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The first stage coach to Dublin was in the year 1752, and the journey occupied three days, but the roads were so bad that it could not go beyond Newry during the winter months.
Then in 1788, a coach was able to go to Dublin from Newry in twenty-six hours. The speed was so marvellous that it was called "The Newry Flying Coach," and the fare was 1s. 3d. a mile. However, as many people were afraid of such terrific speed, a post chaise could be hired at the curious price of 1s. 7½d. a mile, and the whole journey was performed in two days and a half. A mail coach ran from Belfast to Carrickfergus in the year 1811, and it held three or four inside passengers, and took two or three hours for the journey. It was a favourite amusement for the Belfast Academy boys to stand at St. Ann's Church gate and cheer the "Royal Oak " as it passed.
In 1803, it was considered a great advance in travelling, when a second coach was put on the road to Dublin, and thirty or forty people could travel at once. At this time ladies were carried to evening parties in sedan chairs.
In 1834 the line was opened from Dublin to Kingstown, and the first engine was the "Hibernian." Vignolles met with great opposition, but he persevered, and the railway was a great success. He afterwards extended it to Dalkey, on the " atmospheric " system. The railway from Belfast to Lisburn was the second line in Ireland, and it was opened in the year 1839. An unfortunate mistake occurred on the opening day, for the engine got off the line and sank in clay. However, it was soon made right, and for some time Lisburn was the limit. The trains were to go at five miles an hour, and it was even thought they might go at twelve miles with care on a well-laid railway line.