Ulster Railway

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This article is about the 19th century railway company. For other uses, see Ulster Railways (disambiguation).
Ulster Railway
Industry railway
Fate merged
Successors Great Northern Railway (Ireland)
Founded 1836
Defunct 1876
Headquarters Belfast, Ireland
Area served County Antrim, County Armagh, County Down, County Monaghan

The Ulster Railway was a railway company operating in Ulster, Ireland. The company was incorporated in 1836 and merged with two other railway companies in 1876 to form the Great Northern Railway (Ireland).

History[edit]

The Ulster Railway was authorised by an Act of the UK Parliament in 1836[1] and construction began in March 1837.[2]

The first 8 miles (13 kilometres) of line, between Belfast Great Victoria Street and Lisburn, County Antrim, were completed in August 1839 at a cost of £107,000.[2] The line was extended in stages, opening to Lurgan in 1841,[3] Portadown in 1842,[4] and Armagh in 1848.[4]

In 1836 a Railway Commission recommended that railways in Ireland be built to 6 ft 2 in (1,880 mm) broad gauge.[2] The Ulster Railway complied with this recommendation but the Dublin and Drogheda Railway did not. In order for Dublin and Belfast to be linked without a break of gauge, in 1846 the UK Parliament passed an Act adopting a compromise gauge of 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) for Ireland, to which the Ulster Railway's track was then re-laid.[2]

Extension of the Ulster Railway resumed, reaching Monaghan in 1858,[4] Smithborough in 1862[4] and Clones on the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway in 1863.[5]

The Dublin and the Belfast Junction Railway (D&BJct) between Drogheda and Portadown was completed in 1853.[6] This connected the Dublin and Drogheda Railway (D&D) with the Ulster Railway, thus completing the main line between Dublin and Belfast.[6]

The Ulster Railway operated three lines that remained in the ownership of separate companies: the Portadown, Dungannon and Omagh Junction Railway (PD&O), Banbridge, Lisburn and Belfast Railway (BLBR) and Dublin and Antrim Junction Railway (D&AJR).[7] The PD&O reached Dungannon in 1858[4] and Omagh in 1861,[8] and the contractor William Dargan sold the Ulster a 999 year lease on it in 1860.[9][7] The BLBR opened between Knockmore Junction and Banbridge in 1863[3] and the D&AJR opened between Knockmore Junction and Antrim in 1871.[3][10]

In 1876 the Ulster Railway merged with the Irish North Western Railway (INW), and Northern Railway of Ireland, forming the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) (GNR(I), GNRI or just GNR).

The Ulster Railway
Belfast Great Victoria Street
(built later by (NIR))
Belfast Central Railway
Adelaide (built later by (GNR))
Balmoral
Finaghy (built later by (GNR))
Dunmurry
Derriaghy (built later by (GNR))
Lambeg (built later by (GNR))
Hilden (built later by (GNR))
Lisburn
The Damhead
Knockmore (built later by (GNR))
Banbridge, Lisburn and Belfast Junction Railway (BLB)
Lisburn-Antrim railway line
Moira
Lagan Canal
Pritchard's Bridge
Lurgan
Seagoe
River Bann
Portadown
Belfast–Newry railway line
Portadown, Dungannon and Omagh Junction Railway
Richhill
Retreat (built later by (GNR))
Newry and Armagh Railway
Armagh
Castleblayney, Keady and Armagh Railway
Killylea
Tynan and Caledon Clogher Valley Railway
Glaslough
Monaghan
Smithborough
Irish North Western Railway to Dundalk
Clones
Irish North Western Railway to Enniskillen
Ulster Canal
Redhills
Ballyhaise
GNR built later to Belturbet
Loreto College Halt (built later by (GNR))
Cavan
Midland Great Western Railway

References[edit]

  1. ^ McCutcheon 1969, p. 15.
  2. ^ a b c d McCutcheon 1969, p. 43.
  3. ^ a b c Hajducki, 1974, map 9
  4. ^ a b c d e Hajducki, 1974, map 8
  5. ^ Hajducki, 1974, map 14
  6. ^ a b McCutcheon 1969, p. 40.
  7. ^ a b Hajducki 1974, p. xiii.
  8. ^ Hajducki, 1974, map 7
  9. ^ FitzGerald 1995, p. 1.
  10. ^ Hajducki, 1974, map 5

Sources and further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • 1843 Timetable for Belfast and Portadown, from Bradshaw's Railway Monthly