Parkmore Railway Station is an abandoned railway station located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The railway station opened in 1876 and was one of the highest railway stations throughout all of Ireland, rising to 1045ft. It’s located within an area of outstanding beauty, just beside the Glenariff Forest Park.
Originally, Ballymena, Cushendal and Red Bay Railway, which was a narrow gauge railway, would transport iron ore through this railway station. It was the first narrow gauge railway in Ireland that was sanctioned by parliament. There were several mines within the area, and they were connected to the mainline by sidings and branch lines. The iron ore would be transported to Ballymena and then to Larne and Belfast to be shipped to England. Between 1,200 and 1,500 tonnes of iron ore would come down the railway line each week.
While it was initially a success, in 1889, the ore was exhausted and there was no use for the railway line or the railway station. Afterwards, however, the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway took over Parkmore Station, and would run trains from Ballymena to Retreat, skirting the foothills of the Trostan. The purpose of the railway line was now tourism.
Tourists would travel to the Parkmore Railway Station to visit the Glens of Antrim, which is a region comprised of nine glens. They would disembark the train and either hike to the picturesque Glens and the surrounding area, with most stopping en route for a luncheon at the tea house at the foot of the Glens, or they would travel via tramway type bogie carriages that were available at the railway station.
On the 10th of January, 1921, the train from Parkmore to Ballymena was held up by members of the IRA. A red lantern signalled for the train to stop and when it did, six armed men came aboard. They overpowered the guard and stole mailbags. These mailbags contained letters addressed to the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks at Cushendall. There had been similar interception attacks around the same area earlier.
On the 1st of October, 1930, Parkmore Railway Station was closed for good. The remnants of the station house still stands. From here, passengers would disembark and either continue their excursion by foot or by tramway type bogie cars. In addition to the station house, the water tower still remains.