These photographs were kindly contributed to the project by Maurice Mc Curdy of Lisnagunogue.
The growth of railway networks supported a thriving Tourism Industry along the Causeway Coast in the later part of the 19th century.
The mainline railway to Portrush had been completed in the 1850s, and in the 1880s a cutting-edge project would extend the transport links from Portrush directly to the popular Giant’s Causeway.
Local engineer William Acheson Traill pioneered the use of electrical traction for the construction of a roadside tramway from Portrush to Bushmills by 1883, this was later extended to the Giant’s Causeway in 1887. This tramway was the world’s first hydroelectric tramway, it was powered by a hydro-electric power station at Walkmills, Bushmills.
The tramway operated for over 60 years, closing in 1949. In its heyday it transported thousands of early tourists to the Causeway and Bushmills, as depicted in these photographs submitted by Maurice.
Remnants of the tramway can still be seen along its old route, and in recent years a section from Bushmills to the Causeway has been converted into a narrow-gauge railway, which can still be enjoyed by visitors today.
This record was collected as part of Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust’s Uncharted Histories of the Causeway Coast Project. Please click here to learn more about this project.