independent

Thursday 23 May 2019

Steam train built back in 1932 visits Wicklow town

Steam train driver (and Wicklow man) Connie O’Gara and Nicky Cox at Wicklow train station
Steam train driver (and Wicklow man) Connie O’Gara and Nicky Cox at Wicklow train station

It was full steam ahead on Easter Monday as the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland brought the steam train experience to Wicklow town.

Big Blue Engine No. 85 Merlin rolled into Wicklow Train Station from Greystones and back on two occasions, ferrying over 300 passengers back and forth.

The special Easter Eggspress was crewed by David Carse, Connie O'Gara, Nicky Cox, Ken Fox and Tony Cooke.

A glorious sunny day greeted all the passengers, many of whom took the chance to walk around Wicklow town and enjoy the sights, before taking the return trip later in the day back to Greystones.

No. 85 was used mainly on the Dublin to Belfast express services in the heyday of steam. She was built in 1932 and withdrawn in 1963 after the end of steam. She and her four other sister trains were all named after birds of prey, hence the name Merlin.

She underwent a major overhaul in 1986 in the famous Harland and Wolff and has provided passengers with plenty of happy memories ever since.

The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland was formed in 1964 to preserve Irish steam locomotives, carriages and rolling stock.

Wicklow People

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