The name is somewhat confusing as the station is significantly further from Belfast city centre than Great Victoria Street station. Contrary to popular belief, Central Station is in fact so named because it is on the former trackbed of the Belfast Central Railway, which was built in the early 1870s.The station itself was opened on 26 April 1976.

It is one of the four stations located in Belfast City Centre, the others being Great Victoria Street, City Hospital and Botanic.

Located on East Bridge Street in the city, Central is the northern terminus of the cross border Enterprise service to Dublin Connolly, which runs every two hours. As well as this service, Central is also served by Northern Ireland Railways, which operates routes to other locations in Northern Ireland, including Derry, Bangor, Portadown and Larne.

Regular services also operate between Central and the city's other main station: Great Victoria Street. Intending passengers travelling to and from Central are at present, upon presentation of a valid rail ticket, permitted to travel at no cost on Belfast's Metro service to the city centre.

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