John Speller's Web Pages Great Northern Railway (Ireland)

John Speller's Web Pages - Irish Railways
Great Northern Railway (Ireland) Untitled HBRHorizontal
"On February 26 [1914] the Great Northern Railway of Ireland ran a special non-stop train from Belfast to Dublin for the chairman of the White Star Line. The distance of 112 miles was covered in 116 minutes, or at an average speed of 58.19 miles per hour, which constitutes a new record speed for this railway if not for Ireland. The train consisted of a parlor car and a third class coach, and was drawn by one of the latest superheater eight-wheel express passenger engines. The record is all the more remarkable, because speed had to be reduced to 12 miles an hour at five different places because of maintenance of way work, to 20 miles an hour approaching Scarva and Drogheda, and to 30 miles an hour near Poyntzpass. The train also had to meet a grade of slightly over 1 per cent, extending 8 miles." Railway Age Gazette, Vol 56 (1914), p. 1021. The Great Northern was probably the most smartly run railway in Ireland.

The Great Northern Railway of Ireland was a 5 ft. 3 in. gauge company formed in 1876 by a merger of the Irish North Western Railway, Northern Railway of Ireland, and Ulster Railway. On the division of Ireland into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland the company found itself in the unfortunate position of being the only company to straddle the border, which it did to a considerable extent. The positive side of this was that it owned the Belfast to Dublin railway line the most profitable line in Ireland. However, it suffered from inadequate customs arrangements until 1947.
Map of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) in 1906. To enlarge right click and select "View Image"
The apogee of Great Northern power 6 ft. 7 in. "V" Class 4-4-0 3-cylinder Compound No. 85 "Merlin," built 1932, in the famous GNR(I) sky-blue livery
Charles Clifford, Locomotive Superintendent of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) 1895-1912
GNR(I) "Standard Goods" 4 ft. 7 in. 0-6-0 No. 101 "Balmoral"
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