There was disappointment in Castlerea last Sunday as a locomotive steam engine due to arrive in the town was forced to turn back at Claremorris.
Unfortunately the fine weather worked against ‘man and machine’ as sparks from the train apparently ignited gorse fires on banks along the line. These fires caused delays, which meant that drivers ran out of operating hours and therefore could not complete the journey.
Seán Browne, proprietor of Castlerea Railway Museum, said locals were understandably disappointed.
“A lot of people were disappointed. Young children who had never seen one of these trains before had been brought to see it on Sunday. CIE and Northern Rail were very accommodating though. It’s just one of those things unfortunately.”
The train, which originated in Belfast, arrived in Roscommon and Castlerea on Saturday afternoon where it made two brief stops. There was a large crowd of spectators present in Roscommon on Saturday.
The steam engine was due to arrive at Castlerea again on Sunday but was forced to turn back to Westport before returning to Dublin on Monday morning. It did however stop at Castlerea on the return journey and some locals got to see the magnificent machine for themselves.
For more information about trains from the past or railway history, Seán has advised readers to log onto www.steamtrainsireland.com or visit the Castlerea Railway Museum.