This film is part of Free

The Boat Train

A picturesque journey on the boat train from Belfast to Larne to catch the Caledonian Princess by beloved Ballyclare filmmaker Archie Reid.

Documentary 1963 8 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


Let Archie Reid’s camera take you on a train journey full of picturesque scenery of the Northern Irish countryside. Hurtle along the coastline with passengers traveling to Larne for the short sea crossing. While the informative commentary provides the background information, feel free to immerse yourself in the rhythms of railway station life, passengers, moving trains and floating boats.

This turbine steamship, also referred to as a ‘floating garage’, plied back and forth across the Irish Sea, linking Britain to Northern Ireland until 1981 when she retired from service. The Princess spent her later life as the Tuxedo Princess and converted into a floating nightclub to be moored on the Tyne and moved to Glasgow in 1988, returning in 1998. Rumour has it that she was towed away to Greece for a big makeover in 2007, which never took place. Ships Monthly’s investigation proved that she was later broken up at a yard in Turkey. Archie Reid was a History teacher and prolific film maker, you can find several of his gems on the Britain on Film map. This material is courtesy of Elizabeth Reid.