Thousands of visitors expected during first year

Mid and East Antrim councillors visit Whitehead's new railway museum. INLT 49-652-CON
Mid and East Antrim councillors visit Whitehead's new railway museum. INLT 49-652-CON

Six councillors have been given a sneak preview of the new £3.1 million Railway Preservation Society of Ireland museum in Whitehead.

Work is progressing at the railway museum which is due to open on March 1.

The Mid and East Antrim visitors were given a conducted tour of the facility which includes an interpretive centre, the turntable, the signal cabin and the viewing galleries.

They also inspected the RPSI’s workshop facilities which have been extended and upgraded as part of the project.

RPSI chairman Denis Grimshaw said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome the councillors to Whitehead, to show them the new facilities and to explain how we see the attraction developing.

“The RPSI is in the business of restoring historic locomotives and carriages which otherwise would have been scrapped – but as we explained, we are also about passing engineering skills on to future generations.

Mr Grimshaw added: “Carrickfergus Borough Council was always a key supporter of RPSI, and we are grateful to Mid & East Antrim Council for having provided a sum of additional funding which has made this museum development possible.”

The RPSI expects visitor numbers to hit around 15,000 during the first full year that the museum is open.

The RPSI is offering people from the East Antrim area a chance to travel by steam train from Whitehead and Carrickfergus to Belfast on Saturday December 17. The train leaves Whitehead at 9.50am, calling at Carrick, and returns at 4.45pm. Tickets cost £10 and£5 for under 16s.

UU16) ..are on sale at The Bank House in Whitehead.