Niamh has recently started taking a interest in trains and in her ‘First Words’ book always points to the train and says “choo choo!”.
So, when I was invited along to the newly opened Whitehead Railway Museum, which would include a ride on a 100-year-old steam train, I thought we should go and see if she would enjoy being on trains, “in real life”, so to speak!
The attraction opened in October 2017 by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland with the intention of opening up to the public some historical railway items, including and engine from 1879 and a carriage from 1911.
I’m not, by any means, an avid fan of the heritage of railway travel, but I was interested to see what the old trains looked like and the current restoration work being undertaken.
We headed down on Saturday and our first stop at the attraction was the renovated Edwardian tea rooms situated in the Station Building. We had some tea and tasty cake in the period-style cafe while watching the steam train pass by.
Once finished we only had to wait a few minutes before we were ready to board the train ourselves. The 100-year-old steam train is running every 15 minutes between 12-4pm each Saturday this summer. The locomotive is known as the 3BG Guinness as it worked at the Guinness brewery in Dublin. Niamh loved it and was in her element waving at the people on the platform!
After our train ride we then met our tour guide Colin for our hour-long tour around the museum. We heard about the history of the station, visited the Signal Box, and saw a wide range of old trains, engines and carriages (even some that we could hop on and look around.) There is even a section where children can dress up in Victorian period-style costumes.
Niamh was too young to appreciate the tour so I think it would be better with older children, or those with an interest in trains beyond knowing what a “choo choo” is! But I enjoyed experiencing the steam train and seeing some rail history come to life! Thanks for having us!
Our day at Whitehead Railway Museum- round up video
Tea Rooms at Whitehead Railway Museum