Holywood - Bangor Railway Line
 
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It will be the 150th anniversary of the Holywood - Bangor Railway Line on 18th May 2015 and we want you to join in the celebrations for this historic milestone with a trip by train along this scenic North Down route.
 
 
Tell us what the Bangor railway line means to you...
Tweet #smartmovers and tell us your Bangor railway line stories and why not send us a pic of you on board the service!
 
 
Celebration Weekend

The actual railway line anniversary is May 18th, so why not travel by train that weekend and join the fun in Bangor:
Saturday 16th May 2015

  • Continental Market
  • Ards and North Down Pipe Band Championships, 11am - 6pm
  • Entertainment in Bangor Bus & Rail Centre, 2 - 4pm

Sunday 17th May 2015

  • Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) steam train excursion: Belfast - Bangor

Belfast Central Station departures 11.15am and 1.15pm
This is an RPSI event and tickets must be booked in advance from Steam Trains Ireland or Belfast Welcome Centre tel. 028 9024 6609.
Steam train tickets cannot be purchased through Translink.

 
 
Bangor Railway Line Today - Key Facts
• 89% growth in passenger journeys
  over the past decade
• over 2.87 million passenger journeys made
  in 2014/15
• 100 services per day
  between Bangor - Belfast (counting both directions, Mon -Fri). Mixture of express and stoppers
• 6 departures per hour
  during morning and evening peak hours
 
 
 
 
Railway Line History
Local historian and author Robin Masefield provides an insightful overview of the railway line's past...
 
 
 
Top reasons to visit North Down by Train
Visitor Attraction
Holywood Town Centre
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Station/Stop
Holywood

Holywood is a town with a rich and diverse heritage. The establishment of a monastic settlement in the 7th century at the site of the old priory church was when the first recorded reference to Holywood was made. In the mid 19th century, when the railway was extended along the North Down coastline, Holywood became the residence for Belfast's industrial elite who built magnificent mansions in the surrounding area. Holywood is also proud that its maypole is the only surviving one in Ireland and is still used every year on May Day.

Today, the town also boasts speciality shops, giftware, fashion boutiques, florists, delicatessens, craft shops, galleries and a range of top quality cafes, pubs and restaurants. In recent years, it's also made the headlines as the home town of world number one golfer Rory McIlroy and BBC's The Fall actor Jamie Dornan.

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
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Station/Stop
Cultra

Chat to costumed visitor guides as they demonstrate traditional crafts and meet farm animals in the beautiful parkland of the Folk Museum.

Discover more than 500 original artefacts at TITANICa including the technical drawings used to build Titanic and the Kimono Lady Duff Gordon was wearing as she was rescued. Then step aboard majestic steam locomotives and explore horse drawn carriages, electric trams, boats, motorbikes, fire-engines and vintage cars in the Transport Museum.

Crawfordsburn Country Park
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Station/Stop
Crawfordsburn

Head for Ulster's most popular country parks to relish its 3.5km of lovely beaches and riverside rambles that form part of the North Down Coastal Path.  With two excellent beaches, spectacular scenery and views across Belfast Lough, tranquil walks through peaceful meadows and wooded glens and a stunning waterfall, Crawfordsburn Country Park provides a relaxing natural retreat.

Hedgehogs, squirrels and badgers are just some of the animals which make their home in the woodland glen and when walking along the coastal paths look out for seals frolicking in the waves.

One of the way marked nature trails takes walkers through a deep wooded glen to the waterfall near The Old Inn, (Ireland's oldest hotel, established in 1614) in lovely Crawfordsburn village via a towering railway viaduct.

The excellent Visitor Centre has exhibitions on the parks wildlife and provides free way marked Trail maps. The panoramic cafe is famed for home-style cooking. This park is a great natural treasure.

Grey Point
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Station/Stop
Cultra

Situated in Helen's Bay, Crawfordsburn, Grey Point Fort houses a most unusual hands-on military museum. It also hosts a number of special commemorative events during the year.

The Fort was completed in 1907 with at its heart two massive 6 inch diameter guns which commanded the entrance to Belfast Lough. While a key part of Belfast's defences against naval attack, it proved of limited value during the German air attacks on the city in 1941. There are still two magnificent 23 feet long guns. Visitors can also see the original observation post and three searchlight positions.

Volunteers have created a great museum of military memorabilia, including medals, uniforms, photographs and weaponry from the First and Second World Wars. There is also a unique collection of radio equipment, together with a section devoted to the Titanic.

Expert guides are on hand to assist visitors of all ages.

No admission to unaccompanied children under 16.

Pickie Funpark
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Station/Stop
Bangor

Recently redeveloped, the funpark provides a mix of old and new favourite attractions: the ever popular Pickie Puffer and giant pedal boat swans sit alongside an 18 hole maritime themed mini-golf course, electric car track, splash pads and a Pirate themed Play Park - the perfect combination for a fun-filled family excursion!

Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex
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Station/Stop
Bangor

Situated in the heart of Bangor, this fantastic new facility features 3 swimming pools, leisure waters and extensive gym facilities. The leisure waters are home to flumes, waves, inflatable fun and Northern Ireland's only ‘Sidewinder' aquatic ride!

Open all year: Mon - Fri 6.30am - 10pm, Sat 7am - 8pm, Sun 8am - 8pm
Public Holidays 9am - 6pm

Castlepark Avenue, Bangor, Tel 9127 0271

North Down Museum and Bangor Castle Walled Garden
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Station/Stop
Bangor

Compelted in 1852, Bangor Castle is an elegant mansion in the Elizabethan - Jacobean revival style and home to the award-winning walled garden offering 2.5 acres of prestige horticulture.

The displays in North Down Museum reflect the pivotal role nearby Bangor Abbey held in early Christian Ireland and throughout Europe. There's also nostalgic displays on Bangor's early days as a resort plus a mini cinema that combine with temporary exhibitions to make this a ‘must' for all ages.

Open Tues - Sat, 10am - 4.30pm, Sunday, 12noon - 4.30pm
Also open Mondays during July & August plus Bank Holidays.

Castlepark Avenue, Bangor, Tel 91271200

 
 
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NEW BOOK - Be Careful, Don't Rush
Be Careful, Don't Rush can be obtained from outlets and booksellers in North Down, as well as from www.booksireland.org.uk . Price at £10 - all profits will go to charities based in Bangor and Holywood.

 

Available to purchase from: Stewart Millers in Holywood, Bangor and Newtownards; Easons in Bangor; at Ards and North Down Council outlets eg the North Down Museum and Tower House TIC in Bangor; at the Spar garage in Crawfordsburn, at Square Cut and Deborah Harper in Helen's Bay.

 
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The book records stories of the railway's construction, its impact on the two towns, its locomotives and operation, and the lives of its builders, passengers, and staff. Pictured is author Robin Masefield.
 
 
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