Railway Preservation of Ireland plans unique country music steam train night

The Railway Preservation of Ireland (RPSI) is set to host what it believes to be a unique ‘first’ for Ireland and the UK.

The ‘Steam & Stetsons’ train on Friday, July 22 promises an evening of country music and delicious food.

RPSI general manager Lisa Adair is enthusiastic about the new concept.

“This is a brand-new innovative idea for the RPSI. It is certainly a unique product in Ireland: and we think in the UK also,” she said.

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    Engine No.131 crossing the Dargan Bridge in Belfast. Picture: Matthew Crockett and Charles Friel.

    Departing from Translink’s Belfast Lanyon Place Station at 8.30pm, the ‘Steam & Stetsons’ train, pulled by 1901 built steam engine No.131, with a bar on board, will cross high over Belfast on the Dargan Viaduct before running along the scenic shores of Belfast Lough to the RPSI’s Whitehead Excursion station.

    “Then comes the best bit,” said Lisa. “Boxcar Brian and the Country Harmony band will be at our station to play a two-hour session as darkness falls and the atmospheric station lights warm up. Not only that but there will be a delicious, locally-produced artisan hog roast for everyone along with a cocktail bar, complete with mixologists.

    “For those who fancy boot-scooting, there is plenty of time space for dancing and at a price of £42 it’s a very special night,” she added.

    The artisan hog roast, complete with range of sides, is produced by Whitehead’s own McMasters Butchers and can be substituted for full vegetarian option.

    Boxcar Brian and the Country Harmony band at Whitehead

    “Bring a party of people, bring a partner, no dress code but we will particularly welcome full Western dress,” said Lisa.

    No.131 will return the train to Belfast Lanyon place for midnight.

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    For more details and for tickets, go to the RPSI website

    Engine No.131 at Whitehead. Picture: Matthew Crockett and Charles Friel.