Choo choo! All aboard! Take your family to Bangor and back for a bob this 7 & 8 of June on a vintage steam train courtesy of Translink and The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland as part of North Down Borough Council’s Seashore Festival – Ships, Trains, Planes & Automobiles Event.
Train lovers young and old will be thrilled at the opportunity to travel aboard a No. 85 Merlin express steam locomotive with 6 bright green carriages. Merlin, built in 1932 by Beyer Peacock, Manchester for The Great Northern Railway, was last steamed in company service in 1962 and was eventually presented to The Belfast Transport Museum. In 1982, Lord Henry Dunleath of Ballywalter provided funding to have the locomotive restored and today it is still owned by National Museums Northern Ireland. Step back in time with The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland and watch the countryside and coastline rolling by during this truly special experience.
The train will be leaving from Belfast Central on the Saturday at 10.55am and 1.25pm and will return from Bangor Train Station at 3.40pm and 5.35.pm. On Sunday 8th June, the train will depart from Belfast at 10.55am and 1.10pm and return from Bangor at 3.25pm and 5.25pm. Tickets for the return journey cost £1 and will be available from Bangor Visitor Information Centre and North Down Museum. There will be children’s entertainment onboard the train and refreshments will be available from the dining car.
Train enthusiasts will also enjoy a small exhibition at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, to mark 70 years of Northern Ireland’s Model Engineers’ Society. This exhibition will highlight the skills of Northern Ireland engineering by featuring a variety of models – both complete and under construction – along with demonstrations of the skills and tools used to make them. Normal admission rates apply to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum.
In addition to the steam train, Translink NI Railways will be operating their normal scheduled train service between Belfast and Bangor. 1/3 off day return train tickets are available after 9.30am. Or bring the whole family by bus and train with the Family and Friends Ticket priced at £20 for up to 2 adults and 4 children!