Belfast & County Down Railway

by John Hinson

Ballymacarrett Junction signal cabin
Photograph 23/6/60, from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Ballymacarrett Junction was once a key junction of the Belfast & County Down Railway, situated just outside the Queens Quay terminus in Belfast. The B&CD's Bangor and Newcastle routes once diverged here, and the link from Belfast Central Junction on the GNR(I) joined here. The Newcastle route closed in 1950.

Most signal cabins of the B&CD were constructed in brick, but beyond that designs vary considerably. This example has a hipped roof but many were gabled like that illustrated at Comber.

Inside Ballymacarret Junction box
Photograph 23/6/60, from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

This interior view shows the 56-lever frame installed in 1912 - of a type so far unidentified - and other equipment. The signal cabin diagram can be clearly seen, with the main Bangor to Queens Quay line running left to right, and the single Great Northern line to Belfast Central Junction curving away top right. This route, which used to form a double junction here, closed in 1965.

When Queens Quay and Great Victoria Street stations were closed in 1976 the Belfast Central Railway was re-instated but this time the entire line between Central Junction and Ballymacarett Junction was double line throughout.

The black-painted secondary diagram to the left of the clock shows the automatic signalling for the line between Ballymacarrett Junction and Bangor, which was Largely worked by automatic banner signalling at this time.

About the photographs

Additional notes by Tony Gray

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson