Thursday, 26 September 2013

Giant's Causeway Railway

Some people might remember my Railway Heraldry post. It covered coats of arms for the main rail companies in Ireland and their jointly run express service. Well their are smaller, private railroads in the British Isles too. These are often industrial, or as in this case tourist and enthusiast orientated.

The Giant's Causeway currently has a rail link with the town of Bushmills. These too places were first linked by rail in 1887. It was an electric 3 ft (914 mm) gauge narrow gauge railway, operated by Giant's Causeway, Portrush and Bush Valley Railway & Tramway Company Ltd. Originally this rail system known as a tram, or tramway connected the seaside town of Portrush with the tourist attraction of the Giants Causeway with a station in the middle at Bushmills. This tram was mostly run by hydro electricity probably one of the first examples of hydro electric power in the world. I also believe it was only the second electric train in the UK (it was beaten by a couple of days by a train in the south of England). Sadly this company closed at the end of 1949. 
The original emblem used by the tramway  was this:
Unlike other historic railways in Ireland it doesn't have a coat of arms or coat of arms based design. It shows a couple walking along the path to the causeway, clearly hoping to attract passengers to take the same journey as the people in the picture. 
In 2002 a new company was set up and the rail track was rebuilt between the Causeway and Bushmills. This was built by enthusiasts (with a little help from an army helicopter when it came to rebuilding a bridge!) This company adopted the old badge but adjusting the text so it only reads Giants Causeway and Bushmills Railway Company. However I have been working on a new design:
There are a number of things. Perhaps the most striking are the supporters. These depict the Irish and Scottish giants from the legend of the Giants Causeway. Although every wee Northern Irish boy was told it as a bedtime story for those who are not too familiar with it see here.They are standing on the base that has some Causeway stones. 
The shield is based on the County Antrim arms and the Moyle District council coat of arms.
Moyle Coat of Arms
The chief of the arms and lion rampant coming from the Antrim arms, while the shipstylised stills, and wolf crest coming from the Moyle District coat of arms. The Stylised Stills represent Bushmills which is famous for being the home of Old Bushmills Distillery which claims to be the oldest licenced Whisky distillery in the world and as well as being a working distillery producing Bushmills Irish Whisky, is also a tourist attraction. The ship represent the clan MacDonald which was an important family in ancient times who built the nearby Dunluce Castle. Although I have also put the eagle form their arms on mine. The lightning bolt on blue represent the historic implication of hydro electricity (even though today the trains are powered by steam and diesel its still something the railway can be proud of). 

The motto means beauty and heritage which is what most people who ride the train are going to see.

Feel Free to Comment for more info on anything in the above text here are some useful links

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog and very hepful information .there are lots of it company in ireland but if u want best it support and technical services which are used by a lot of companies around the world