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Chronology of Events
 
 
26th June, 1846.
 
          Act of Parliament passed incorporating the Belfast & County Down Railway with authorisation to                   build a line from Belfast to Downpatrick with branches to Holywood, Newtownards, Bangor and                     Donaghadee.   
 
2nd August, 1848.
 
          Line from Belfast to Holywood opened to traffic.
 
6th May, 1850.
 
          Line from Ballymacarrett Junction to Newtownards via Comber opened to traffic.
 
1857.
 
          First six-wheeled carriages purches – All carriages had previously been 4-wheeled.
 
10th September, 1858.
 
          Line from Comber to Ballynahinch opened to traffic.
 
23rd March, 1859.
 
          Line from Ballynahinch Junction to Downpatrick opened to traffic – Ballynahinch Junction station                  became a working junction.
 
25th May, 1860.
 
          Act of Parliament passed incorporating the Belfast, Holywood & Bangor Railway with authorisation               to build a line from Holywood to Bangor joining the Belfast & County Down Railway’s line at                             Holywood.
 
3rd June, 1861.
 
          Line from Newtownards to Donaghadee opened to traffic. There were great hopes for the future of             this branch which was the Irish terminal of the Donaghadee – Portpatrick mail boat service. The                   route however was abandoned in 1867 in favour of the more sheltered Larne – Stranraer crossing.
 
1st May, 1865.
 
          Belfast, Holywood & Bangor Railway opened from Holywood to Bangor.
 
22nd August, 1865.
 
          Belfast – Holywood line of the B.& C.D.R. purchased by the Belfast, Holywood & Bangor Railway.
 
10th August, 1866.
      
          Act of Parliament passed incorporating the Downpatrick, Dundrum & Newcastle Railway.
 
25th March, 1869.
 
          Line from Downpatrick to Newcastle opened to traffic and operated by the Belfast & County Down               Railway on behalf of the Downpatrick, Dundrum & Newcastle Railway.
 
13th May, 1871.
 
          A serious accident occurred at Ballymacarrett Junction when a Belfast bound train approaching the             junction on the main line collided with a derailed engine. Two passengers were killed and 55 injured.
 
22nd August, 1881.
 
          Downpatrick, Dundrum & Newcastle Railway purchased by the Belfast & County Down Railway.
 
14th July, 1884.
 
          Belfast, Holywood & Bangor Railway purchased by the Belfast & County Down Railway.
 
31st May, 1892.
 
          Downpatrick – Ardglass line opened for fish traffic.
 
8th July, 1892.
 
          Downpatrick – Ardglass line opened for passenger traffic. Downpatrick Loop Line opened for traffic.
 
May, 1893.
 
          Belfast to Bangor steamboat service (The Bangor Boat) inaugurated with the vessel "P.S. Slieve                     Donard".
 
July, 1898.
 
          Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle opened. This was described at the time as "the largest and finest                   hotel in Ireland". It was the first hotel in Ireland to be lighted completely by electricity.
 
August, 1903.
 
          Road motor service from Newtownards Station to Ards Peninsula introduced.
 
24th March, 1906.
 
          Line from Newcastle to Castlewellan opened for traffic. The company also had running powers over              the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) line from Castlewellan to Ballyroney.
 
May, 1905.
 
          Belfast – Holywood Railmotor service introduced.
 
1906.
 
          Third Class carriages fitted with cushioned seats.
 
29th September, 1915.
 
          Termination of Belfast – Bangor Steamboat service.
 
1st August, 1916.
 
          Newcastle – Kilkeel motor bus service introduced.
 
1st January, 1917.
 
          Government took control of Irish railways.
 
19th February, 1919.
 
          Communication received from the Admiralty to the effect that the "P.S. Erin’s Isle" had been mined             and sank while under commission as a minesweeper.   Thereby ended the company’s interest in                   steamboat operation.
 
15th August, 1921.
 
          Government control of Irish railways ended.
 
1926.
 
          Sykes automatic type banner signals introduced on the Bangor line.
 
26th May, 1927.
 
          Donaghadee – Ballywalter motor bus service introduced.
 
October, 1928.
 
          Belfast – Holywood motor bus service introduced.
 
1933.
 
          First Diesel locomotive supplied by Harland & Wolff.
 
1st October, 1935.
 
          Road services transferred to the Northern Ireland Road Transport Board.
 
1st August, 1944.
 
          Management of the Belfast & County Down Railway became the responsibility of the Great                             Northern Railway (Ireland).
 
10th January, 1945.
 
          A second serious accident occurred at Ballymacarrett Junction. An early morning railmotor train                   from Holywood, with a heavy bogie coach in front of the engine, ran into the rear of the 7.10 am                   train from Bangor which had been halted at the Ballymacarrett outer home signal. 23 passengers                 were killed and 24 injured. Compensation amounted to £75,000.
 
1st October, 1948.
 
          The Belfast & County Down Railway became part of the newly formed Ulster Transport Authority.
 
16th January, 1950.
 
          The main line between Comber and Newcastle, along with the branches to Ballynahinch and Ardlass,           closed to all traffic.
 
24th April, 1950.
 
          The main line between Ballymacarrett Junction and Comber, along with the branch to Donaghadee,             closed to all traffic.
 
August, 1951.
 
          The Ulster Transport Authority introduced 3-car Diesel multiple units onto the Belfast – Bangor line.
 
8th July, 1953.
 
          Stormont Government authorised abandonment of the closed routes of the former Belfast & County           Down Railway.
          All tracks on the main line between Ballymacarrett Junction and Newcastle, as well as on the branch           lines to Donaghadee, Ballynahinch, and Ardglass were lifted soon afterwards.
 
26th November, 1953.
 
          First day of complete Diesel operation on the Belfast – Bangor line.
 
2nd May, 1955.
 
          Newcastle – Castlewellan line closed by the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) when through services             between Lisburn and Newcastle were withdrawn.
 
January and June, 1956.
 
          Steam locomotive stock of the Belfast & County Down Railway auctioned as scrap by the Ulster                     Transport Authority, with the exception of 4-4-2T No. 30, which now rests in the Ulster Folk &                         Transport Museum at Cultra near Belfast.
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RECORD OF KNOWN
BELFAST & COUNTY DOWN RAILWAY
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