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All Aboard: Shane's Castle Railway and the Enterprise leaves Belfast

Relive your memories of the Shane’s Castle railway. Inspired by the Blitz and built in the family castle ruins, Lord O’Neill’s private passion becomes a tourist attraction.

Amateur film 1981 3 mins Silent

From the collection of:

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Share in a rarely realised dream, as railway buff Lord O’Neill creates his own steam railway. This magical train transports visitors from the carpark to the Castle ruins. O’Neill’s love of trains began during World War II in a London bomb shelter. The shelter was owned by a member of the Model Engineering Society who would give him their journal to read. A lifelong passion blossomed from this kind distraction from the air raids. Under a rainbow the Enterprise leaves Belfast.

Shane’s Castle was the ancient seat of the O’Neill’s; the powerful Irish clan associated with the red hand of Ulster. A fire in 1816 reduced the castle to ruins. Lord O’Neill opened the estate as a tourist attraction starring this narrow gauge railway from 1971 until it closed in 1995. It was pieced together from rescued steam and diesel locomotives along with ex-County Donegal Railways railcars and Belgian trams. He is an avid collector and president of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland. The Enterprise is a Mark 3 Generator Van and a 201 Class locomotive made up of DVT with First Plus, buffet carriage and four standard carriages. The Mark 3 as seen in this film was introduced on the CIÉ system in 1980.