Belfast–Dublin railway line

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     Belfast–Dublin railway line
Enterprise Train Lisburn 2007.jpg
Enterprise De Dietrich set at Lisburn
Overview
Type Commuter rail
Regional rail
Heavy rail
System Iarnród Éireann
NI Railways
Status Operational
Locale Northern Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Termini Belfast Central
Dublin Connolly
Operation
Operator(s) Iarnród Éireann
NI Railways
Character Main Line
Rolling stock Class 201
Class 2800
Class 29000
Class 3000 "C3K"
Class 4000 "C4K"
De Dietrich Stock
Technical
No. of tracks Double track
Track gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) Irish gauge
Electrification Un-electrified
Route map
Belfast–Larne/Derry lines
Belfast–Bangor line
River Lagan
Belfast Central
Botanic
City Hospital
City Junct., to Belfast GVS
Adelaide
Balmoral
Finaghy
Dunmurry
Derriaghy
Lambeg
Hilden
Lisburn
Knockmore(Closed 2005)
Lisburn-Antrim line
Maze(Closed 1974)
Moira
Lurgan
River Bann
Portadown
to Armagh (closed 1957)
Tanderagee(closed 1965)
Scarva
Poyntzpass
Goraghwood(closed 1965)
Craigmore Viaduct
Newry
Adavoyle(closed 1933)
Mt. Pleasant(Closed 1866)
- border
Castletown
Dundalk Clarke
Castlebellingham(closed 1976)
To Ardee
Dromin Junction(closed 1975)
Dunleer(closed 1984)
Newfoundwell
Boyne Viaduct
Drogheda–Navan (freight only)
Drogheda MacBride
Laytown
Laytown viaduct
Mosney(closed 2000)
Gormanston
Balbriggan
Skerries
Rush and Lusk
Rogerstown viaduct
Donabate
Broadmeadow viaduct
Malahide(for DART)
Portmarnock
Clongriffin
To Howth
Howth Junction & Donaghmede
KilbarrackDART
RahenyDART
HarmonstownDART
KillesterDART
Clontarf RoadDART
Fairview Depot
River Tolka
Western Commuter & Sligo Line
Docklands(Luas Spencer Dock)
The Royal Canal
Dublin Connolly Luas
Luas Red Line (to Tallaght)
Loopline Bridge
Trans-Dublin Line & Rosslare Line

The Belfast–Dublin main line is a major international railway route on the island of Ireland that connects Dublin Connolly station in the Republic of Ireland and Belfast Central station in Northern Ireland.

History[edit]

The railway line was built by three separate companies. In 1837 the Ulster Railway began building a railway line between Belfast and Lisburn, which was extended in stages to Portadown in 1842 and as far as Clones by 1863. The Dublin and Drogheda Railway (D&D) built the line between Dublin and Drogheda. The Dublin and Belfast Junction Railway (D&B Jct) linked the Dublin and Drogheda with the Ulster Railway at Portadown. The D&D and the D&B Jct merged in 1875 to form the Northern Railway of Ireland. In 1876 this new company merged with the Ulster Railway and the Irish North Western Railway, forming the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) (GNRI).

The partition of Ireland in 1922 meant that the Irish border passed between Newry and Dundalk, which caused lengthy delays as trains were required to stop at stations on either side of the border for customs examinations. This disruption was eased in 1947 with the opening of facilities for customs checks at Amiens Street station and Great Victoria Street station.

At the same time, the GNRI made its Belfast-Dublin services non-stop with the launch of the Enterprise Express. The GNRI was nationalised by the governments of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in 1953 as the Great Northern Railway Board, but in 1958 this was split between the Ulster Transport Authority and Córas Iompair Éireann. This led to a running down of rail services in Northern Ireland, leaving only some Belfast commuter lines, the northern route to Derry and the link to Dublin. In 1970 the newly formed Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) bought new locomotives and rolling stock for the Belfast-Dublin Enterprise service as well as new diesel multiple units for local services.

Upgrades[edit]

In recent years, the government of the Republic of Ireland has developed a National Development Plan, which has seen major investment in infrastructure. Almost the entire railway network, including the Belfast-Dublin line as far as the border, has been upgraded to Continuous Welded Rail, while signalling is controlled using the Centralised Traffic Control system located at Dublin Connolly station.

In addition, in 1997, a set of new De Dietrich Stock coaches were purchased jointly by Northern Ireland Railways and Iarnród Éireann to operate a revamped Enterprise service along with the new Class 201 locomotives.[1]

Services[edit]

In addition to the inter-city service between Belfast and Dublin, both NIR and IE operate local services along the route. NIR operates local services along the northern half of the line (the Belfast-Newry Line) between Belfast and Lisburn, Portadown and Newry, while IE operates its Commuter services between Dublin and Dundalk as part of the Dublin Suburban Rail network. In addition, the line between Dublin Connolly and Malahide is electrified and forms part of the Trans-Dublin DART network.

One early morning weekday IE Commuter stopping service also operates from Newry to Dublin Connolly.

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.

Holyhead can also be reached by Irish Ferries from Dublin Port, reached by walking beside the tram lines around the corner from Amiens Street into Store Street or by Luas four stops to Dublin Port or Dublin Bus route 53 [2] or to take a taxi.

Simulation[edit]

The route has been released as a commercial add on for Microsoft Train Simulator by Making Tracks. It was released in two sections, part one covering Belfast Central to Dundalk,[3] with part two covering the section from Dundalk to Dublin. It is set during the 2000s.[4]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.irishrail.ie/index.jsp?p=123&n=209 Irish Rail Intercity Fleet information
  2. ^ http://www.dublinbus.ie/en/Your-Journey1/Timetables/All-Timetables/53/
  3. ^ "Irish Enterprise North". Making Tracks. Retrieved 2009-01-17. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Irish Enterprise South". Making Tracks. Archived from the original on July 31, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-17.