Belfast & County Down Railway 1846 - 1948
The railway scheme came into being with 'a meeting of parties favourable to the promotion of a railway to Holywood, Comber and Newtownards' in February 1845, held in the Donegall Arms Hotel, Belfast, and the company itseld was incorporated in 26 June 1846. Invested in the Downpatrick, Dundrum and Newcastle Railway in 1868, becoming its parent company, and taking it over entirely in 1869. In 1946 the Northern Ireland Government announced that it was planning to bring the Northern Ireland Road Transport Board, the BCDR and the LMS (NCC) under one body to be known as the Ulster Transport Authority. The UTA came into being in September 1948 and the independent life of the railways was ended, except for the Great Northern which was not absorbed for ten years due to the complex legal arrangements of its cross-border nature.