Continuing our Thursday Doors walk around the town of Belturbet, lets keep going until we reach the end of the line. On the way to our destination Mr. R. spotted something on the side of the old railway bridge that spans the Erne river.
If you look closely you’ll see a duck beneath those brambles. I had to check online to see if ducks make nests so high and found out they sometimes do, especially if it’s near water. At least the ducklings will have a soft landing when it comes time to leave home.
Instead of walking around Turbet Island we’ll head in the opposite direction, in search of the end of the line. It’s a beautiful trail that takes us on a pathway through the fields on the outskirts of the town.
I don’t think that gate has been closed recently.
There aren’t many houses along the way so it’s worth taking a peek through the trees at this one. It’s in such a beautiful setting.
Have we reached the end of the line yet?
It does say ‘LINE’ on that old metal container but I think we might have a bit to go, yet.
Our journey brings us past the old water tower.
It’s a very long platform, isn’t it? Are you tired yet?
I think we’ve finally reached the end. Well, the end of this line but there’s another one nearby.
Two different rail systems ran through this station – a broad gauge and a narrow one.
The sun is shining, the birds are singing so let’s take in what’s around us for a minute or two.
Passengers would board and disembark at this section here. You can see an engine and a carriage behind the wire mesh. I wasn’t tall enough to get a clear shot above it. The reason everything is closed right now is partly due to the pandemic but also to keep the public safe while some maintenance work is being carried out.
Some wagons are not quite as healthy looking as that red one. You can see the bare bones of them in the next couple of images. The good news is, there is a plan for their restoration.
However, the goods store is in great shape, thanks to the Belturbet Community Development Association.
In the next photo you can see where the railway turntable was located. This was a device for turning railway stock, usually a locomotive, in order to face them back in the direction they came from, for a return journey.
I found an old photograph on Wikimedia of what the station looked like in its working days. There’ll be a link to some more history and old images at the end of this post. (1)
‘The trains were often so slow that intending passengers could walk alongside and simply hop aboard. Tickets were issued wherever they got on the train. The schedules were often nominal, as train crews were liable to stop along the way and have chats with friends and neighbours. One inspector of the rails carried a gun so that he could go wild-fowling when he was not attending to his duties.‘ (More stories can be found on link number 2)
Belturbet station was opened in 1885 by the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) Company and closed in 1959. Let’s take a walk to the front of the station and see what greeted passengers as they arrived to board their train.
It’s a beautiful cut stone building with a stationmaster’s house attached.
What a great place to live (if you like trains). Most people living by a railway line will tell you they’ve become accustomed to the noise. We once moved to a town with a nearby airport and after a few weeks didn’t even notice the sound of planes landing and taking off.
The station is now a visitor centre and museum.
Here’s some more information on the history of the station.
Thanks for chugging along with me this week. Dan has lots of interesting doors to explore over on his blog. Next week’s Thursday Doors will feature the last part of our tour around the town, so we haven’t quite reached the end of that line yet.
All Aboard (2)