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Picture of BCDR train





Spring 1845

Formation of the Belfast and County Down Railway Company


6th May 1850

Opening day for 12 miles of single track from Belfast Queen’s Quay to Newtownards


Stations have been built at:


Belfast Queen’s Quay, Knock, Dundonald, Comber and Newtownards


On opening day Dundonald Station has a single platform and a wooden station building accessible from the Old Dundonald Road.


The Ulster Banner reported on 7th May 1850 “The carriages are comfortable, and set on easy springs, and despite of the newness of the embankments and other works, they moved along with great steadiness. There were two open lorries attached to each train, from the corners of which flags of gaudy colours waved in the breeze during its progress; and along the line, in various places, banners were conspicuously visible. At Dundonald, retired though the locality be, there were crowds assembled to witness the carriages advancing on each occasion; while at Comber , as may be readily supposed, a much greater number of persons came together with a similar view. The station at the former place is a small wooden building, with platform; that in Comber is necessarily more commodious and substantial in appearance. The Dundonald station is some short distance from the village, a glance at which is obtained from the carriages while approaching, at an angle that lends effect to a locality common-place enough when closely viewed.



The number of trips taken to Comber and Dundonald, as well as Belfast and back, by the people of that neighbourhood, was very great, hundreds taking occasion to drop down on their friends in these localities, now that they were, in their own expressive dialect, able to perform the journey in a ‘wheen ‘o minutes’.“



New station built at Bloomfield (Beersbridge Road)



The platform at Dundonald station is extended in length. The original platform could accommodate 8 carriages and the new 12 carriages. The work is finished in time for the 12th July 1889 at a cost of £32.


Telegraph is installed in Dundonald station.



New station built at Neill’s Hill (Sandown Road)









The line from Belfast to Comber is doubled


A new down platform and wooden waiting shelter are constructed at Dundonald. Access to the station buildings is given from the Comber Road via a new subway under the tracks.


The platforms at Knock and Dundonald are lengthened to accommodate double trains. The platforms at Dundonald are now 646ft long


Signalling is introduced and Dundonald becomes a block post.



A new larger Station Master’s house is built. The contractor was Messr. Wm Gordon who submitted a tender of £217/6/-. The design and builder are also used for the Crossgar Station Master’s house.


The old Station Master’s house is used to house Porters.



The old Station Master’s house is converted for other station purposes.



Crossovers are built at the up end (Belfast side) of the Dundonald platforms to allow local trains to reverse and switch lines.



Although never handling any large amounts of freight, a new goods siding is built behind the up platform. This includes a roadway to allow carts to get along-side 6 wagons. The total cost of the work is £418/11s/10d.


Improvements are made to utilising some vacant rooms in the station buildings. The cost for new furniture is £50. A new booking office is completed allowing the old one to be demolished and further alterations to be completed.



Permission is granted to the Nation Telephone Company to erect a ‘Call Office’ at the station.



Local farmers and cattle dealers apply to the company for provision of a cattle beaching to aid the loading and unloading of cattle at the goods siding. A cattle beaching accommodating 2 wagons is built in November 1904. This was located at the furthest end of the goods siding (from the station).



A bathroom and bath are provided in the Station Master’s house at a cost of £10.



A Post Office wall letterbox is erected at the station.



The bridge over the Comber Road (Bridge Number 64) is renewed.



The crossover is removed.



Signalling work at Knock and Comber is carried out to permit Dundonald cabin to be closed. The cabin continues to be switched in at times of heavy traffic right up until closure.




Mains electricity extended to Dundonald. Station connected to the new supply dispensing with the small plant and battery that had been used to provide power for the lights.


8th July 1938

In an accident at Dundonald station milesman Thomas Walker is killed after being struck by a down train.



Stationmaster’s house is supplied with mains water. Until now both the house and the station have been served by a pump supply at the side of the station.


Shortly after mains water is supplied a W.C. and wash basin are installed in the stationmaster’s house.



BCDR is nationalised and becomes part of the Ulster Transport Authority


15th Jan 1950

Mainline to Comber closes


Dundonald station is closed. At this time the UTA classified Dundonald as a ‘halt’. This meant although it was still a manned station it did not have a stationmaster of its own. (Instead a foreman or senior porter would have been in charge). Dundonald’s ‘parent’ station was Comber, which also closed at the same time. the last stationmaster being Mr Samuel Johnston.


8th July 1953

Stormont government authorises an abandonment order for most of the former BCDR now run by the Ulster Transport Authority



The track of the former BCDR system is lifted in stages. The section from Quoile Bridge Downpatrick to Ballymacarrett Junction (including Dundonald) was lifted (in that direction) between January and October 1955.








The bridge over the Comber Road is removed.


Locals complain that the former station has become an eyesore and wish for it to be demolished.


In July an advert in the Belfast Telegraoh advertised for tenders to demolish the station building.



Late 50s/ early 60s

Some of the embankment (including the easterly end of the platforms) is removed to improve the junction of the Comber and Old Dundonald Roads.


Early 1970s


Entrance to station subway from Comber Road is blocked up and pedestrian footpath link built from Old Dundonald to Comber Road.


Feb 2003- March 2004

Knock Valley Relief Sewer laid along former track bed between Ballymacarrett and Dundonald. Traces of station platforms cleared. A new pumping station is built on the Comber Road opposite the former station.



Comber greenway officially opened on 8 November 2008.