This film is part of Free

Full Steam Ahead to Dublin

Take a stroll through a forgotten Belfast on your way to catch the steam train to Dublin. Experience the city centre before it is reshaped by violence and regeneration.

Amateur film 1966 11 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


Return to 1966 with Peter, filmed by his father A. H. Martin. Green UTA buses jostle for position with electric trolleybuses led by their antenna. Travel up York St past the Conor Hall. Look up from the altered shops and Belfast is still recognisable. Turn into a radically changed Great Victoria St, only the Grand Opera House remains. Board a steam train and speed across the border to Dublin. Familiar landmarks flit by until the Boyne viaduct signals this journey is near an end.

Introduced in 1947 the Enterprise connected Belfast and Dublin with a non-stop service. The last 'official' steam train travelled between the two capital cities on 29th October 1966. In this same year UTA split into three state-owned companies. The Belfast trolleybus system was the second largest in the UK and the only one in Ireland, ending two years after this film. Built on the site of a former linen mill in 1848, Great Victoria Street was Belfast’s first railway terminus. Two years after this film it was demolished and the Europa Hotel took its place. In April 1976 the final rails were removed. There would be no railway services from here for nearly 20 years, until the present station opened in 1995.