Golden anniversary tickets on steam trip to Whitehead

At the launch of the anniversary celebrations is long service staff member Michael McKinty, Whitehead, with Translink Group CEO Chris Conway.
At the launch of the anniversary celebrations is long service staff member Michael McKinty, Whitehead, with Translink Group CEO Chris Conway.

A commemorative stream train trip to Whitehead is part of celebrations to mark Translink’s 50th anniversary.

Under the Transport Act of 1967, Northern Ireland Railways took responsibility for rail services, becoming a legal entity on April 1, 1968. Since then there have been many exciting changes over the last five decades in terms of service, people and technology.

Chris Conway, Translink Group chief executive, said: “This is an important point in our history and it is good to reflect on our achievements and the important role our rail services and our staff play in helping people get to work, education, shops, hospitals and social activities.

“Over the last 50 years, we have continued to modernise our network, with fleet and station enhancements and investment in technology for passenger information and ticketing systems. The arrival of new trains brought about a renaissance in rail travel and we are now carrying over 14 million passengers annually.

“To celebrate this golden anniversary we have gathered a range of vintage photographs and a potted history with the help of both retired and current staff to publish a commemorative brochure, that is available on our website www.translink.co.uk/NIRailwaysat50/.

“We are looking forward to working with the RPSI (Railway Preservation Society of Ireland) to operate a special steam train from Great Victoria Street and Central Station to Whitehead on Wednesday 4th April with special commemorative tickets available on board.

“We will also have special 50% off day return fares available after 9.30am from 4th to 8th April on all our train services within Northern Ireland.

“We also have special commemorative logos displayed on all NI Railways trains and there will be a range of images and anecdotes released through our social media channels capturing the memories and nostalgia across the decades. Thanks to everyone who has helped us to gather all the information for everyone to enjoy.”

Meanwhile, Translink is looking at further investment in new trains to increase passenger capacity across the rail network.

“These will help us grow and attract more people on board, as part of our drive to make Translink and NI Railways ‘Your First Choice for Travel’,” Chris concluded.