Sunday 18 March 2018

'Toots' takes a trip into town for St Patrick's celebrations

Toots the train on the Samuel Beckett Bridge
Toots the train on the Samuel Beckett Bridge

MALAHIDE'S popular road train 'Toots' had a busier day than most little orange trains on St Patrick's weekend when it took pride of place in both the Swords parade and the city centre celebrations.

Doing his bit to promote the tourism offering in Fingal by taking part in the big city centre parade with his beloved road train, Toots, impresario Michael Place was delighted to take part.

He told the Fingal Independent: 'Being asked to provide the backdrop for the 'Story Train' in Merrion Square for this year's St. Patrick's Festivals 'Big Day Out' was an honour and a fabulous promotion for the beautiful area of Malahide.'

Michael is now gearing up to provide a new electric road train service between Malahide and Swords and has a busy time ahead to prepare for the next step in his growing tourism empire.

'We've begun a hectic marketing push for our burgeoning tourism ventures that hope to include our proposed Swords to Malahide service very soon,' he said.

'My hope is that next time out we can provide our proposed electric vehicle for Swords in both next year's St Patrick's Festival and the expanding Swords St. Patrick's Parade which highlighted our little Toots train with some great exposure after being covered by RTE News.'

Michael hopes that a recent amendment to the Road Traffic Act put forward by Minister Leo Varadkar, will smooth the way for his new service between Swords and Malahide.

'I hope to negotiate the hoops and hurdles of qualifying the electric powered train a little easier after the latest amendment of the Road Traffic Act by Minister Varadkar which enables our 'combination of vehicles' to be recognised.

'As of today, all road trains in operation are not Public Service Vehicle Compliant until the Bill is passed in the Oireachtas. Senator Darragh O'Brien, whom is a constant supporter of our Toots Train to date is leading the way in promoting a speedy platform for its arrival.'

He added: 'A new road train in Dublin City has began a more aggressive assault on their quest to operate by covering a route which mirrors that of an open-top bus and it too threads carefully as to its operation.

'As it stands, the future proposed recycled road train that wishes to navigate the Hill of Howth is another awaiting approval yet this malaise has all proposals stalled on the start line.'

Michael would welcome the competition and believes his 'Toots' train is the 'original and the best'.

'Our Company mission is 'Winning hearts and minds, one journey at a time' and is priced at €15 for a family to hop-on and off our little train and visit the village, beach and castle.

The Swords E Train terminus in Swords has been earmarked for the Centre Town Mall at Robyn's Nest Cookery School.

'Wouldn't it be amazing to start with traditional brown bread baking in Robyn's Nest Cookery School or hire a bike from Richies Bike Store and explore the Sli na Slainte for a start?' said Michael. 'Add in the improvements to Swords Castle and the legacy to Brian Boru to the town and you have a great destination for all in this lovely part of Ireland.'

Fingal Independent