Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
David Holman

Derry Central

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Have often wondered about this line, which wandered from Macfin Junction to Magherafelt, seemingly passing little on the way. Wiki suggests it to have been the haunt of 4-4-0s and two coach trains, but information seems scarce.

 Apart from the Swilly's line to Burtonport, was there a more isolated stretch in Ireland?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try and get your hands on a copy of R.M. Arnold's NCC Saga https://www.amazon.com/N-C-Saga-Scottish-Northern/dp/0715356445. it includes quite a bit on the Derry Central & NCC branch lines. 

The line appears to have survived mainly on traffic to and from the local linen mills and a brickworks, the section from Magherafelt to Kilrea survived as a goods only line until 195, the Derry Central and NCC Cookstown Branch lost their passenger services in 1950.

Mac's Arnolds books focus as much on the "kitchen sink" drama of the personalities that worked on the railway as the locomotives and operation, retired railway men and women became anxious when he announced that he was about to publish a book.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, David Holman said:

Have often wondered about this line, which wandered from Macfin Junction to Magherafelt, seemingly passing little on the way. Wiki suggests it to have been the haunt of 4-4-0s and two coach trains, but information seems scarce.

 Apart from the Swilly's line to Burtonport, was there a more isolated stretch in Ireland?

"Mac" had indeed a unique style of writing. I first met him in 1970, when i shared a compartment with him in a "North Atlantic Express" coach on a train to Derry. It was my first-ever RPSI trip, with 171. His books were if anything, more about the people than the trains - he knew many people on the railway, but had also gathered a HUGE repertoire of stories of railwaymen long gone, as is evident in the book Mayner mentions, and others. I got the impression that he took many of those stories with him; reproductions of some of them might have landed him in court!

As far as isolation was concerned, there were indeed many remoter lines in Ireland. Much of the West Cork was even remoter, as were the long branches to Valencia Harbour, Achill and Clifden, and not forgetting the scenic wildnesses of the Barnesmore Gap, the Glenties line and the West Clare....

The Derry Central wasn't at all unlike the GNR Lisburn to Newcastle line in terms of the type of countryside and communities it served, or the Portadown to Omagh line.

All good stuff, but sadly all gone.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a siding for the william clarke linen mill.It was a 1 and a 1/2-mile.long siding that diverged from the single platform at Upperlands station and was served daily until the closure of the derry central line with the final train running on saturdary  5th of October 1959.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a locally produced book on the Derry Central published 1987, paperback, 132 pages with many photographs.

JPEG109.thumb.jpg.8f4e8e7091ccfcc615375ff0b7f13e4e.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, David Holman said:

Have often wondered about this line, which wandered from Macfin Junction to Magherafelt, seemingly passing little on the way. Wiki suggests it to have been the haunt of 4-4-0s and two coach trains, but information seems scarce.

 Apart from the Swilly's line to Burtonport, was there a more isolated stretch in Ireland?

The book "From "The North Atlantic" to the "Crackerjacks" "gives timetable information and commentary on later NCC timetables, so there's informtion there on the Derry Central. In 1948 it is mentioned that the 2.20pm Portrush-Belfast went via the Derry Central, due to lack of paths on the main line - a train to avoid for those in the know.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Midland Man said:

There was a siding for the william clarke linen mill.It was a 1 and a 1/2-mile.long siding that diverged from the single platform at Upperlands station and was served daily until the closure of the derry central line with the final train running on saturdary  5th of October 1959.

Here's the very location in 1948, 2 years before the DC lost its passenger services.  Photo from the excellent 'Britain from Above' website, a fantastic resource of aerial photos, you need to register (for free) to be able to zoom in to see the details, well worth it!

Details worth noting here include the station (with the staff obviously intrigued by the photo aircraft), the level crossing on the Kilrea Road, the goods shed and the generally tidy appearance of the railway property.

 

Upperlands.jpg

Edited by Patrick Davey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Patrick Davey said:

 Photo from the excellent 'Britain from Above' website, a fantastic resource of aerial photos, you need to register (for free) to be able to zoom in to see the details, well worth it!

Does it include the republic of Ireland or just northern Ireland?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

Does it include the republic of Ireland or just northern Ireland?

Just NI and GB - there might be a similar resource for ROI though, maybe someone knows?

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Patrick Davey said:

Just NI and GB - there might be a similar resource for ROI though, maybe someone knows?

Thanks for saying,must use it sometime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Patrick Davey said:

Just NI and GB - there might be a similar resource for ROI though, maybe someone knows?

https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/XAW026999

Britain from Above does include The Republic of Ireland - The link above is proof of this fact. Bachelors Factory, Dublin, if I'm not mistaken. Lots of images to be found some of which I have included in previous posts - 

Happy viewing. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's an excellent sequence of photos of the building of the hydro-electric dam at Ballyshannon, showing an extensive siding layout at the GNR station presumably built for the works.  Great stuff!!!

And Killarney and Tralee are well covered, including a great overall view of both stations at Tralee!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any of Clara rail station and the 2 sidings there

5 minutes ago, Patrick Davey said:

Good view of Athlone (Midland) station:

It looks like the old engine shed at Athlone was being used

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some fab photos from:

Britain from above? 1933? Do they never learn. :) At least it was captioned 'Dun Laoghaire' and not Kingstown. 

Builder of layout Kingsbridge. 😇

  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Noel said:

Some fab photos from:

Britain from above? 1933? Do they never learn. :) At least it was captioned 'Dun Laoghaire' and not Kingstown. 

Builder of layout Kingsbridge. 😇

I allway wounder what broadstone would have been called if was used by passangers in 1966

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

I allway wounder what broadstone would have been called if was used by passangers in 1966

Flintstone? :) (After P Flynn's great grand father walked barefoot from Castlebar in 1916 to claim expenses for his participation)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

I allway wounder what broadstone would have been called if was used by passangers in 1966

Clarke would make sense. His shop was on the Northside, so relatively local. It was actually at 55 Amiens St - strange why the eponymous station was renamed Connolly when it had an immediate local connection to Clarke! 

Edited by Galteemore
  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting back to the topic as raised by David ......

Mayner is right to point David at Mac's NCC Saga and JHB was on the button regarding the nature of Mac's work - you are told on the Title Page of the Saga - "Where the Enginemen were the Heroes and the Villain the Diesel Engine.

Anyway, David, if you're tempted you can get a copy at a sensible price on ABE: see -

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&cm_sp=SearchF-_-home-_-Results&an=&tn=ncc+saga&kn=&isbn=

in fact The Syndicate may have a copy - I'll PM you.

The "Crackerjack" book mentioned by BSGSV above is an interesting volume as it looks at the NCC's timetables over three separate periods in its history.

Finally, David, the line did see some hefty trains from time to time. In the 1930s, the celebrated Malcolm Speir used to run FIREWORKS trains to Portrush on mid week evenings - for about half a crown return - if there were too many takers, one of the specials ran over the Derry Central from Macfin to Cookstown Jct to free paths on the mainline. Clever guy, old Malcolm, for I believe he set up the fireworks displays in POrtrush, probably underwritten by the LMS, and then ran the trains there to see them. Talk about making your own luck!

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Midland Man said:

Nice one here https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/XPW042330 does anyone know the the engine in the picture. 

Now that engine is a puzzle. The train is mostly six-wheelers, and elderly ones at that, but the third vehicle is a bogie third in the then-main-line brown & cream livery; this will be a Dún Laoghaire Pier boat train. But the ENGINE! Looks like some sort of saddle tank - I have absolutely no clue what that might be. Any suggestions, folks?

So, Broadstone might have been Dublin "Clarke". What about Harcourt Street?

And if Broadstone would have become "Clarke", what of Dundalk?

I'll get my coat first, and open the door, before shouting "Adams" and running away quickly.....................................!

  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

Now that engine is a puzzle. The train is mostly six-wheelers, and elderly ones at that, but the third vehicle is a bogie third in the then-main-line brown & cream livery; this will be a Dún Laoghaire Pier boat train. But the ENGINE! Looks like some sort of saddle tank - I have absolutely no clue what that might be. Any suggestions, folks?

So, Broadstone might have been Dublin "Clarke". What about Harcourt Street?

And if Broadstone would have become "Clarke", what of Dundalk?

I'll get my coat first, and open the door, before shouting "Adams" and running away quickly.....................................!

 

A closer look...

dser_scene.thumb.jpg.e5f9e66983a32315270200c4a2441a0c.jpg

 

It appears to have side tanks.
dser_loco.jpg.44cb0ab1961b25f0dc5abc2c7c1e1bf2.jpg
 

Possibly one of the 4-4-2Ts that became the 'C2' class in GSR service?
dser_c2.thumb.jpg.556a4b2196baa4fab61aba18182b917a.jpg
 

A very handsome locomotive.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ah, that's better. I couldn't seem to enlarge it that much. You're absolutely right.

And we can get a look at the coach behind it too. Looks like a MGWR bogie mail coach, unless my eyesight needs more enlarging!

Edited by jhb171achill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

Looks like a MGWR bogie mail coach, unless my eyesight needs more enlarging!

Edited 7 hours ago by jhb171achill

I was at fry model railway a while back and remembered the MGWR stock with the A class. It 

Class E 2 - 295 - WL&WR 0-4-4T, built 1895 as Waterford, Limerick & Western Railway No.52 - 1925 to GSR as No.295, 1926 rebuilt, 1945 to CIE - withdrawn 1954 - seen here at Limerick in 1932.

looks like they are in the original MGWR livery. As for the engine it is Brian Boru from  Inishlyre 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Leslie correctly said a few posts back, lets get this thread back on track !!

In JRL Currie's David & Charles book, The Northern Counties Railway Vol 1, published way back in 1973, there are 20 or so pages of history and background to this relatively unknown line.

The book produced post-WW2 "The LMS NCC operating dept. in wartime" contains interesting information about activities at DC stations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Garfield said:

 

A closer look...

dser_scene.thumb.jpg.e5f9e66983a32315270200c4a2441a0c.jpg

 

It appears to have side tanks.
dser_loco.jpg.44cb0ab1961b25f0dc5abc2c7c1e1bf2.jpg
 

Possibly one of the 4-4-2Ts that became the 'C2' class in GSR service?
dser_c2.thumb.jpg.556a4b2196baa4fab61aba18182b917a.jpg
 

A very handsome locomotive.

Yes I saw loco that when I zoomed in using their app, but decided not to post a copy of the zoomed image due to their copyright. The coach behind looks fab but well away from home rails. Amazing six wheelers were still in use in 1933 on the DSER. Photo was right in front of the RIYC, another establishment lost in another century in a pleasant kind of way. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Noel said:

Yes I saw loco that when I zoomed in using their app, but decided not to post a copy of the zoomed image due to their copyright...

No breach under the terms of UK Crown Copyright, in addition to the website's own T&Cs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use