Lisburn–Antrim line

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Lisburn to Antrim line
Ballinderry station - - 2584285.jpg
The closed station at Ballinderry
TypeCommuter rail
Regional rail
Heavy rail
SystemNI Railways
StatusClosed to passenger services
LocaleNorthern Ireland
Stations6 prior to closure
ClosedJune 2003
Operator(s)NI Railways
Number of tracksSingle-track with passing loops.
Track gauge1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) Irish gauge
Operating speed70 mph (110 km/h)
Route map

Belfast-Newry railway line
to Dunmurry, Great Victoria Street, Lanyon Place
Lisburn Belfast-Dublin railway line Belfast-Newry railway line
Belfast-Newry railway line
to Lurgan, Portadown, Newry
Meetinghouse Halt
Millar's Bridge Halt
Belfast-Derry railway line
to Mossley West, Belfast Central, Great Victoria Street
Antrim Belfast-Derry railway line
Belfast-Derry railway line
to Ballymena, Coleraine, Londonderry Waterside

The Lisburn–Antrim line is a 20-mile (32 km) railway line of Northern Ireland Railways. It links Knockmore Junction on the Belfast–Newry line with Antrim on the Belfast–Derry line. It has been closed to passenger service since 2003.


The line opened in 1871 as the Dublin and Antrim Junction Railway.[1] The train service on the line was provided by the Ulster Railway until 1876, and by the Ulster Railway's successor the Great Northern Railway thereafter.[2] In 1879 the D&A Junction ceased to be a separate company and was absorbed by the GNR.[2]

Current status[edit]

The line is currently closed to passengers after all rail services were withdrawn from the line in June 2003. The stations at Knockmore, Ballinderry, Glenavy and Crumlin have all been closed.

Translink's reason for closing the line was that it was unable to maintain two routes to Antrim economically. The Bleach Green–Antrim line, which had been closed since 1978, was reopened in 2001, providing a faster route between Belfast Central, Antrim and Londonderry. Translink operated a skeleton service on the line, but then gave notice that it would be shut.

The route is still maintained and is used for crew training and train diversions, for example, for passenger services on 9 and 23 October 2011 when there were weekend engineering works at Mossley West. Speculation remains that the line could one day re-open under plans to operate a Belfast — Lisburn — Antrim — Belfast circular route, with the possibility of a station for Belfast International Airport which is close to the line at Aldergrove.

Translink's future plans include re-opening this line, allowing trains from Derry to run once per hour on an alternating pattern between Bleach Green and Knockmore.

In 2012, a section of railway embankment, weakened by weather near Knockmore, gave way as a train was about to pass over. The driver managed to stop and reverse the train away without incident. The embankment has since been repaired.[3][4]

In January 2015, the two passing loops on the line, at Crumlin and Ballinderry, were decommissioned and removed, leaving no more passing points on the line.[5]

On Monday 12 September 2016, the Democratic Unionist Party announced that they would propose a motion to re-open the line as part of an Airport Link. It could mean that services could resume on the line in the near future. It would likely mean that Knockmore would be replaced by the new Lisburn West station at the site of the old SERC building a little further down the line.


  1. ^ Hajducki, 1974, pages 5, 9
  2. ^ a b Hajducki, 1974, page xiii
  3. ^ "Passengers escape injury over damaged railway". BBC News. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Rail Accident Report 14/2013: Train ran onto a washed-out embankment near Knockmore, Northern Ireland". RAIB. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  5. ^ "NEWS TRANSLINK - NORTHERN IRELAND RAILWAYS". IRRS. February 2015. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)


External links[edit]