At a glance:
Builder: Great Northern Railway (Dundalk Works)
Build date: 1880
Original company: Great Northern Railway
Withdrawal date: 1928
Final company: Belfast & County Down Railway
Arrived at DCDR: 1993
Current status: Stored
Current owner: DCDR

This carriage was one of many six-wheeled third class carriages built by the Great Northern Railway in Dundalk during the 1880s. It was probably among those involved in the tragic Armagh disaster in 1888, which claimed the lives of over 80 people in one of the world’s worst train crashes and led to the mandatory implementation of continuous brakes on all passenger trains. Originally it would have had bare wooden benches and one oil lamp between two compartments – spartan accommodation on a long journey between Dublin and Belfast!

This was one of eight thirds sold to the Belfast and County Down Railway in 1922, but was worn out and withdrawn by 1928. It was sold by the BCDR to a private landowner for use as a ‘granny flat’ at Helen’s Bay, where it remained until it was preserved by our society and taken to Downpatrick in 1993. Unlike our other BCDR coaches which are built to a non-standard longer length, the GNR used the normal length of 30 foot. This meant that we were able easily to put a salvaged MGWR underframe underneath.

This coach is currently pending restoration and stored outside the Carriage Gallery.