The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland Museum – Whitehead, Northern Ireland - Atlas Obscura

The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland Museum

Dedicated to preserving railway history from across Ireland.  

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The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) is the preservation group of all things trains and operates from Dublin City in the Republic of Ireland and Whitehead coastal village in Northern Ireland.

The RPSI was originally formed in 1964 with the mandate to help preserve Irish steam locomotives, carriages, and rolling stock, and to also operate within the current railway network for tourism and educational needs. There are many activities that run between the two main bases including; afternoon tea on the historical Victorian-age carriages, Halloween nights and ghost stories, and school visits just to name a few. 

The main Railway Museum for the RPSI operates from the picturesque seaside village of Whitehead in County Antrim, which is located less than a 10-minute walk from the current Whitehead train station platform near the memorial gardens and playing fields. This little village is full of Victorian and Edwardian styles including the housing, street lights, and business fronts. In November, the society hosts a Victorian Fair every winter which adds to the historical feel of the area.

The Railway Museum itself was originally an old Excursion station built in 1907 as an overflow station to cope with the influx of day-trippers who came to visit the East Antrim coastline. The old station has been converted into a café for the museum and the old storage sheds now make up the Whitehead Railway Museum. There is an old signal station on-site, a train turntable, carriage sheds, and a workshop.

There is also an impressive collection of trains that includes; a Restored B121 class General Motors diesel-electric locomotive and a No.3 BG Steam Locomotive Guinness just to name a few.

Know Before You Go

The best way to travel here is to get the train to Whitehead Train Station and then walk along Chester Avenue to Castleview Road where the Whitehead Railway Museum is located at the end of the road on the left-hand side. There is also a free car park located along Castleview Road for anyone traveling by car.

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October 28, 2022

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