One of the last trains to leave Carlisle Pier – 1980

The Carlisle Pier spur railway line with platform was established in 1859. This picture of a C class Engine type Number 218 (Bo-Bo wheel formation)

(The timetable was arranged so that one could arrive at the city terminus – Westland Row – thirty-five minutes before sailing time and still catch the departing ship)

The trains stopped running from the pier in November 1980 and the rail line onto the Carlisle Pier was severed, due, it was said, to the inability of the new DART electric trains to negotiate the sharp curve onto the pier itself. Little time was lost raising the tracks and by January 1981 the cutting had been infilled to accommodate the buses that replaced the trains.

It was not until after Stena Line acquired the Sealink fleet in 1990 that an embarrassed Irish government invested in the modernisation of the entrance to the Carlisle Pier. It was however, too little – too late as by 1993 plans for the construction of a new ferry terminal at St Michael’s Pier were well under way.