Ballymena & Larne Railway 1877 - 1889


The line from Larne to Ballyclare opened in 1877. The Ballyboley to Ballymena line opened in August 1878. The railway originally terminated at Harryville on the outskirts of Ballymena; in 1880 the line was extended to Ballymena's main line (Belfast and Northern Counties Railway (B&NCR)) station, where it also made a connection with the Ballymena, Cushendall and Red Bay Railway. The extension from Ballyclare to Doagh opened in 1884. The line's original steam locomotives were built by Beyer Peacock of Manchester to a design similar to those built for the Isle of Man Railway. By the late 1880s the County Antrim iron ore industry was already in decline. The railway experienced financial difficulties and was taken over by the B&NCR in July 1889.