Passengers on this year’s Easter Eggspress Steam Trains will be able to experience the thrill of steam travel from the Titanic era. For the first time ever, this experience is available on Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday.
The steam locomotive at the head of the Easter Eggspress is a beautifully restored classic. Built in 1879, the locomotive spent much of its working life in Cork and it is very likely it hauled goods and freight to the Titanic when it docked in Cobh in 1912. Over 133 years old, the Easter Steam Train, will be whisking passengers on an eggciting eggscursion from Belfast Central to Whitehead Excursion Station and back.
The trips are aimed at families, providing nostalgia for adults and great fun for children, with a free Easter egg for every ticket holding child.
RPSI Operations Officer Mervyn Darragh said: “These are some of our favourite trains to operate – children react so well to the sight, sound and smell of a steam train on Northern Ireland’s railway lines. And the grown-ups relish the opportunity to relive the halcyon days of steam. The trains operate along the Belfast Lough shore with great views of where Titanic was launched. With a Titanic era steam locomotive at the front it’s a really tangible link with that time.
“It is important to us to expose Northern Ireland’s railway heritage to as many people as possible, especially the young. We are proud to be working closely with NI Railways to ensure more and more people are able to experience nostalgic travel, like this Easter Eggspress train and encourage people to book early to avoid disappointment!”
The round trip from Belfast Central Station to Whitehead Excursion Station and back takes just under 2 hours and takes passengers out of the city and along the shore of Belfast Lough. The journey offers passengers scenic seascapes as it hugs the coastline. Whitehead Excursion Station is the base for the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland and, whilst the steam locomotive takes water and runs-around to the other end of the train for the journey back to Belfast, passengers can watch from the platform and enjoy the RPSI’s souvenir shop.
In reaction to popular demand last year, this year there will be four return steam trains split over the 2 days. Each day, the first train leaves from Belfast Central at 11:15am, the second train leaves from Belfast Central at 1:40pm.
Tickets cost a standard fare of only £11.00 (adults and children). All ticket holding children will receive an Easter Egg on the train.
Tickets are available from: The Belfast Welcome Centre, Donegall Place, Belfast (telephone 028 9024 6609) and online from the RPSI website at www.steamtrainsireland.com