Belfast Central railway station

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Belfast Central NI Railways
Belfast(1).jpg
Station on East Bridge Street. The station was opened on 26 April 1976 and underwent a major overhaul in 2003.
Location
Place East Bridge Street, Belfast
Local authority Belfast City
Coordinates 54°35′43″N 5°55′02″W / 54.5953°N 5.9172°W / 54.5953; -5.9172Coordinates: 54°35′43″N 5°55′02″W / 54.5953°N 5.9172°W / 54.5953; -5.9172
Operations
Platforms in use 4
History
1976 Opened
2003 Refurbished
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Belfast Central is a railway station serving the city of Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is one of the four stations located in Belfast City Centre, the others being Great Victoria Street, City Hospital and Botanic.

Located on East Bridge Street in the city, Central is the northern terminus of the cross border Enterprise service to Dublin Connolly, which runs every two hours. As well as this service, Central is also served by Northern Ireland Railways, which operates routes to other locations in Northern Ireland, including Derry, Bangor, Portadown and Larne.

Regular services also operate between Central and the city's other main station: Great Victoria Street. Intending passengers travelling to and from Central are at present, upon presentation of a valid rail ticket, permitted to travel at no cost on Belfast's Metro service to the city centre.[citation needed]

Despite the name of the station, it is significantly further from Belfast city centre than Great Victoria Street station. Contrary to popular belief, Central Station is in fact so named because it is on the former trackbed of the Belfast Central Railway, which was built in the early 1870s.[citation needed] The station itself was opened on 26 April 1976.[1] The first Station Manager was Mr John Johnston.

By the 1990s, it became clear that the facilities at Central were in need of upgrading. A major refurbishment programme started in 2000 and was completed in 2003.[2]

There are two Island Platforms at Belfast Central, capable of accommodating trains up to 9 coaches long.

Platform 1 is used by southbound trains from Derry or Portrush on their way to Great Victoria Street. Platform 2 tends to be used for Enterprise services to Dublin. Platform 3 is a bi-directional platform used for northbound trains heading to Derry, Portrush and Bangor, and by trains coming from Bangor en route to Portadown via Great Victoria Street and Platform 4 is used for trains terminating off the Larne Line.

Service[edit]

Main hall of Belfast Central
Train departing from Belfast Central
NIR Class 3000 (C3K) train in Central station.

Newry–Belfast–Bangor line[edit]

From Monday to Saturday, there is a half hourly service from Bangor to Portadown, with some trains continuing on to Newry. During peak times there are up to 6 trains per hour operating to Bangor with 3 being express services and the other half being slow services stopping at all stations between here and Bangor. The service is reduced to hourly operation in the evenings. Some early morning trains in either direction will terminate at or start from Great Victoria Street rather than continuing on through Belfast to the respective outlying terminus.

On Sundays, the service is hourly operating between Bangor and Portadown. There are no local services calling at stations between Portadown and Newry on Sundays.

Larne line[edit]

Inbound Larne Line services run half-hourly to Great Victoria Street. Outbound services run half-hourly on an alternating basis to either Whitehead or on to Larne Harbour. Extra services at peak times run to Carrickfergus, and some early morning and late night inbound trains terminate here.

At weekends, the service still runs half-hourly on Saturdays on the same alternating pattern to Whitehead or Larne Harbour. On Sundays, the service reduces to hourly operation, with the outbound terminus alternating every hour as before.

Derry~Londonderry line[edit]

All Derry~Londonderry Line trains call at Belfast Central. During the week, the service runs hourly in each direction between Great Victoria Street and Londonderry Waterside or Coleraine on an alternating basis.

On Saturdays, the service is slightly reduced, however operation remains much the same as during the week. On Sundays, the service reduces to two-hourly operation, with only seven trains operating each way.

Dublin line[edit]

There is an Enterprise train service every two hours between Dublin Connolly and Belfast Central, with the service being reduced to five trains each way on Sundays. This line can be popular with rugby fans connecting at Dublin Connolly for the DART to Lansdowne Road. The line is also used by rail passengers changing at Dublin Connolly onto the DART to Dún Laoghaire for the Stena Line ferry to Holyhead, or travelling to Dublin Port for the Irish Ferries to Holyhead, and then by train along the North Wales Coast Line to London Euston and other destinations in England and Wales.

Preceding station NI Railways Northern Ireland Railways Following station
Terminus   Enterprise
Belfast-Dublin
  Portadown
or
Lisburn
Botanic   Northern Ireland Railways
Belfast-Derry
  Yorkgate
Northern Ireland Railways
Belfast-Larne
Botanic   Northern Ireland Railways
Belfast-Newry
  Terminus
Northern Ireland Railways
Belfast-Bangor
Titanic Quarter


Rail and Sea Connections[edit]

Port of Belfast[edit]

The Port of Belfast has a Stena Line ferry connecting to Cairnryan for the bus link[3] to Stranraer and onward trains along the Glasgow South Western Line to Glasgow Central.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Historical railways
  Ferry Connections  
Stranraer Harbour
(via bus link from Cairnryan[4])
  Stena Line
Ferry
  Port of Belfast
(nearest stations Yorkgate, Belfast Central and Belfast Great Victoria Street)
Stranraer Harbour
(via bus link from Cairnryan[5])
  P&O Ferries
Ferry
  Larne Harbour

Port of Larne[edit]

The Larne line connects with Larne Harbour with P&O Ferries sailing to Cairnryan Cairnryan for the bus link[6] to Stranraer and onward trains along the Glasgow South Western Line to Glasgow Central, as well as alternative sailings by P&O Ferries to Troon also on the Glasgow South Western Line to Glasgow Central.

References[edit]