Locomotive 186 during a recent visit to Lisburn.
A grand dame silver screen who's no stranger to Lisburn will visit the city
once again later this month. Although quite an age, this
particular star who has played opposite Sean Connery has been
given a clean bill of health and her arrival in town is sure to
draw the crowds.
In true diva style she can huff and puff and
her scream which is particularly ea piercing, has been alerting
people to her presence for many decades.
She is, in fact, Locomotive No 186 built
originally in Manchester in 1879 for Ireland's Great Southern
and Western Railway.
She had a major part in the 1979 film 'The
Great Train Robbery' which also featured Mr Connery and on
Saturday September 20 will haul several special trains operated
by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) to
transport people between Lisburn and Portadown's 'Country Comes
to Town' Festival. No 186's outgoing has been made possible by
sponsorship from Translink and RPSI Chairman Johnny Glendinning
predicted it would delight passengers and possibly inspire
children to consider engine driving as a career.
"The steam train is a fantastic way to beat
the traffic and arrive at the festival in style," he commented.
"No.186 had her last major overhaul in 2004
and is as good as new. Our train will give people a glimpse back
to a' gentler age and compliments perfectly the country fair at
Portadown." Mervyn Darragh, RPSI Operations Officer was upbeat
about the day; "It is great to see such good co-operation
between Translink and the RPSI. "Thanks to Translinks sponsorship, the
day has been possible. It is very important that we recognise
the enormous impact railways made, and increasingly make now on
life in Northern Ireland.
"I cannot think of. a more appropriate way of
doing this than allowing children and adults to enjoy the sight,
sound and smell of our steam train in action on Northern Ireland
The steam train will be operate between Lisburn and Portadown at 10.45, 12.45 and 15.10.
Return trips from Portadown to Lisburn will operate at 11.40,
13.40 and 16.10. All trains will stop at Moira Station to pick
up and drop off.
Tickets cost just £4 return and are available
from Lisburn Railway Station as well as Lisburn Tourist
Information Centre, Lisburn Square.
The RPSI acquired Locomotive 186 in 1965. She
was extensively used on the Society's railtours between 1967 and