Upbeat visit to Whitehead by European museums and railways party

John McKegney, RPSI chairman, welcomes Jaap Nieweg, Fedecrail president and delegates from the European group to Whitehead Railway Museum. Included are, from left, Rebecca Laverty, museum administrator, Lisa Adair, RPSI general manager, plus Johnny Glendinning and Ciaran McAteer from the Ireland branch of the Heritage Railways Association.
John McKegney, RPSI chairman, welcomes Jaap Nieweg, Fedecrail president and delegates from the European group to Whitehead Railway Museum. Included are, from left, Rebecca Laverty, museum administrator, Lisa Adair, RPSI general manager, plus Johnny Glendinning and Ciaran McAteer from the Ireland branch of the Heritage Railways Association.

Whitehead has hosted a visit by the European Federation of Museum & Tourist Railways.

Nine members of Fedecrail’s Central Council held their quarterly meeting at Whitehead Railway Museum.

The visitors also enjoyed a trip on the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s Steam & Jazz train special.

The delegation was led by Fedecrail’s pesident, Jaap Nieweg from the Netherlands, who brought his clarinet with him. An accomplished musician, Mr Nieweg joined the travelling jazz band at their performances on the steam trip. Also present were representatives of Fedecrail from Britain, France, Belgium and Germany.

They were welcomed by RPSI chairman Canon John McKegney along with Johnny Glendinning and Ciaran McAteer, who represent the Heritage Railway Association in Ireland.

Fedecrail represents 650 museums and private railways in 27 countries across the European Union. It lobbies governments on behalf of the sector and this year is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Mr Nieweg said: “This is our first time in Northern Ireland and we are very much enjoying the experience. We are most impressed by Whitehead Railway Museum. At our meeting the council has been discussing a range of issues including new environmental controls on the burning of coal and of course we are keeping an eye on Brexit.”

The group was also due to visit the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum at Cultra and the Downpatrick & Co Down Railway.

Further details about Whitehead Railway Museum at: www.steamtrainsireland.com