The Belfast Transport Hub is a planned railway and bus station to replace Great Victoria Street railway station and the Europa Buscentre.
The first railway station in Ulster was opened on the site of today's Great Victoria Street station in 1839. It became the northern terminus of the GNR's non-stop Dublin - Belfast express in 1947, and in 1962, having been taken over by the Ulster Transport Authority, platform 5 was closed, filled in, and turned into a bus station providing a truly integrated bus-rail station for the first time in Belfast's history.Northern Ireland Railways closed the railway part of the station altogether in 1976 and the original buildings disappeared beneath the Europa Hotel and Great Northern Mall. Railway services resumed, however, in 1995 with the opening of the present-day Great Victoria Street station, integrated with the Europa Buscentre, yards away from the site of the original 1839 station.
The Transport Hub will not be on strictly the same site as today's Great Victoria Street station, instead being in the corner of Grosvenor Road and Durham Street. Historically this area was occupied by the railway goods yard, until goods traffic ended in 1976, and at present is partly used as the bus depot.
The Transport Hub thus fits into a history of bus-rail integration linked to the Great Victoria Street area that goes back to 1962, save for a 19-year interruption between 1976 and 1995.
The new station would have eight platforms (Double that of Great Victoria Street) under a large overall roof, composed of four island platforms with two faces each. Two of these islands would be short, covered entirely by the roof, and two long. Like the current Great Victoria Street, it will be the terminus of NIR's Derry, Larne, Bangor and Newry lines. The Enterprise will be moved from Lanyon Place as part of the Hub project, meaning the flagship express service between Belfast and Dublin will terminate here. Unlike at Lanyon Place, there will be a dedicated Enterprise lounge.
Like the present Europa Buscentre, the Transport Hub will have stands for Ulsterbus, Goldline and Metro buses. However, the number of stands will be increased from Europa's 18 to 26. There will be a dedicated lounge for Goldliner passengers.
As of February 2018, progress has mostly consisted of public consultation and minor preparatory work. In April 2016 the goods sheds in the former Grosvenor Yard were demolished to make way for the Hub. Stanchions and support beams from the goods sheds were donated by Translink to the Downpatrick and County Down Railway.
Though the project is still in its early days a few issues have arisen, including: