Northern Counties Committee/Ulster Transport Authority
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In 1903 the Midland Railway acquired the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway, but it was operated by a separate Committee which consisted of some Midland Railway and some Irish directors. This semi-independent system of management was perpetuated by the LMS. Whatsoever may be thought about the state or State of Northern Ireland it is obviously impossible to consider either the Midland Railway or the LMS in comprehensive terms without considering the NCC. Locomotive development in Ulster tended to follow the parent company's policy, especially after the formation of the LMS. One interesting feature of this was that Stanier's designs were not adapted for use in Ireland and both the W and WT classes were based on the Fowler 2-6-4T locomotive: coned boilers were not adopted by the NCC.

See also Sentinel locomotive (No. 91) operated by NCC

Aberfalcon, pseud. The locomotives of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway, Northern Counties Committee. Rly Obsr., 1936, 8, 81-5. 3 illus.
Currie, J.R.L. The Northern Counties Railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1973/4. 2 vols.
The second volume notes that the narrow gauge lines are mainly excluded as these were covered by Patterson. Third volume, which would have covered locomotives & rolling stock was never completed. .
Gairns, J.F. Northern Counties Section (Ireland), L.M.S.R.. Rly Mag., 1924, 54, 421- 37. 12 illus. (incl. 2 ports.), 2 tables, map.
Includes a complete stock list.
Liddle, L.H. Steam finale a review of present-day steam traction on Irish railways. Harrow (Middlesex), Irish Railway Record Society (London Area), 1964. [vii , 66 p. + 8 plates. 17 illus., (incl. line drawings s. el.), 5 tables, map.
Performance and general locomotive working in the UTA area. Tables of locomotives extant in 1964.
The LOCOMOTIVES of the Northern Counties Committee, L.M.S.R.. Rly Mag., 1931, 68, 468-9. table.
Stock list with leading dimensions.
Nock, O.S. The locomotives of the L.M.S.R., N.C.C. Section. Rly Mag., 1937, 80, 340-9: 1937, 81, 118-27. 25 illus., 5 tables.
Locomotive development plus some details of performance including that of two-cylinder compound No. 57 Galgorm Castle..        
Patterson, E.M. The Ballymena lines: a history of the narrow gauge railways of North East Ireland. Part 2. 1968.
Patterson, E.M. An Ulster round trip. Rly Mag., 1950, 96, 801-4. 3 illus., map.
Footplate observations by an amateur enthusiast.
Radford, J.B.
Derby Works and Midland locomotives: the story of the works, its men, and the locomotives they built. London: Ian Allan, 1971. 239pp. + plates.
Very important source of biographical material and of information about most Derby-built locomotives, including those built at Derby for the NCC..
Rutherford, Michael. Northern Counties Committee - the LMS in Ireland. Railway Reflections [No. 46]. Backtrack, 1998, 12, 564-72.
Surveys development of railways in Ireland, and the eventual involvement of the Midland Railway. Also notes the involvement of the LNWR in the Dublin & South Eastern Railway and how the LMS came to be represented on the Great Southern Railways of Ireland, and how the LNWR had nearly obtained a stake in the MGWR. The LNWR had its own facilities at North Wall in Dublin. Locomotive development on the NCC tended to be an improvement upon Derby practice: notably the magnificent 2-6-0s. GNR(I) between Strabane & Londonderry is stated as being on incorrect side of Foyle (see Readers' Forum page 688). illus.: Map; Northern Counties Committee lines; NCC headquarters at York Road Belfast; NCC engine shed at York Road Belfast; NCC engines nos. 51 and 56; Ballymena station; NCC engine no 101; A narrow gauge 8 ton hopper wagon; NCC engine no 70 in dismantled condition for transport purposes; NCC loco no 74 Dunluce Castle; The Greenisland loop viaducts; NCC loco no 90; NCC petrol driven railcar no 1 and trailer; NCC headquarters at York Road Belfast following clean up after a WW2 bombing; The wooden roof of York Road caught fire and fell on top of rolling stock in 1942,; As a result, the NCC was very short of rolling stock so the old goods; NCC No 7;
Scott, William. Locomotives of the LMS NCC and its predecessors. Newtownards: Colourpoint, 2008. 192pp. Bibliog.
Richly illustrated. Includes some very interesting photographs of Royal Train used by the Duke and Duchess of York in July 1924 and by HM the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in her Coronation year. The Festival is also illustrated. Locomotive weight distribution diagrams of more recent classes. This is a seminal source and this page is the process of reconstruction to reflect this..
Wallace, W.K. Modern British railway practice. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1927, 33, 369-72.
Abstract of an address presented to the Belfast Association of Engineers, by the NCC's Chief Engineer. Most of the paper is concerned with British, as distinct from Irish, development.


Londonderry & Coleraine Railway.
This line was closely related to the Londonderry & Enniskillen Railway which became part of the Great Northern Railway and possibly shared an order placed with Longridge for long-boiler locomotives of the 2-4-0 type. Six small 2-2-0WT Sharp Stewart WN 716-19 and 722-3 were supplied, but No. 719 was sent to the Dublin International Exhibition of 1853 and was purchased by the Newry & Enniskillen Railway. Scott is incertain about their original running numbers, but No. 4 derailed at Rosses Bay when working the Mail on 14 March 1855. The unsteady ride led to some being fitted with a trailing axle and becoming 2-2-2WT. The five remaining became BNCR No. 28-32. No. 28 was sold to the contractor Greg in 1871
A 2-2-2WT was purchased from the Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine & Portrush Junction Railway. This locomotive had been built by Fairbairn in 1855 and was bought in 1858-9. A Grendon 0-4-2 was acquired in 1859, becoming L&CR No. 8 and BNCR No. 33. One Fairbairn was on order at the time of the takeover and this became BNCR No. 34. Robert Fairlie was locomotive superintendent in 1853-4 and Scott wonders whether his later articulated locomotives stemmed from back-to-back working of the Sharps...

Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine & Portrush Junction Railway
William Dargan advised on locomotive purchases. The line possessed seven locomotives of two classes onn takeover by the BNCR. RN 1-4 were Sharp Stewart 2-2-2 and became BNCR Nos. 20-3. RN 5-7 were Fairbairn 2-2-2WT and became BNCR No.s 24-5. No. 21 was rebuilt with a new boiler in 1870 and survived until 1893. Nos. 20, 22 and 23 were rebuilt as 2-4-0s and received new boilers becoming BNCR Class H. No. 22 was scrapped in 1877 following the Moylene collision. No. 20 survived until 1904. No. 25 was rebuilt as a small 2-4-0 in 1867 and withdrawn in 1883.

Belfast & Ballymena Railway
William Dargan was contractor and acquired Spitfire (originally a Sharp Roberts 2-2-2 WN 57/1839) from the Ulster Railway in September 1847. By this time it had been rebuilt as a 2-2-2WT in 1842, probably by Coates & Young of Belfast, and was presumably of the Irish standard gauge rather than the Ulster Railway 6ft 2in gauge. It was renamed Hawk in December 1847 (when a new Sharp to have been named Hawk was sent to the Ulster Railway as "Spitfire". Hawk became No. 1 and was rebuilt as a 2-4-0WT in 1854 with 5ft 6in coupled wheels and withdrawn in 1863 and was sold to Thomas Firth, Locomotive Engineer and used on the Belfast, Holywood & Bangor Railway. Subsequently, it was used by John Killeen contractor on the Kilmesan to Athboy section of the Dublin & Meath Railway and by French & Cheyne on the Midland Counties & Shannon Junction Railway. It was sold for scrap at Broadstone in 1872. Scott acknowledges R.N. Clements for this saga.
Alexander Yorston was Locomotive Superintendent from 1849 to 1868
Edward Leigh (from the Newry & Armagh Railway) followed him from 1868-75

Bury Curtis & Kennedy locomotives
Delivered in October 1847. Four 2-2-2 and one 0-4-2. Typical Bury products with bar frames. Scott records that 42 of the type worked on Irish railways mainly 2-2-2 and cites Bury preserved at Cork.
0-4-2 Vulcan No.2
2-2-2 Gladiator No.3
2-2-2 Hercules No. 4
2-2-2 Queen No. 5
2-2-2 Prince No. 6
No. 3 was rebuilt at Grendons in 1868 with new boilers, cylinders and frames

Sharp engines
Five locomotives were ordered from Sharp Brothers in 1847. One was sent to the Ulster Railway to replace Spitfire. Three 2-2-2s were named Falcon, Swallow and Kite. An 0-4-2 Eagle eventually No. 11 exploded in 1857

Belfast & Northern Counties Railway

Sekon, G.A. Evolution of the steam locomotive. 1899. pp. 321-2.
Compound 2-4-0 No. 51 fitted with Holden system of oil firing.

2-cylinder compound 4-4-0 No. 50 Jubilee (B. Malcolm Restreven class)

Tender locomotives


V: 1923: Wallace

SUPERHEATER locomotives for the London, Midland and Scottish Ry., Northern Counties Committee. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1924, 30, 40-1. 2 illus., Addenda p. 102.


Radford, J.B. Derby Works and Midland locomotives. 1971. page 163.
Order O/5649 was for three 0-6-0 superheated goods tender engines of the V class, for the NCC numbered 71-73 and quickly renumbered 13-15. They had 5ft 2½in diameter driving wheels at 7ft 5in + 7ft 10in centres and inside cylinders 19in diameter by 24in stroke, inclined at 1 in 9 to the horizontal, driven by 8in diameter piston valves. Working pressure was 170psi, and the heating surface was originally 1,1,58.5ft2. The grate area was 18.6ft2. A six wheeled tender of 2,090gal water capacity and 6 tons coal capacity was provided, with outside springing above the footplate.


Two-cylinder compounds: Derby: 1905

Radford noted four 4-4-0 two-cylinder compound tender locomotives, Nos 63-6, built at Derby to orders 2833 and 2834 (tenders) in July, 1904. The driving wheels were 6ft diameter. The boiler had 1,054 ft2 heating surface, firebox 112 ft2 totalling 1166ft2 and was pressed to 190psi. The two inside cylinders were 18 x 24in (high pressure) and 26 x 24in (low pressure).

U class: 1914
Radford (page 150) noted that Nos 69 and 70 were built to O/4369 (engines) and O/4370 (tenders). These had 6ft diameter driving wheels. The inside cylinders were 19in diameter x 24in stroke and were driven by 8in diameter piston valves operated through inside Walschaerts valve gear. The boiler pressed to 170psi and was superheated.

New engines for the Northern Counties Committee, Ireland. Locomotive Mag., 1914, 20, 123-4.

U2: 1924:
This class, should be credited to William Kelly Wallace and NOT based on Fowler's modernized 2P class. (e-mail from Chris Aspinwall) It originally consisted of ten new locomotives. These were constructed at Derby, but the class was supplemented by a number of earlier locomotives modified to conform with the new design.

NEW express engines, L.M.S.R.-Northem Counties Committee. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1924, 30, 295-6. illus., diagr. (s. el.)
NEW 4-4-0 locomotive, L.M.S.R. (Northern Counties Section), Ireland. Rly Mag., 1924, 55, 314. illus.

1926: U class No. 70 rebuilt as a U2 type.

REBUILT passenger engine, L.M. & S. Ry. (Northern Counties Committee). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1926, 32, 383. illus.

4-4-0: modifications to earlier designs

B3:1925 :
Nos. 24, 60 and 61 were rebuilt with Ul boilers.

REBUILT express locomotives: L.M. & S. Ry., Northern Counties Committee. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1925, 31, 243-6. 4 illus., 4 diagrs. (s. els.)

Ul : 1925 :
No. 1, formerly a 2-cylinder compound, was rebuilt as a simple engine. It was also fitted with an LMS G7 boiler.

REBUILT express locomotives: L.M. & S. Ry., Northern Counties Committee. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1925, 31, 243-6.4 illus., 4 diagrs. (s. els.)


Scott argues that the design was instigated by Malcolm Speir. Chris Aspinwall (e-mail to KPJ) considers that the design credit must be given to Stanier albeit that most of the components were pure Derby and bases this on the deliberations of the Locomotive Committee meeting at Euston. Scott states that Hugh Stewart, who was eased out by Speir would have opted for a design based upon the Midland/LMS compounds. The Mogul design was based on the LMS Fowler 2-6-4T. Larger driving wheels (6 ft 0 in) were fitted, however, as the locomotives were intended for working expresses, including the North Atlantic Express. The first four were supplied complete from Derby; the remaining eleven were assembled from parts supplied from Derby at York Road.. They carried names (Scott argues that the original names were intended to be of medieval figures in North East Ulster: Sorley Boy, Richard de Burgh and John de Courcy, but Rivers were eventually selected. No. 90 was Duke of Abercorn, Governor of Northern Ireland whern he opened Bleach Green viaduct. Nos 96-100 were named after the Royal Family: 96 Silver Jubilee, 97 Earl of Ulster, 98 King Edward VIII, 99 King George VI and 100 Queen Elizabeth.

L.M.S. 2-6-0, 2-6-2 and 2-6-4 locomotives. Rly Mag., 1934, 74,141-3. 4 illus., table.
A comparison of the W class with other L.M.S. designs.
NEW 2-6-0 locomotives for N.C.C.. Rly Obsr, 1933, 5, 101. illus.
[SECTIONALIZED diagram of the cylinder and valve gear of a N.C.C. 2-6-0]. Rly Gaz., 1935, 63, 644. diagr.
2-6-0 engines for the Northern Counties Committee, Ireland. Engineer, 1933, 156, 96. ilius., diagr. (s. & f. els.)
2-6-0 locomotives for the L.M.S.R. Northern Counties Committee. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1933, 39, 237-8. illus.,diagr. (s. & f. els.)

1938 : Stanier tenders were fitted to the 1938, and subsequent, series.

MOGUL locomotives in Northern Ireland: the latest form of Ulster-built L.M.S.R. engines. Rly Gaz., 1944, 80, 336. illus.
2-6-0 locomotives, L.M.S.R., Northern Counties Committee. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1938, 44, 167. diagr. (s. el.)

Two letters in Br. Rly J. relate to the "Stanier type" tenders fitted to these tenders and the last GNR(I) locomotives supplied by Beyer Peacock following WW2

Rowledge, J.W.P.Stanier tenders. Br. Rlys J., 3, 175.
See BRJ 21 (article on LMS 4000 gallon tenders): Mentions tenders of the Stanier type fitted to NCC Moguls (argues that six actually fitted) and to Beyer Peacock locomotives supplied to GNR (I). classes UG 0-6-0, U 4-4-0 and VS 4-4-0.
Coakham, D.G.Stanier tenders. Br. Rlys J., 3, 175.
See BRJ 21: information on the 2500 gallon "Stanier-type" tenders fitted to the GNR (I) U and UG classes and the 4000 gallon tenders fitted to the VS class. Queries whether design details came from NCC or from Derby. Cites Modern Transport.

Performance and testing

[INTERCHANGE trials: NCC 2-6-0 tested between Belfast and Dublin]. Rly Mag., 1935, 77, 385.
L.M.S. Railway Northern Counties Committee. Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 270
W Class 2-6-0 No. 96 Silver Jubilee tested on Belfast to Dublin trains during week beginning 26 August. GNR (I) 173 class 4-4-0 loaned to NCC as a replacement.
REMARKABLE locomotive working on the L.M.S., N.C.C. Section. Rly Gaz., 1935, 63, 644-5. 2 diagrs.
T. J. Durnford  (J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1936, 16, 323 et seq) stated that he was reading in the Railway Gazette of 18 October 1935 last that on a trial made with a 2-6-0 simple engine, boiler pressure 200, cylinders I9in. by 26in., on the Northern Counties Committee’s section of the L.M.S. that a distance of 26½ miles was run with the most extraordinary cut-off of 5 per cent. That this is economical working, I do not for one moment believe, although that an engine could run freely with such a cut-off is evidence of the excellence of the design of the valve gear.


Arnold, R.M. NCC saga: the LMS in Northern Ireland. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1973.
Cited Rutherford (below). Ottley 9883. Not yet seen.
Currie, J.R.L. The Northern Counties Railway. 1973/4. Vol. 2.
This suggests that Major Malcolm Speir was the instigator of the design (the Mechanical Engineer had wanted a compound type). The tests instituted with the GNR(I) showed that the Moguls burnt less coal, but that the compounds used less water.
Mullay, A.J.  and Neil Parkhouse. Oil for coal: the plan to convert British steam locomotives to oil fuel, 1945-48. Rly Arch., 2006 (12). 4-15; 62-8.
This notes that W class Nos. 100/1 were converted for oil-burning in May and October 1947.
Radford, J.B. Derby Works and Midland locomotives. 1971. page 188-9
n order for four 2-6-0 two-cylindered superheated tender engines was filled to O/8207 of 16 November 1932 and carried running numbers 90-93. The design was derived from the LMS 2-6-4Ts and had outside cylinders, driven by 9in diameter piston valves having 63/8in travel, 19in x 26in cylinders. The leading pony truck had 3ft diameter driving wheels and the driving wheels on a 16ft 6in coupled wheelbase, were 6ft diameter. The Belpaire boiler, with an LMS superheater and pressed to 200psi carried 21 large and 121 small tubes, and the total evaporative surface was 1,080.75 ft2, the superheater adding a further 266.25ft2. Grate area was 25ft2t and the tractive effort was 22,1601bf. These boilers were built at Crewe.
Ransome-Wallis, P. On railways at home an abroad. London: Batchworth, 1951. 300 pp. + plates. 102 illus., maps. page 204 et seq
Travelled on the footplates of Nos. 95 The Braid and 97 Earl of Ulster: notes that former fitted with a Caledonian-type hooter
Rutherford, Michael Northern Counties Committee - the LMS in Ireland. Railway Reflections [No. 46]. Backtrack, 1998, 12, 564-72.
Includes information about the W type which Rutherford considers may have been the fastest locomotives ever to work in Ireland. NCC tended to be an improvement upon Derby practice: notably the magnificent 2-6-0s. Includes biographical information about Malcolm

Tank engines


This was a tank engine version of the W 2-6-0 class. They were the last steam locomotives to operate in normal service in any part of Ireland.

NEW locomotives for L.M.S.R. (N.C.C.). Rly Mag., 1947, 93, 33. illus., diagr. (s. el.)
NEW locomotives for L.M.S.R. (N.C.C.): 2-6-4 tank engines, recently delivered from Derby Works. Rly Gaz., 1946, 85, 472. illus., diagr. (s. el.)
NEW locomotives for N.C.C.. Rly pict., 1946/47, 1, (1), 62-3. 2 illus., diagr. (s. & f. els.)
NEW 2-6-4 tanks for the Northern Counties Committee (L.M.S). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1946, 52, 162-3. 2 illus., diagr. (s. & f. els.)
2-6-4 tank locomotive for Northern Ireland. Engineering, 1946, 162, 403. illus.

Retrospective and critical
Arnold, R.M. The N.C.C. 2-6-4 tanks. Rly Wld, 1964, 25, 50-4+. 4 illus.
No. 5 was painted green in 1948 and this experimental livery lasted until March 1950. Mainly performance, both on their home territory and over the Great Northern and, very briefly, on the Bangor line. They sometimes worked to Dublin, but were not very satisfactory. The Great Northern footplate staff found them difficult to operate in contrast to their excellent performance on the Larne and Londonderry lines
Includes performance.
J.A. Cassells. Steam finale: the Great Northern (Ireland). Railway Wld, 1985, 46, 510-15.
Illustration of WT class 2-6-4T No. 55 working with a tender hauling the Tourist ex-Dublin leaving Portadown on 18 May 1965.
Radford, J.B. Derby Works and Midland locomotives. 1971. page 200
Ivaft's first design was a batch of ten 2-6-4 tank engines, for the NCC. Two orders were built at Derby during 1946-7: O/669: locomotive Nos NCC 5-8 and O/1674 numbers: 1-4, 9 and 10. These were a development of the LMS 2-6-4T engines, but with 6ft driving wheels, and were Classified WT by the NCC. The two outside cylinders were 19in x 26in stroke and weight in working order was 87.5 tons. The boilers provided were generally standard with the 2-6-0 tender locomotives built previously, somewhat modified by the addition of a self cleaning smokebox, rocking firegrate and self emptying ashpan. The boiler also incorporated top feed apparatus, unusual on the LMS for a parallel boiler, as was the circular handwheel in the centre of the smokebox door, a relic of BNCR locomotive practice. The livery, as turned out, was black with straw lining and maroon edging, and the number was displayed on a cast plate on the bunker sides, the side tanks carrying the letters "NCC". To despatch these from Derby the completed locomotives had to be partially dismantled, the boiler side-tanks and bunker went in three wagons and the main frames went on a special flat vehicle. Upon arrival in Ireland the main frames were placed on,the leading and trailing driving wheels and hauled to the NCC shops for the remainder, of the locomotive to be re-assembled. The first was delivered to Belfast on 6 August 1946: the remainder following at fortnightly intervals.

0-6-0T: 3F

L.M.S.R. (N.C,C.). Locomotive Mag., 1944, 50, 157.
Two of the standard 0-6-0 freight tanks adapted for the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge and numbered 18 and 19 (originally No. 16539 and 16636, and since 1936 Nos. 7456 and 7553 respectively).

Currie, J.R.L. The Northern Counties Railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1973/4. 2 vols.
On p. 188 notes that two LMS 3F shunting locomotives modified and sent across in 1944.

Narrow gauge lines (which became part of NCC excluding CDJR)

Middlemass covers all of these as does Patterson: Middlemass lists the following individual lines: Ballymena, Cushendall & Red Bay Railway; the Ballymena & Larne Railway (opened on 24 August 1878 and lasted until 1950). and the Ballycastle Railway (opened 18 October 1880, absorbed into LMS (NCC) in 1924 and also lated until 1950). There was also the Portstewart Tramway.

Narrow-gauge locomotives of the Belfast and Northern Counties Ry. Locomotive Mag., 1902, 7, 92-3.
Patterson, E.M. The Ballycastle Railway a history of the narrow-gauge railways of North east Ireland. Part I. Dawlish (Devon), David & Charles, 1965. 154 p. + col. front. & 20 plates. 41 illus., 6 diagrs., 19 tables, 8 maps, map. Bibliog.
Patterson, E.M.The Ballymena lines : a history of the narrow gauge railways of North East Ireland. Part 2. Newton Abbot (Devon), David & Charles, 1968. 200 p. + col. front. + 16 plates. 40 illus. (incl. 4 ports.), 10 diagrs., 32 tables, 21 plans, 4 maps. Bibliog.
Colourpoint edition now available

Ballycastle Railway
Opened 18 October 1880. Following locomotives listed by Middlemass

No. Name Type Builder WN Withdrawn
1 Dalriada 0-6-0ST Black Hawthorn 554/1879 1925
2 Countess of Antrim 0-6-0ST Black Hawthorn 555/1880 1925
3 Lady Boyd 0-6-0ST Black Hawthorn 513/1879 1912
3 4-4-2T Kitson 4565/1908 1946
4 4-4-2T Kitson 4566/1908 1942


The Ballycastle Railway. Locomotive Mag., 1903, 8, 64-5
Described railway in its halcyon days with non-stop express completing journey from Ballymoney in 40 minutes

J.I.C. Boyd. Glimpses of the narrow gauge. Rly Wld, 1954, 15, 158. illus.
4-4-2Ts built by Kitson for the Ballycastle Railway: WN 4665-6/1908 to the design of G.T.M. Bradshaw, Locomotive Superintendent. Taken over by the NCC in August 1924 and cut-down at York Road works to come within loading gauge of Ballymena & Larne section.

Ballymena, Cushendall & Red Bay Railway
Opened on 8 October 1876 to convey iron ore and later modified to carry passenger traffic: closed to all traffic in 1937. Three 0-4-2ST locomotives: Black Hawthorn: WN 301-3 of 1874. Running numbers 1-3. No. 3 as BNCR No. 103 withdrawn in 1911: other two, by then 101A and 102A, withdrawn in 1922, following their use on the Agrigna Vallery extension of the Cavan & Leitrim Railway where they proved very popular. Later worked by other NCC 3ft gauge locomotives listed by Middlemass.

Ballymena & Larne Railway
Following locomotives listed by Middlemass: the locomotives did not receive names, yet in some cases were renumbered three times: by the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway and then by the NCC. Each of these companies also built locomotives for the line: in the case of the last they were actually built at the York Road Works in Belfast. The first locomotive is also of interest in being identical to those supplied by Beyer Peacock to the Isle of Man Railway. All the orginal locomotives were supplied by Beyer Peacock:

Original No. BNCR NCC Type WN Class Withdrawn Notes
1 63 104 2-4-0T 1687/1877 P 1920 as per Isle of Man Railway
2 65 106 0-6-0T 1700/1877 Q 1933
3 66 107 0-6-0T 1701/1877 Q 1931
4 64 105 2-4-0ST 1828/1878 P 1928 sold to C&VBT
5 68 109 2-6-0ST 1947/1880 R 1934 known as The Bruiser: ran 900,000 miles
6 67 108 0-6-0T 2304/1883 Q 1932

The B&NCR locomotives were both supplied by Beyer Peacock in 1892 (WN 3463-4): they were 2-4-2Ts and rceived running numbers 69 and 70 (NCC 110/111): both were Malcolm Bowman two-cylinder compounds: class S. They were withdrawn in 1946 and 1950: the latter ran over a million miles. Four further two-cylinder compounds were built for the NCC at York Road Works: Nos. 112 and 113 in 1908/9 (class S1); and 103/4 in 1919/20 (class S). With the exception of No. 103 (withdrawn in 1938) these lasted until the end of the railway. Van Riemsdijk p. 18 noted that they were "very successful".

4-4-2T (narrow gauge)

The two locomotives, which formed this class (NCC Nos. 113 and 114), were constructed for the Ballycastle Railway. In 1924 the NCC absorbed the Ballycastle Railway and in 1929 the T class was rebuilt to conform with the NCC loading gauge.

REBUILT narrow gauge side tank locomotive, L.M. & S. Ry. (Northern Counties Committee). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1929, 35, 352-3. illus., diagr. (s. el.)

Retrospective and critical

Boyd, J.I.C. The Ballycastle Railway. Rly Mag., 1952, 98, 338-43; 322-3. 7 illus., map.
Macnab, I.
Narrow gauge locomotives, No. 2 4-4-2 tank No. 114 of the Northern Counties Committee (LM.S.R.). Railways, 1943, 4, 126. 4 illus. (incl. 3 line drawings s. els.)
Patterson, E.M. The Ballycastle Railway a history of the narrow-gauge railways of North east Ireland. Part I. 1965.
Includes detailed notes on the locomotives.

2-4-2T (narrow gauge): S class

Scott, W.T. Narrow gauge compounds. Rly Wld., 1986, 47, 454-8.
Bowman Malcolm designed Worsdell/von Borries compounds to operate on the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway's narrow gauge lines. The locomotives were 2-4-2Ts and belonged to classes: S. Two were constructed by Beyer Peacock, but the remainder were manufactured at York Road, Belfast. In 1931 No. 110 was rebuilt as a 2-4-4T with a larger boiler and was reclassifid as S2. The compounds were fitted with Ross 'Pop' safety valves: the Ross came from Coleraine. There are logs of runs on the Ballmoney to Ballcastle line where the rapid acceleration achieved by the S class is noted.

2-4-4T (narrow gauge)

S2:1932 :
One 2-cylinder compound tank engine was rebuilt with a larger boiler. At the same time it was converted from a 2-4-2T into a 2-4-4T.

REBUILT narrow gauge compound tank locomotive, L.M. & S. Ry. — Northern Counties Committee. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1932, 38, 382. diagr. (s. el.)

Steam railcars

Radford p.127: In 1905 (Order 2915), Derby constructed two steam motor-coaches numbered 90 and 91 with J1 class boilers but with shorter barrel and a firebox 3ft 7½ x 3ft 73/8in. The driving wheels were 3ft 7¼in diameter. The outside cylinders were 9 x 15in and boiler pressure was 160psi. Accommodation was provided for six first-class passengers, 16 third-class non-smoking and 24 'smoking" third-class passengers. Radford illustrated one of these cars on Plate 70,.

York Road Works
Currie noted that the works were modernised by the LMS: electric lighting came in 1932, heating in 1938, gantry cranes in 1931 and secondhand machinery was sent over from Newton Heath. In 1941 the GNR(I) overhauled NCC locomotives at Dundalk and on p. 189 Currie noted that Lemon had suggested diesel traction. Several of the photographs in Scott show a typical coaling tower installed in Belfast..

Updated 2020-10-10