re-opened. A new north to east curve connected the station to the Belfast Central Railway.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.

Great Victoria Street to Queen^s Quay

A unit heads north over the Lagan Viaduct. Just beyond is the junction between the Larne/Londonderry route (left) and the Bangor route. ...
Ewan Crawford 27/05/2004
Northern approach to Belfast Central in 1988. ...
Bill Roberton //1988
View north over Bridge End station (now Titanic Quarter) to the Harland and Wolff Goliath cranes. ...
Ewan Crawford 27/05/2004
Goliath cranes Samson and Goliath at the main Harland and Wolff shipyard. Near Bridge End station on the Bangor line. ...
Ewan Crawford 21/02/2005

Queen^s Bridge Branch