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Picture of BCDR train

 

Timeline

 

 

Spring 1845

Formation of the Belfast and County Down Railway Company

 

6th May 1850

Opening day for 12 miles of single track from Belfast Queen’s Quay to Newtownards

 

Stations have been built at:

 

Belfast Queen’s Quay, Knock, Dundonald, Comber and Newtownards

 

On opening day Dundonald Station has a single platform and a wooden station building accessible from the Old Dundonald Road. The first Station Master is Hans Magee, who remains there until his death in service on 3rd September 1888.

 

1879

New station built at Bloomfield (Beersbridge Road)

 

1889

The platform at Dundonald station is extended in length. The original platform could accommodate 8 carriages and the new 12 carriages. The work is finished in time for the 12th July 1889 at a cost of £32.

 

Telegraph is installed in Dundonald station.

 

1890

New station built at Neill’s Hill (Sandown Road)

 

1891-1893

 

 

 

 

 

1893

The line from Belfast to Comber is doubled

 

A new down platform and wooden waiting shelter are constructed at Dundonald. Access to the station buildings is given from the Comber Road via a new subway under the tracks.

 

The platforms at Knock and Dundonald are lengthened to accommodate double trains. The platforms at Dundonald are now 646ft long

 

Signalling is introduced and Dundonald becomes a block post.

 

1894

A new larger Station Master’s house is built. The contractor was Messr. Wm Gordon who submitted a tender of £217/6/-. The design and builder are also used for the Crossgar Station Master’s house.

 

The old Station Master’s house is used to house Porters.

 

1898

The old Station Master’s house is converted for other station purposes.

 

1900

Crossovers are built at the up end (Belfast side) of the Dundonald platforms to allow local trains to reverse and switch lines.

 

1901

Although never handling any large amounts of freight, a new goods siding is built behind the up platform. This includes a roadway to allow carts to get along-side 6 wagons. The total cost of the work is £418/11s/10d.

 

Improvements are made to utilising some vacant rooms in the station buildings. The cost for new furniture is £50. A new booking office is completed allowing the old one to be demolished and further alterations to be completed.

 

1904

Permission is granted to the Nation Telephone Company to erect a ‘Call Office’ at the station.

 

1904

Local farmers and cattle dealers apply to the company for provision of a cattle beaching to aid the loading and unloading of cattle at the goods siding. A cattle beaching accommodating 2 wagons is built in November 1904. This was located at the furthest end of the goods siding (from the station).

 

1912

A bathroom and bath are provided in the Station Master’s house at a cost of £10.

 

1915

A Post Office wall letterbox is erected at the station.

 

1921

The bridge over the Comber Road (Bridge Number 64) is renewed.

 

1926

The crossover is removed.

 

1927

Signalling work at Knock and Comber is carried out to permit Dundonald cabin to be closed. The cabin continues to be switched in at times of heavy traffic right up until closure.

 

1931

 

Mains electricity extended to Dundonald. Station connected to the new supply dispensing with the small plant and battery that had been used to provide power for the lights.

 

8th July 1938

In an accident at Dundonald station milesman Thomas Walker is killed after being struck by a down train.

 

1941

Stationmaster’s house is supplied with mains water. Until now both the house and the station have been served by a pump supply at the side of the station.

 

Shortly after mains water is supplied a W.C. and wash basin are installed in the stationmaster’s house.

 

1948

BCDR is nationalised and becomes part of the Ulster Transport Authority

 

15th Jan 1950

Mainline to Comber closes

 

Dundonald station is closed. At this time the UTA classified Dundonald as a ‘halt’. This meant although it was still a manned station it did not have a stationmaster of its own. (Instead a foreman or senior porter would have been in charge). Dundonald’s ‘parent’ station was Comber, which also closed at the same time. the last stationmaster being Mr Samuel Johnston.

 

8th July 1953

Stormont government authorises an abandonment order for most of the former BCDR now run by the Ulster Transport Authority

 

1953-55

The track of the former BCDR system is lifted in stages. The section from Quoile Bridge Downpatrick to Ballymacarrett Junction (including Dundonald) was lifted (in that direction) between January and October 1955.

 

Late 1950s/ early 1960s

The bridge over the Comber Road is removed. Some of the embankment (including the easterly end of the platforms) is removed to improve the junction of the Comber and Old Dundonald Roads. The station buildings are also demolished.

 

Early 1970s

 

Entrance to station subway from Comber Road is blocked up and pedestrian footpath link built from Old Dundonald to Comber Road.

 

Feb 2003- March 2004

Knock Valley Relief Sewer laid along former track bed between Ballymacarrett and Dundonald. Traces of station platforms cleared. A new pumping station is built on the Comber Road opposite the former station.

 

 

 

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