Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bushmills in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
 

Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway

 
 
Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 16, 2012
1. Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway Marker
Inscription.

The Giantís Causeway railway provides a passenger link between the historic town of Bushmills and the famous basalt stone columns of the Giantís Causeway World Heritage Site.

The Railway is an interesting heritage experience and travels along a panoramic stretch of coast. The Railway was laid to the Irish narrow gauge of three feet and runs for two miles along the track bed of the former Giantís Causeway Tramway.

From the Bushmillís Railway Station the line passes through the Bushfoot golf course and over the re-installed and extended bridge. It crosses the River Bush and then through the sand dune system of Bushfoot Strand. From this elevated position there are fine views towards Co. Donegal.

The line runs through a lightly wooded area before approaching the traditional styled station, which is just below the Nook Public House and Restaurant. A cycle track (National Cycle Network 93) and a footpath run alongside the line.

The History of the Tram

Recent History

The new Railway utilises equipment originally assembled by Lord OíNeill for a tourist line at Shaneís Castle, County Antrim, which closed in 1994. The idea of using this to revive part of the old tramway was largely conceived and promoted by David Laing. The Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway Company is a
Photo on Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1940s
2. Photo on Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway Marker
[Caption reads] Original tram passing Dunluce Castle
Photographs © Winston Boyce, HťlŤne Byrne and GCBR
not-for-profit organisation with charitable status. Clearance of the track bed commenced at the end of 1999 and the new railway carried its first passengers in 2002.

In the summer of 2010 The Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway took delivery of a customised diesel powered locomotive together with three new coaches capable of accommodating eighty four passengers. These were designed and manufactured by Servern Lamb UK Ltd in Warwickshire.

The line follows the picturesque two mile extension of the original Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Hydro-electric tram route. Both the new locomotive and passenger coaches have been designed to recreate as much as possible the passenger experience of the original hydro-electric tram. This provides a nostalgic journey linking the town of Bushmills to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at The Giantís Causeway.

Originally, a tram line ran from the station to the market yard in the centre of Bushmills. A steam tram was used to transport local produce on this section of the track. Unfortunately this short extension to the line was no longer financially viable in 1890, due to a decline in the mining industry and a drop in local farm production. The extension was only in use for seven years.

William Traill
The original Giantís Causeway Tramway was created by the vision and enthusiasm of Colonel William
Photo on Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1940s
3. Photo on Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway Marker
[Caption reads] Bushmills Main Street
Photographs © Winston Boyce, HťlŤne Byrne and GCBR
Traill of Ballyclough. He was a keen supporter of the railways and kept up to date with engineering and technological developments. Colonel Traill asked the Siemens Company to develop the electric railway at the Giantís Causeway after seeing their display of the first electric railway system at the Berlin Trade Fair in 1879.

Colonel Traill built the generating station at the Walkmills Falls in Bushmills and installed water turbines to produce the necessary electrical power for the tram. The Tramway opened in 1883 and was acclaimed as the first commercially run hydro-electric powered tram system in the world. Although hydro-electric power was used, two Wilkinson Steam Locomotives pulled the carriages most of the time (steam haulage ended in 1916). It originally ran from Portrush to Bushmills with a later extension added to the Giantís Causeway. In 1899 the live rail, which ran alongside the track, was replaced by an overhead electric wire. The Tramway, which was called the first long electric tramway in the world, ran for 65 years before finally closing down in 1949.
 
Location. 55° 12.387′ N, 6° 31.409′ W. Marker is in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, in County Antrim. Marker is on Main Street (A2) just north of the town square, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 54 Main Street, Bushmills, Northern Ireland BT57 8QA, United Kingdom.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sgt. Robert Quigg (within shouting distance of this marker); World Wars Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Alphabet Angel (within shouting distance of this marker); Bushmills History & Heritage (about 180 meters away, measured in a direct line); Hamill Terrace (approx. half a kilometer away); Dunluce Castle (approx. 3.5 kilometers away); Dunseverick Castle (approx. 5.9 kilometers away); Carrick-a-Rede (approx. 12.7 kilometers away). Click for a list of all markers in Bushmills.
 
Also see . . .
1. Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway. (Submitted on December 20, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Giantís Causeway and Bushmills Railway at YouTube. (Submitted on December 20, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. The Giant's Causeway Tram. (Submitted on December 20, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 474 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement