I quote from a great book …The Belfast and County Down Railway by Desmond Coakham …
‘A short distance beyond Clandeboye the railway crossed the picturesque Crawfordsburn Glen on a handsome five arch viaduct of rusticated sandstone. . It spanned 288ft between abutments and rail level was 46ft above the surface of the burn. The last keystone of the viaduct was formally set on 13 February 1864. On the north side othe arch nearest Bangor it carries the Masonic square and dividers above the inscription " this stone was set by WHS Crawford Esq, February 1864.’
When I was a school boy. I had to travel from just outside Holywood to Bangor (Co Down of course) to school, usually by bus, but on occasion by train .. especially if I spotted a steamer on the way as it passed Kinnegar Halt. The bus would stop in Redburn Square, and if I was lucky I had about 60 seconds to run like the clappers into Holywood station ..flash my travel pass at the ticket collector and … jump into the past.. (I still live in the past by the way!) This was the early sixties, and although the line from Belfast to Bangor was mainly diesel stock, sometimes a steam engine and antiquaited carriages where pressed into service if they had breakdown or other problems. I wished for breakdowns everyday! Wonderful old wood panelled compartment carriages with pictures of Northern Ireland on the walls above the upholstered seats and the wonderful fusty smell of age…add that to slide down windows that I could stick my head out and suck in the smoke from the ‘puffer’ up front …heaven! High spot of the trip? …..Crossing Crawfordsburn Viaduct! High over the tops of the woodland .. this was early day adventure park …daring myself and mates to see how long they could look down over edge..eyes shut is chicken! Oh ‘Health and Safety’ how did i survive?
Built in 1864 by the Belfast and County Down Railway, to carry the carry the rich and poor,common folk and lords.
On a foggy morning on the 10th January 1945 there was a fatal accident at Ballymacarrett in East Belfast. A railmotor train from Holywood collided with the 7.10 am train from Bangor which was stopped awaiting a signal change. 22 people were killed and a further 24 people injured. The enquiry into the accident placed the blame on the driver of the railmotor for travelling too fast for the poor visibility and also on the company’s rules relating to the passing of signals at ‘danger’
A railmotor, by the way is a steam engine with a carriage attached .. a bit like a steam bus on rails.
and I do have to say .. I had nothing to do with the accident ..I wasn’t around until 1949