This film is part of Free

Shane's Castle

Share in a rarely realised dream, as railway buff Lord O’Neill creates his own steam railway.

Amateur film 1970 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


See 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 the ruins you see in this film. Lord O’Neill opened the estate as an 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-Donegal Railways railcars and Belgian trams. Archie Reid captures both on glorious sunny day at Shane’s Castle.

Lord O’Neill is an avid collector and president of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland. His 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.