Ulster Transport Authority - A

Ulster Transport Authority - A

The Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) ran rail and bus transport in Northern Ireland from 1948 until 1966.

UTA Formation and Consolidation

The UTA was formed by the Transport Act 1948, which merged the Northern Ireland Road Transport Board (NIRTB) and the Belfast and County Down Railway (BCDR). Added to this in 1949 was the Northern Counties Committee (NCC), owned by the British Transport Commission's Railway Executive since its previous owner, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), had been nationalised in 1948.

UTA Branch Railway Closures

In January 1950 the UTA closed almost the entire BCDR network except the Queen's Quay, Belfast – Bangor commuter line. In the same year it closed the Macfin – Kilrea section of the former NCC's Derry Central Railway and the freight-only former NCC line from Limavady to Dungiven It also withdrew passenger services from the former NCC branch lines to Cookstown, Draperstown and Limavady and the Magherafelt – Kilrea section of the Derry Central. That summer it closed Northern Ireland's last 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge lines: the Ballycastle Railway and the Ballymena and Larne Railway.

In 1954 seven 6-coach diesel units were put on the Belfast-Bangor line, making it the first completely dieselised passenger service in Ireland.

In 1955 the UTA closed the (by then freight-only) branches to Cookstown and Limavady, and the line between Castlewellan and Newcastle, County Down (which was worked by the GNR).

In 1957 the Northern Ireland Government made the Great Northern Railway Board close much of its network in the province.[1] This left no railways in many rural areas, including the whole of County Fermanagh. By 1958 the GNR main line was the only remaining railway across the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In that year what was left of the GNRB was dissolved and split between Córas Iompair Éireann (the Republic of Ireland's nationalised transport company) and the UTA.

In 1959 the UTA closed the (by then freight only) remaining Magherafelt – Kilrea section of the Derry Central and the former GNR (by then freight only) branch from Dungannon to Cookstown.[2] The UTA also took over the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners' dual gauge railway that linked Derry's four railway termini, and in 1962 the UTA closed this railway as well.

Ulster Transport Authority

UTA Industry: Bus and Railway operator
UTA Predecessor:
Northern Ireland Road Transport Board
Belfast and County Down Railway
Northern Counties Committee (LMS; 1949)
Great Northern Railway (1958)
UTA Founded: 1948
UTA Defunct: 1966
UTA Fate: Demerged
UTA Successor:
Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company
Northern Ireland Railways
UTA Headquarters: Belfast, Northern Ireland
UTA Area Served: Northern Ireland


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