Balaclava railway station, Jamaica

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Coordinates18°10′28″N 77°38′30″W / 18.17433°N 77.641770°W / 18.17433; -77.641770Coordinates: 18°10′28″N 77°38′30″W / 18.17433°N 77.641770°W / 18.17433; -77.641770
Owned byJamaica Railway Corporation
Line(s)Kingston to Montego Bay main line
ClosedOctober 1992[1]
Balaclava is located in Jamaica

Balaclava railway station opened in 1892 and closed in 1992.[1] It served the small town of Balaclava on the Kingston to Montego Bay line and was 70.5 miles (113.5 km) from the Kingston terminus.[2]

It was built of timber in the Jamaican Georgian architectural style.[3] The upper of the two stories has a gable end roof; an adjoining hip roof has a downward fishtail fretwork on its eaves.[3] The building has sash windows and recessed panel timber doors.[3]

In 2003 it was reported as being in "deplorable condition" and "in need of major repairs".[4]

It is on the list of designated National Heritage Sites in Jamaica.


From the Daily Gleaner of March 24, 1892:[5]

The good people of this busy little ... village had donned their holiday attire on Tuesday last [1892-03-15], ... on the occasion of the arrival of the first passenger train, from Kingston, and although the passengers could have been numbered upon the fingers of one hand, they positively beamed upon them, as if extending a hearty, though silent welcome.

There is nothing imposing about the station itself, - it is merely a stucco and wood building, that could be run up in a very short space of time, - but at the first glance it is noticed that it has been constructed with a view to facilitating goods traffic, rather than for the accommodation of passengers.

The better part of the concrete platform is raised on a level with the flooring of the cars, so that as little trouble as possible will be experienced in loading and unloading the goods-vans with merchandise &c. There is a commodious goods repository running parallel with the track, at this point, whilst the part of the platform reserved for passengers is on a level with the rails, necessitating a certain amount of climbing before taking one's seat in the train.

The descent, of some three feet or so, from the goods portion of the platform to the lower level, is not made by steps, but by a somewhat abruptly sloping incline...

If, day after day, the same punctuality be observed in the arrival of the train as took place on the initial trip, no one, however fastidious and exacting, will have any cause for complaint...

After its long and winding course through the parish of Manchester, the railway at this point enters St, Elizabeth, and Balaclava, though but a couple of miles from the imaginary line of demarcation, is an important trade centre in the latter parish...


In 1910 the third class fare from Balaclava to Kingston was 5/6 (five shillings and sixpence); first class was about double.[6]


A serious derailment occurred at this station on July 30, 1938 killing 32 and injuring 70.[7]

Current use[edit]

Since 1992 the station buildings have been leased to a small, local woodwork shop.[8]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The rise and fall of railways in Jamaica, 1845-1975". Journal of Transport History: 18. March 2003.
  2. ^ Table 3.5 Mileage for JRC Stations, Halts & Sidings in relation to the Kingston Railway Terminus Archived March 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Annual Transport Statistics Report: Jamaica in Figures 2003-2004, Ministry of Transport and Works, July 2005.
  3. ^ a b c Balaclava Railway Station, Jamaica National Heritage Trust.
  4. ^ Table 3.4 Location and Condition of Railway Stations Archived March 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Annual Transport Statistics Report: Jamaica in Figures 2003-2004, Ministry of Transport and Works, July 2005.
  5. ^ Balaclava in 1892,
  6. ^ 1910 Directory, Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library, 2006.
  7. ^ Jamaica Gleaner, Pieces of the Past, Tragedy at Kendal - 1957, bullet point 6 under the subheading "Jamaica's Railway History" Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Hall, Arthur (2010-12-13). "Former train station hums with hope". Jamaica Gleaner. Kingston, Jamaica: Gleaner Company Ltd. Retrieved 13 December 2010.