Belfast and County Down Railway


click for 9K .jpg image of BCDR coat of arms BCDR Coat of Arms

History: Summary

Operated 80 miles of track (Belfast-Newcastle and five branches) exclusively in Co. Down serving a number of holiday resorts, its main line was from Belfast to Castlewellan, a distance of 41 miles. The company was incorporated on 26/6/1846 with the first section of the line from Belfast to Holywood being opened for traffic on 2/8/1848, being subsequently extended to Bangor by the Belfast, Holywood and Bangor Railway (opened 1/5/1865), which was acquired by the BCDR in 1884. The line to Downpatrick was opened on 25/3/1859, but it was not until 10 years later that Newcastle was reached, the line being originally owned by the Downpatrick, Dundrum and Newcastle Railway (opened Downpatrick-Newcastle on 25/3/1869, absorbed by BCDR on 14/7/1884), but worked by, and eventually, in 1881, being purchased by the BCDR. Of the remaining lines, the branch from Downpatrick to Ardglass and the loop line at Downpatrick were opened in 1892, and the branch from Newcastle to Castlewellan on 24/3/1906. The company operated boats between 1893 and 1915 and owned a hotel at Newcastle. On 1/10/1948 the BCDR was taken over by the Ulster Transport Authority. With the exception of the line between Belfast and Bangor the railway was closed in 1950.

Rolling stock: All locomotives were constructed by Beyer Peacock, except No. 2, which was from Harland and Wolff. Two steam railcars from Kitson in 1905. 29 locos passed into UTA ownership in 1948. In 1948 there were 181 carriages and 25 other coaching vehicles. The majority were 6 wheelers, non-corridor, gas lighted. Many makers of coaches but majority from Railway Carriage Co. and Metropolitan. Goods stock consisted mainly of covered vans and wagons, although several 6 wheel fish vans were in service. The total number of wagons at that time was 629 plus 54 service vehicles. Wagons were from many sources. Full details in Coakham.
Works: Loco works were at Belfast (Queen's Quay). Closed 1950. New carriage works opened in 1886. Last carriage built in 1923.
Livery: Locos, both passenger and goods, were painted dark olive green (lighter shade from 1936), lined red and white. [WPMcC: Dark green lined out in red and white.] Carriages were dark [maroon - Downpatrick Museum] brown.[DGC: Carriages teak up to 1889. Two crimson lake in 1890 and subsequently generalised. Basic wagons very dark grey. Permanent way and piped vehicles red oxide to solebars, ironwork below black. Stencilled white letters and numbers. Wagonplates introduced after 1912.]
Staff: Loco superintendents included T.Firth 1854, C.Domeville 1865, R.G.Miller 1885. General Managers included J.Broughton (first), T.C.Haines 1863, J.Barber 1875, J.Medley 1884, J.Tatlow 1885, C.A.Moore 1917, W.F.Minnis 1936.
Signalling: Tyer's tablet instruments and Wise's staffs were used over different sections. Belfast-Comber two line absolute block, beyond this single line tablets. All stations between Comber and Newcastle (except Tullymurry which was not a tablet station) provided with exchanging apparatus. Bangor branch: double track, track circuited and controlled by automatic signals, mainly two position banner types. Donaghadee branch: Comber-Newtownards Tyer's, Newtownards-Donaghadee Wise train staff, Ballynahinch and Ardglass Wise.
Carriage accessories: Antimacassars first mentioned 10/1910. Photos introduced in 1886, initially confined to 1st class, 2nd class by board order of 9/1905. Please remain seated notices until train stops put up by order of 9/1892. Spitting notice originated with a request from National Association for the prevention of consumption (Ulster branch) in 10/1901 and was to be displayed in all 3rds and the smoking compartments of 1st and 2nd. Tapestry replaced hair cloth for blinds in 1890. Ladies only compartments 1888-96, then reintroduced (date unknown) and were still in 3rd class up to 2nd WW. Window labels had white printing on red background. Non-smoking remained the norm up to 1930s (unmarked). Then reversed. Triangular no smoking labels introduced. Original smoking compartments had etched 'Smoking' on window glass. Torpedo vents introduced 1894. Colza oil up to 1887, then paraffin burning Silber lamps. Popes gas lighting from 1893. Incandescent mantles after 1907. Electric Stone's equipment ordered in 1917 and two coaches had experimental Vicker's system in 1919. Charcoal footwarmers to 1890. Hot water pans (tinplate and copper) after. Steam heating from 1919. [All data from Coakham]
Other: Milepost: In February 1995, milepost 2 of BCDR design still survived on up side at Sydenham

Internet: Downpatrick and County Down Museum site, with a subpage on BCDR history, or the Dundonald site.

Further reading: W.P.McCormick, Main Line Railways of Northern Ireland, R.M.Arnold, Steam over Belfast Lough, D.G.Coakham, "BCDR Coaches of 80 years" JIRRS 1086 and 287, D.G.Coakham, "BCDR Wagon Stock" JIRRS 273.

Coat of Arms

click for another 19K BCDR coa in .jpg format A further BCDR coa
click for another 9K BCDR coa in .jpg format A third BCDR coa. Source: SRA1200
click for 4K .jpg image of BCDR coa And another. Source: SRA398
click for 3K .jpg image of BCDR coa BCDR coa. Source: SRA1203
click for 4.4K .jpg image of BCDR coa BCDR coa. Source: BON1006 (full image 24K)
click for 4.3K .jpg image of BCDR coa BCDR coa. Source: GCR708. (full image 10.7K)
click for 6.5K .jpg image of BCDR coa BCDR coa. Source: GCR712. (full image 32K)
click for 3.5K .jpg image of BCDR armsBCDR (or constituent?) cast iron arms. Source: SRA1207 (full image 5.9K). NOTE: "More likely to be be a plain old Belfast City Council or Belfast Corporation crest, as it doesn't have the arms of County Down in it." [Source: RG]

Coat of arms
Fry

Rolling Stock railwayana

Locomotive nameplates and numbers:

click for 11K .jpg image of BCDR loco no. BCDR cast iron loco number. Source: TRA609. (full image 31K)
click for 9.3K .jpg image of BCDR cabside. BCDR cabside. Source: TRA909. (full image 25K)

Works & tenderplates:
click for 3K .jpg image of BP loco makers' plate Beyer Peacock makers' plate. Source: SRA1203
click for 3K .jpg image of BP loco makers' plate Beyer Peacock makers' plate. BCDR? Source: KRA904

Carriage plates:
click for 13K .jpg image of carriage spitting plate
click for 11K .jpg image of appartment spitting plate Source: SRA900, (appartment)(another original SRA1293)
click for 13K .jpg image of carriage spitting plate Source: TRA1003.
click for 12K .jpg image of BCDR spitting plateSource: TRA0507. (full image 29K)
click for 4K .jpg image of BCDR no spitting BCDR no spitting carriage sign. Source: GCA407. (full image 9K)
click for 9.6K .jpg image of BCDR spitting enamel BCDR spitting notice. Source: SRA907
click for 17.4K .jpg image of BCDR carriage signBCDR spitting sign. Source: RNT1109. (full image 71K)
click for 19.5K .jpg image of BCDR spitting BCDR spitting notice. Source: SRA311 (telephone auction)
click for 21K .jpg image of BCDR spitting plate BCDR spitting plate. Source: 'Stop the drop', Feb 2011. (full image 84K)
click for 7.7K .jpg image of BCDR seated sign BCDR 'seated' notice. Source: SRA311 (telephone auction)

Spitting notice - P

Wagon plates:
click for 4K .jpg image of BCDR wagonplateclick for 4K .jpg image of BCDR wagonplateBCDR wagonplates
click for 6K .jpg image of BCDR wagonplateAnother BCDR wagonplate
click for 7K .jpg image of BCDR wagon platesBCDR wagonplate. Source: SRA1296
click for 3K .jpg image of BCDR wagon plate Source: RAG7 (full image 8K)
click for 7K .jpg image of BCDR wagon platesBCDR wagon registration plates (more registration plates 26K)

click for 3K .jpg image of BCDR wagonplate BCDR wagonplate. Source: TRA1003

Lineside and station railwayana

Footbridge:

Bridge Restriction:

Bridge Numbers:

Trespass:
click for 10K .jpg image of BCDR fenceBCDR fences notice. Source: SRA698
click for 4K .jpg image of BCDR fence Another image. Source: RAG4. Click for larger image.
click for 8K .jpg image of BCDR wallsBCDR walls notice. Source: SRA
click for 13.5K .jpg image of BCDR trespass BCDR pathway notice. Source: SRA311
click for 13K .jpg image of BCDR trespass BCDR trespass. Source: SRA311
click for 5K .jpg image of BCDR trespassBCDR trespass. Source: D.Cronin (full image 12K)
click for 3K .jpg image of BCDR groundBCDR ground notice. Source: D.Cronin (full image 17K)
click for 3.2K .jpg image of BCDR trespass BCDR trespass. Source: SRA604
click for 12K .jpg image of BCDR trespass BCDR trespass notice. Source: SRA311

Station:

Mileposts:

Railchair:

Signalling:

click for 3.2K .jpg image of BCDR lamp BCDR lamp. Source: SRA312.
click for 2K .jpg image of BCDR track circuitTrack circuit indicator (possibly Ballymacarrett Jct.). Source: E.N.Calvert-Harrison (full image 14K)
click for 5K .jpg image of BCDR ticketsBCDR Tickets. Source: E.N.Calvert-Harrison (full image 48K)
click for 2.7K .jpg image of BCDR signalling arrangementsSignalling arrangements Ballymacarrett Jct.). Source: E.N.Calvert-Harrison (full image 11K)
click for 2.4K .jpg image of BCDR AppendixAppendix to WTT. Source: E.N.Calvert-Harrison (full image 34K)
click for 2K .jpg image of BangorBangor track. Source: KRA101
click for 2.4K .jpg image of BCDR ticketBCDR passenger ticket. Source: ebay1107 (full image 19K)
click for 1.3K .jpg image of BCDR ticketBCDR ticket. Source: ebay408 (full image 7K)
click for 1.4K .jpg image of BCDR ticketBCDR ticket. Source: ebay308 (full image 8K)
click for 5K .jpg image of BCDR pass BCDR pass. Source: GCR1013. (full image 23k)
click for 6K .jpg image of BCDR look outBCDR look out. Source: SRA693, b/w enhanced
click for 3.3K .jpg image of BCDR look out BCDR 'Look out' armband. Source: SRA1208. (full image 7.7K)

Cutlery, china, ashtrays etc.:

click for 3K .jpg image of BCDR fish knifeBCDR fish knife. (full image 2K) Source: ebay906
click for 5.3K .jpg image of BCDR cruet set BCDR (Slieve Donard) cruet set & sugar bowl. Source: SRA307
click for 3K .jpg image of BCDR match-strikerBCDR match striker. Source: TRA1104
click for 7.7K .jpg image of BCDR matchstriker BCDR match striker. (full image 34K) Source: TRA210.

Miscellaneous:

click for 5K .jpg image of BCDR vestaBCDR vesta case - poor scan. Source: SRA 600
click for 4K .jpg image of BCDR matches BCDR matches. Source: TRA0507. (full image 22K)
click for 2K .jpg image of BCDR buttonBCDR button. Source: D. Cronin

click for 3K .jpg image of BCDR button BCDR button. Source: TRA305
click for 3K .jpg image of BCDR button BCDR button. Source: TRA506 (full image 11K)

click for 3.6K .jpg image of BCDR hat BCDR hat. Source: TRA1105. (full image 18K)


blue ball Return to Index page, or go to Northern page 6, London Midland & Scottish Railway, NCC. blue ball

red ball Return to auction price data on original pages red ball

red ball For genealogy, go to my Lennan genealogy pages red ball


Page posted 27/7/1997. Revised 26/9/13

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