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Even Santa boards the Dublin choo choo

Published October 20, 2006 | by: Huib Zegers

You need not be an ‘anorak’ to get all exited by the hissing and puffing of steam locomotives. Old and young can enjoy a trip back in time in the greater Dublin area as the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) organizes steam excursions several times per year.

Steam train in Greystones ©2001 - Huib Zegers The RPSI was formed in 1964 to preserve in working order steam locomotives and other rolling stock built for the Irish railway system, from 1850 to the present day.

The Society, a not-for-profit charity managed by volunteers, maintains a museum at Whitehead in Northern-Irel and operates steam-hauled excursions over the present day Irish railway network for families and enthusiasts.

The Dublin area is a magnificent background for the steam-hauled excursions of the RPSI as Ireland’s capital city is steeped in railway history. The line between Dún Laoghaire (then Kingstown) and Westland Row (now Pearse Station) was opened on December 17, 1834. It was the first dedicated commuter railway in the world.

The last steam trips of this year the Society is organizing in the Greater Dublin area are the fifteen 'Santa Specials' during the first three weekends of December. All these steam-hauled trains in which Santa is the guest of honour, were fully booked some two months on forehand.

Steaming along the Loop Line
Even if they are not in possession of tickets for these trips, steam enthusiasts and photographers can relish in the sight of the steam trains departing from Pearse Station, steaming over the nearly hundred year old Loop Line bridge or racing through Drumcondra Station. Other good observation points are the walkway along the Royal Canal and obviously Maynooth Station were the trains terminate and the loco can be observed shunting.

The details of the Steam Train Events in Dublin and the rest of Ireland in 2007 will be published on the website of the RPSI in a couple of weeks time.

Dublin Rail

This document was created by Huib Zegers ; ©2006 -