Restored steam train visiting Wicklow Town this weekend

You don’t have to be a trainspotter to enjoy the wonderful sights on offer this weekend all along coastal Wicklow.

The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland have announced that they will be running a number of specials hauled by the famous No.131 train this weekend.

For those with an interest in the history of our railway system, this should be a treat.

The No. 131 was built in February of 1901, and it was one of 13 4-0-4 class locomotives for the Great Northern Railway, and was designed by the great locomotive engineer, Charles Clifford.

According to the Railway Presevation Society of Ireland:

She was used mainly on the routes from Belfast to Clones and Belfast to Londonderry and throughout her GNR(I) life was rarely seen south of Dundalk. She was overhauled again in 1958 at Dundalk and in October 1958 when the Great Northern Railway board split between the Ulster Transport Authority and Córas Iompair Éireann, the locomotive passed into the hands of CIÉ for operation until withdrawal in October 1963. Between 1963 and 1965 she lay unused along with (now, also preserved at the RPSI’s Whitehead base) J15 0-6-0 No.184 and K2 2-6-0 No.461. No.131 always carried GNR(I) black livery whilst in operation, but for a short time, whilst on display, she carried GNR(I) sky-blue. In the late 1970s the locomotive was repainted and placed on a plinth at Dundalk station (the spiritual home of the GNR(I)).

In June 1984 No.131 and her tender, were moved to Mallow as the main locomotive of the Great Southern Railway Preservation Society. Unfortunately, this venture did not bear fruition and the locomotive (partially stripped down and with the boiler and firebox out of the frames) was moved back to Inchicore Railway Works in the late 1990s.

The running frames were moved to Whitehead on 31st May 2003 and unloaded with the help of the RPSI’s trusted Ruston Hornsby diesel shunter. Slightly smaller than RPSI icon “S” class, No.171 Slieve Gullion, she is nonetheless a very useful addition to the Irish mainline steam scene, easily powerful enough to handle the 7+ coach trains which the RPSI enjoy.

Don’t miss your chance to ride the rails like never before.

Train 1: 10:35 Dublin to Bray, 4.5 hours in Bray and then back to Dublin Connolly for 16:50 (SOLD OUT)

Train 2: 11:25 Bray to Wicklow, 3 hours in Wicklow and then back to Bray for 16:00.

Train 3: 12:50 Wicklow to Greystones and return immediately to Wicklow, arriving back at 14:00.

Tickets for all trains are €10 per child and €16 per adult return plus booking fees.

Full information and tickets are available now online.

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