'Keeping it Rail' weekend gathers steam

Published: 24 Sep 2012 15:14

A nostalgic weekend to celebrate Fermanagh's railway heritage is gathering steam. Rail services officially ceased on September 30, 1957 but according to Selwyn Johnston of Headhunters Railway Museum, rail travel is fondly remembered.

A model railway display captured attention at last year's Model Railway Exhibition and Collectors' Fair in Enniskillen.

This Saturday, the annual Model Railway Exhibition and Collectors' Fair, now in its 15th year, takes place at the Cathedral Hall, Enniskillen from 10am to 5pm. Exhibitors and traders from throughout Ireland will be welcomed to this popular activity, which this year has been incorporated within the 'Keeping it Rail' weekend. Other attractions will include Headhunters Barber Shop and Railway Museum's exhibition of locomotive nameplates, while Enniskillen Library has a display of classic railway posters. 'Art in the Age of Steam' is the current exhibition at Fermanagh County Museum.

Arrangements are in place for a special commemorative railway traction engine road run, which is due to travel (from Thursday to Saturday) along the route of the Great Northern Railway stopping off at towns and villages between Bundoran and Enniskillen, once served by the railway.

On Wednesday evening, a special family fun evening has been organised at the Railway Bar, Bundoran, and the next morning, the traction engines will go through Bundoran towards Ballyshannon and on to Belleek, where a special family fun evening takes place at the Black Cat Cove at 7pm (Thursday).

On Friday, they will travel from Belleek to Irvinestown via Castlecaldwell, Pettigo and Kesh. Mahon's Hotel will welcome their arrival at 7pm with family entertainment. On Saturday, the journey continues to Enniskillen via Bundoran Junction and Ballinamallard to arrive in Enniskillen around 2pm for the Erne Model Railway show.

A highlight of the weekend will be 'Steam Around Fermanagh' at the Ardhowen Theatre at 8pm on Saturday. The weekend will conclude on Sunday, when railway enthusiast Alan Devers will lead a free guided walk of the Great Northern Way, Sligo Leitrim Way and Managers Walk, Enniskillen. People can turn up at 2.30pm at the Railway carpark. For further information, Headhunters Railway Museum can be contacted on telephone number, 028 6632 7488.

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