(Photos 1-5 © Tony Hillman,
photos 6-8 © Bluebell Railway Museum Archive/JJ Smith collection))
The standard gauge Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway (SLNCR) ran for some 49 miles between Enniskillen in County Fermanagh and junctions with the Midland Great Western Railway and Great Southern & Western Railway near Collooney in County Sligo. It was incorporated in 1875 and opened in sections between 1879 and 1882.
In 1878 a stationmaster’s house and six other dwellings were built for railway workers and their families at Belcoo. Trains first called there on 18th March 1879, serving both Belcoo and nearby Blacklion. The station's main building was on the westbound platform together with a signal box. A shelter was provided for those waiting for trains heading east, attached to a considerably sized goods shed.
Business was never prosperous since the railway served poor and sparsely populated countryside, although heavy flows of cattle traffic used the line intermittently.
The SLNCR was one of the railways not to be absorbed into the state-owned system in 1925 since it crossed the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The last trains ran through Belcoo on 20th September 1957 with the line officially closing on 1st October.
Having sat derelict for many years, both the main building and signal box have been nursed back to good health. The former is now someone's home.