ReTIRIng RPSI PReSIdenT vOIceS cOnceRn AT STORed LOcOmOTIveS
Outgoing RPSI President Lord O’Neill has voiced disappointment that two steam locomotives from his Shane’s Castle Railway are locked away out of use.
The peer was speaking at a dinner held in Belfast on November 2 to mark his retirement after a record 54 years as patron and president of the society.
Lord O’Neill, who was appointed patron at the RPSI’s inaugural meeting in Belfast on September 30 1964, raised concerns about 3ft gauge Peckett 0‑4‑0T No. 1 ‘Tyrone’ and Andrew Barclay 0‑4‑0WT No. 3 ‘Shane’, which worked on his estate at Antrim from 1971 until 1995.
Both are now out of ticket and stored in an engine shed at the Giant’s Causeway. The Shanes Castle Estate Company sold the engines to the Giant’s Causeway Railway in the 1990s, but the venture collapsed and the locomotives and stock were sold off to a developer.
Lord O’Neill said he had tried to secure the engines, while the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway has expressed interest, but said that the price asked by developer, Seymour Sweeney, was too high.
Built in 1904, No. 1 ran on the Larne Aluminium Company railway and was preserved by Belfast businessman Billy McCormick, while No. 3 dates from 1949 and worked for Bord na Móna.
The way it was: Andrew Barclay 0‑4‑0wT no. 3 ‘Shane’ on the giant’s causeway Railway in September 2006.