[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1873
Location: On the west side of the level crossing at the junction of a minor road with the A2
Company on opening: Belfast and Northern Counties Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.10.1976
Date closed completely: 1.10.1976
Company on closing: Northern Ireland Railways
Present state: The station building and platform are both extant and in good condition. There is a nameboard on the platform side of the building although it's unclear if it is original.
County: Londonderry
OS Grid Ref: IC707345
Date of visit: 31.5.2006

Notes: During the Great Famine of the 1840's two railways were built from Derry. The Londonderry & Coleraine Railway was built as far as Coleraine and it later joined up with the Coleraine to Belfast line. The line was leased to the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway in 1861. In 1855 a short lived standard gauge horse drawn tramway was opened from the L & C from Magilligan to Magilligan Point between July and October that year.

Belfast and Northern Counties Railway opened the first halt on the line at Magilligan in 1873. The line was amalgamated with the Midland Railway in 1903, becoming the Midland Railway (Northern Counties Committee).The line was amalgamated into the London Midland & Scottish Railway under the 1923 grouping. Following nationalisation the line came under the control of The Railway Executive (Northern Counties Committee) 1948 -1949 and then The Ulster Transport Authority (1949 - 1966). The UTA was split in 1966 with railways coming under the control of Northern Ireland Railways. Towards the end of the station's life, it was used for prison visits to the nearby HMP Magilligan.

Having closed in 1976 the station was used on at least one occasion subsequently. There was an unadvertised stop on 14 July 1993 to allow a group of children to board.

Having stood derelict for many years the listed station building has now been converted into a guest house, including the signal box which is incorporated into the west end of the station building. The Coleraine - Londonderry line is still open.

Magilligan Halt c1973 a few years before closure.
hoto by Robin Parkes

On 22 September 1976 the 14:45 York Road - Londonderry service arrives at Magilligan Halt, four weeks before closure. The train, carrying Northern Ireland Railways neat logo on its front, is a 70 Class Diesel Electric Multiple-Unit (DEMU), also known as the 'River' Class due to the naming of the power cars. Driving Motor No. 78 'River Bann' faces the camera. These units were normally formed into 3-car sets but were sometimes formed of five cars with a Driving Motor at each end. The Driving Trailers had a gangway connection with driving cab to one side, thus coupling of units was similar to BR's 79xxx and Class 126 Swindon Inter-City units. The 70 Class was in many respects similar to BR Southern Region's DEMU sets, popularly referred to as 'Thumpers', and indeed used the same equipment including the English Electric 4SRKT engine. Underframes were also bought-in and the 70 Class was erected at the, then, Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) workshops at York Road, Belfast. These were the final trains to be built in Northern Ireland, with the first unit appearing in July 1966, which happened to be the final year of the UTA's existence. The final 70 Class unit, another five car formation, ran on 1 April 1986 but the end for the class was by no means glamorous. Car No. 78, seen here, was a victim of an IRA bomb and withdrawn in 1978. The remaining power cars, there were originally eight in total, had their equipment removed for reuse in the British Rail Engineering built 450 Class while the underframes were reused, or intended to be reused, as flat wagons. The remaining bodies of the power cars now reside in the flooded former Crosshill Quarry, Crumlin, County Antrim. The reason was the presence of blue asbestos. The bodies were not simply dumped into the water; there was some pre-submergence preparation but sources vary as to precisely what form this took. Of the trailer cars, three avoided scrapping to pass into preservation but one of those was subsequently destroyed in an arson attack although its underframe survives. The other two comprise buffet No. 550 and Trailer Standard No. 728, both of which had been conversions from other types of vehicle.
Copyright photo by Jonathan Allen from his Flickr photostream

On 14 July 1993 an unadvertised stop was made at the closed station to allow a group of children to board.
Photo by Alan Young

Magilligan Halt looking east in May 2006. The signal box is incorporated into the west end of the station building.
hoto by Nick Catford

Magilligan Halt in May 2006
hoto by Nick Catford

Magilligan Halt in May 2010 after the station had been sold and converted into a private residence.
Photo by Rossographer, reproduced from Geograph under creative commons licence

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Nick Catford]

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