Old Drogheda Society
The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland have requested us to remind you that they are running two steam train shuttles from Drogheda Railway Station on next Sunday August 9th.
The first one will leave at 11.37am for Dundalk and the second on departing for Skerries at 1.55pm.This is the 4th year in a row that these popular trips have run and in the past they have all sold out very quickly.Tickets are on sale in Drogheda Tourist Office in the Tholsel. Adults €12 Children €6. There are less than 50 seats left for each of the trains.
The locomotive being used is No.4 is a truly historic locomotive, the last steam locomotive to be used anywhere in Ireland outside of preservation. The most modern of Ireland's surviving steam engines, No.4 is also among the best known and best loved, after many years of service pulling RPSI main line excursions.
A Jeep For All Seasons (Abridged from Steam Railway Issue 254, Spring 2001)
The real end of main line steam in the British Isles - on Northern Ireland Railways - went almost unnoticed by those outside the 'Emerald Isle'. That was in 1971. 11th August 1968 is a date burned in the memory of most enthusiasts, but far from being the end of UK steam, August 1968 marked only the retirement of BR's last tired survivors. How many people after this last sad day knew that, within the British Isles, LMS 2-6-4Ts were still working hard for their living, and would do for another two years?
We are not talking here of preservation, or some little know quarry siding. Neither is it pure fantasy. The locomotives in question, designed by Ivatt and constructed at Derby, were still employed by a nationalised, main line railway. That railway was Northern Ireland Railways, and the locomotives were the ex-LMS (Northern Counties Committee) 'WT' 2-6-4Ts.
So when was the last day of steam in Ireland. 31st March 1970, when NIR 2-6-4T No.4 brought in the 5.25pm Whitehead-Carrickfergus local service, and thereby the last main line steam passenger train in the British Isles (tickets for which incidentally cost 3s 9d - considerably less than what it would cost today to get from Drogheda to Laytown)