Irish Railway Record Society
NEWS TRANSLINK - NORTHERN IRELAND RAILWAYS
Transllnk has uncovered historic remnants of Belfast’s first ever
railway station complex during demolition works for the Belfast Hub Regeneration
The discovery of original
cast iron columns and arches, identical to those used in the Great Northern
Railway terminus at Great Victoria Street, was made within large warehouse sheds
situated on the main project construction site along the Grosvenor Road in
Belfast city centre. These goods sheds were originally used by freight trains
from all over Ireland carrying produce such as cattle and stout.
Translink is donating the
salvaged components to the heritage Downpatrick and County Down Railway for its
own restoration project in which it hopes to recreate a Victorian-style train
shed at its Downpatrick station.
Executive, Clive Bradberry, said: “This is an exciting historical find as we
prepare to embark on construction work for the new Belfast Hub. These cast iron
columns are one of the last remaining links to the old Great Northern Railway
station that was demolished back in 1976, so we are surprised something so
tangible from our Railway's past still remains in good condition today. The
Belfast Hub project has the potential to transform public transport in Northern
Ireland, create new jobs, attract tourism and investment opportunities, reduce
congestion and support the local economy. It will be a catalyst for regeneration
of the station quarter and act as an important gateway, giving a lasting
impression of Belfast as a modem, confident and progressive city - it is
therefore fitting that we are able to preserve heritage from the railway’s
former glory days for future generations to enjoy."
Robert Gardiner, the
Downpatrick & County Down Railway's Vice President, added: "When we
identified and examined these impressive cast iron stanchions and arches we
realised they were the same type of castings used in the roof of the original
Great Victoria Street railway station built back in the 1840s. By coincidence
these are exactly the sort of items we need to help construct our planned
trainshed project, which Is a large canopy over the platform and running lines,
once a common feature on Irish railway terminus buildings at Downpatrick. To be
able to incorporate elements of a genuine Great Northern Railway train shed is
an amazing development."
Subject to planning and
funding approvals, the construction work at Belfast Hub is due to commence in
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