Some Early Lines
Six Counties Scenes
Fintona Junction was one of those Irish stations at which, because it was a junction and a single-line passing place, everything happened at once between long periods of inactivity. GNR 4-4-0 goods engine No.73 of Class ‘P’ stands in the bay, having shunted its train to await the passing of the two passenger trains of the evening of August Bank Holiday Saturday, 1954.
Cookstown Junction lay between Antrim and Ballymena, on the NCC main line from Belfast to Londonderry. The branch from the junction took the form of a loop which joined the main line again at Macfin, close to Coleraine. No.57 ‘Galgorm Castle’ leaves Cookstown Junction with a train for Cookstown via Magherafelt on 20th June, 1938.
The Beyer Peacock 4-4-2 tanks were the standard passenger engine used on the Belfast & County Down Railway, and they worked the branch to the end. Unlike many Irish lines, the County Down ran its tank engines bunker first when it suited them; No.13 waits at the terminus at Donaghadee for the right away to Comber and Belfast. This branch was the last section to go, under the 1950 closures.
In 1948 the Belfast & County Down Railway fell into the hands of the newly formed Ulster Transport Authority, and by 22nd April, 1950, the whole of the Railway had been shut down, with the exception of the Bangor branch which apparently still prospered. The first section to go was the main line south of Comber in January, 1950, and with it the branch to Ballynahinch, which was sometimes worked by the only remaining tender passenger locomotive 2-4-0 No.6