Parliament has saluted the Whitehead-based Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in its golden anniversary year.
In recognition of the work down by the organisation over the past half-century, East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson sponsored an Early Day Motion at Westminster.
It ties in with a programme of events to celebrate the golden anniversary, details of which were announced today (Wednesday) at the Society’s Castleview Road base in the seaside town.
The EDM, which has drawn support from across the political spectrum, praises the work of the RPSI and encourages its efforts to develop the Whitehead centre as a heritage working museum.
Mr Wilson said: “I congratulate the Society on its many achievements over the past 50 years. At Whitehead it has assembled an unrivalled collection of heritage steam engines and carriages.”
To mark the special occasion, Lord O’Neill, who has been president of the Society since it was founded in Belfast on September 30, 1964, drove a steam engine through a tape across the track. Around 100 members and guests also viewed a newly commissioned documentary about the organisation.
Anniversary events include the Easter Eggspress trains in April and Steam & Jazz trains - complete with headboard bearing a specially designed RPSI 50 logo - plus gala dinners in Dublin and Belfast. Work is in progress too on a £1m development project.