The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Moving Motorways: The Spoil Train to Belfast
Moving Motorways: The Spoil Train to Belfast

Moving Motorways: The Spoil Train to Belfast 1967


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Moving Motorways: The Spoil Train to Belfast 1967

10 mins Northern Ireland Director. A.H Martin

Join amateur film maker A. H. Martin in hot pursuit of the Spoil Train on its epic journey across land and water from the Magheramorne quarry to industrial north Belfast. Leave the vast spoil heap behind as the waters of Larne Lough lap the tracks and plumes of smoke join the clouds. Delight in industrial choreography as quarry waste spills out into the waiting digger jaws to form NI’s busiest road. Then watch the empty carriages trundle their way back, ready to begin again.

Both the finished M2 and this film are entirely within County Antrim. The last spoil train made this journey on 2nd May 1970, bringing an end to the commercial use of steam traction in Ireland. Formed by years of cement production, the spoil heap at Magheramorne lies on the western side of Larne Lough. Quarrying limestone for the cement plant, ceased in 1980. HBO have used this abandoned quarry as a dramatic setting for Castle Black and Hardhome in Game of Thrones. After visiting the quarry George R. R. Martin said: "It’s a pretty spectacular, yet miserable location. It is wet and rainy, and the mud is thick. It really gets the actors in the mood of being at the end of the world in all of this cold and damp and chill".

Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive is a free public access resource for teachers, students, historians and anyone who has an interest in moving images. Spanning from 1897 to the present day, the films in the Digital Film Archive cover all aspects of life in Northern Ireland and includes everything from dramas to documentaries, newsreels and features, animation to amateur footage.

Directed by

A.H Martin


Amateur film


Viaducts Elevated railways Highway engineering Railway workers Industrial railways Railway journeys Steam trains Trains 1960s Coastlines


Watching the Trains Go By




Northern Ireland



Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

The map


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later