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Stena temporarily cancels sailings on Dublin-Holyhead and Rosslare-Fishguard routes
(Permalink) Dublin Fishguard Holyhead Rosslare Stena Line

In the second of today's features celebrating 25 years of Stena Line in Belfast, we take a look at developments from 2010 onwards.
(Permalink) Stena Line


Cairnryan: Two fast vessels passing off Cairnryan around 2008. This video still shows 'HSS Stena Voyager' and the P&O 'Superfast Express'. The HSS was taken out of service in 2011 and was scrapped in Sweden.
Colin Miller //2008

Following withdrawal of Stena ferry operations from Stranraer Harbour with services now concentrated on Cairnryan, a connecting coach link has been established between the latter and Ayr Railway Station. [See adjacent images]
(Permalink) Ayr Bus Cairnryan Ferry Stena Line Stranraer Train


Ayr: Passengers boarding the Cairnryan coach outside Ayr station on 2 March 2012.
John Yellowlees 02/03/2012


Ayr: Departure board at Ayr station on 2 March 2012 showing the 12.45 direct coach link with the ferry terminal at Cairnryan.
John Yellowlees 02/03/2012


Cairnryan: Aerial view over Cairnryan looking south showing the former Military Port. Its associated railway ran along the coastline from Leffnol (top) to Cairn Point (bottom). The triangular shape of the modern day ferry terminal can also be seen just left of centre extending out into the Loch.
Ewan Crawford //

Transport Minister Keith Brown has given an 'absolute commitment' on the future of rail services to Stranraer, during a visit to the town.

Concerns have been raised about the future of the route since Stena Line moved its ferry terminal from the town.

Mr Brown met local Labour politicians to discuss their call to improve rail services to the area.

He said a task force looking to regenerate the town would meet this month and would discuss rail links.

The minister met Labour MP Russell Brown, MSP Claudia Beamish and councillor Willie Scobie.

They have highlighted the 'sense of urgency' about the situation after Stena Line, which operates ferries to Northern Ireland, left Stranraer and moved to a new ferry terminal nearer the mouth of Loch Ryan.

Many foot passengers used to use Stranraer station after getting off the ferry.

Stena Line now takes foot passengers by bus from its terminal near Cairnryan to Ayr railway station. [From Colin McDonald]

(Permalink) Keith Brown Stena Line Stranraer


Stranraer: Ferry connection made. Scotrail 156506 looks out from the Harbour trainshed as MV Stena Caledonia turns after reversing out of its berth and heads into Loch Ryan with a Belfast sailing. A number of the passengers on the ferry had arrived on the first train from Glasgow - and others who had arrived on the ship now joined it for a 10.05hrs departure north.
Mark Bartlett 25/05/2011


Stranraer: 156 501 has recently arrived at Stranraer from Glasgow Central in October 1997 as passengers head for the ferry.
David Panton /10/1997


Stranraer Harbour: Glasgow train waits by Stranraer Harbour signalbox. Access by kind permission of British Rail.
Ewan Crawford //1988

Carrick's MSP has voiced concern over the future of the Girvan to Stranraer railway line, and Girvan station, after a decision by Irish Sea ferry operator Stena Line to bus its passengers straight to Ayr from its new port at Cairnryan.
(Permalink) Cairnryan Girvan Stena Line Stranraer


Girvan: The driver of the 1102 to Stranraer has collected the token from the Girvan signalman on 26 May and is ready to set off south with unit 156 514.
Colin Miller 26/05/2010


Girvan: The immaculate interior of the waiting room at Girvan, Scotland's only art deco station, seen on 3 June. Even the ceiling is glossy. The more modern seating is unfortunately not sympathetic, though probably more comfortable than the wooden benches it no doubt replaced.
David Panton 03/06/2010


Stranraer: A Sunday morning service for Glasgow Central leaving Stranraer Harbour in August 2003.
John Furnevel 17/08/2003

Transport campaigners have warned that the rail line which links Stranraer to Glasgow could face closure in under three years due to rising costs and the loss of direct ferry connections to Ireland next year.
(Permalink) Stena Line Stranraer


Stranraer: A Sunday morning service for Glasgow Central leaving Stranraer Harbour in August 2003.
John Furnevel 17/08/2003


Stranraer: The Stena Seacat ferry service from Belfast prepares to dock at Stranraer Harbour on 29 July 2008, while a First Scotrail 156 DMU awaits passengers at the station platform.
Bill Roberton 29/07/2008


Stranraer Harbour: Looking towards the buffer stops and Loch Ryan at Stranraer Harbour station early in the morning of 28 April 1990. The class 47 has recently arrived with the sleeper from Euston, while the 156 awaits a return trip to Glasgow.
John McIntyre 28/04/1990

Meeting was held in Stranraer on the 18th and 19th of May at the North West Castle Hotel.

Stena's route director Alan Gordon said that the move to Cairnryan might occur at end-2006, but he predicted that with shorter journey times and more journey opportunities there would be a long-term future for rail and sail in the growing market for travel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, which would in future involve a bus transfer between Cairnryan and the train at Girvan, Stranraer or a station between those points.



ScotRail Operations Director Steve Banaghan said that transferring ferry
passengers to Girvan could be the best option. There would be an opportunity
as well as a threat presented by the ferry being moved since if the
timetable was no longer driven by ferry times, it could potentially be a
positive thing for the line. However Chris Ballance MSP claimed that it was
'remarkably perverse logic' to take half the passengers off the train at
Girvan, and James King of the RPC also expressed concern that ferry
passengers might be reluctant to transfer between trains and buses.



John Nelson for Dumfries and Galloway Council said that their top rail
aspiration was for a relocated station at either Cairnryan Road or the old
Town site where it could better serve the people of Stranraer.
(Permalink) Cairnryan Girvan ScotRail Stena Line Stranraer

The future of Stranraer station (formerly Stranraer Harbour) must be in doubt following Stena's planned relocation of their ferry terminal from Stranraer to Cairnryan. The scheme requires planning approval.


The move was anticipated, there is a possiblity that the harbour station will be closed to be replaced by a re-opened Stranraer Town station. The crossing to Ireland was the raison d'etre for both the line from Ayr to Stranraer and the closed Dumfries to Stranraer line.


The new berths will be a joint venture between Stena and P&O who already operate from Cairnryan.


It is disappointing that the move comes 41 years after closure of the railway to Cairnryan when relocation of the ferry services from Stranraer to Cairnryan was discussed at that time.
(Permalink) Cairnryan Girvan ScotRail Stena Line Stranraer

Dumfries and Galloway Council have proposed creation of two new Trans-Pennine Inter City rail routes to link: Leeds with Glasgow (via Carlisle, Dumfries and Kilmarnock) Middlesbrough with Belfast (via Newcastle, Carlisle, Prestwick Airport and the Stena Line HSS high speed ferry service from Stranraer). This would, in effect create a Trans-Pennine 'Borderer Express' providing a new Inter City service between Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.



These proposals are purely a suggested extension of the new Trans-Pennine franchise seen as additional to existing local services and, more importantly, that, whilst the two proposed express routes could form a natural extension to the new Trans-Pennine franchise, their geographical position and cross-border nature could fit equally into an extended ScotRail franchise or a new Northern England Franchise express service. A further reduction in the number of Trans-Pennine bidders to just 2 companies is expected this month with the SRA expeected to announce the successful bidders by Easter.

(Permalink) ScotRail Stena Line Stranraer Trans-Pennine

KML version