one time Lisburn people looked forward to boarding summer
excursion trains to the seaside with as much excitement as
today's travellers anticipate boarding their flights to the sun.
The steam hauled specials left the line to
the terminus in Great Victoria Street just after Adelaide and
used the railway which now leads to Belfast Central to join the
tracks between Queens Quay Station and Bangor.
Anticipation grew as the engines steamed
through Holywood and Cultra eventually giving passengers a
splendid view of the North Channel while passing Carnalea during
the final stage of the trip.
Next month the Railway Preservation Society of
Ireland will offer an opportunity to relive a time when a day
out by the sea brought such pleasure.
Two return 'Bangor Belle' specials will
recreate those days of simpler pleasures when they travel from
Lisburn to the seaside town and back on Sunday August 24.
Each train will offer passengers travel in
lovingly restored carriages, the opportunity for children (and
the more nostalgic adults) to get close to the steam engine and
talk to the driver and fireman during the relaxing journey
through the North Down countryside. RPSI Operations
Officer Mervyn Darragh commented: "Lisburn was a busy junction
station and maintains a lot of its historic charm - a great
starting point for a trip back in time."
RPSI Chairman Johnny Glendinning said: "A steam
train just oozes atmosphere and we would especially appreciate
the public sending us drawings, notes or poems about their day
out on the steam train for posting on our website."
Tickets for the August 24 'Bangor Belle' steam trains cost
£10 for adults and £7 for children under 16 years old and OAP's.
They are available by telephone (9024 6609): call-and-collect
from The Belfast Welcome Centre, Donegal' Place, Belfast City
Centre or online from
www.steamtrainsireland.com. Advance booking is essential