The Downpatrick & County Down Railway will once again grace the small screen, featuring in a documentary about the significance of railways in Irish history that will be screened on Irish language station TG4 in the New Year.
The series is called Boithre Iarainn, and is a six-part series for TG4 about the closure of railways across Ireland, and is due to be aired in January, 2012. Filming took place over two days at the railway, Wed 6th and Thur 7th July.
The DCDR provided location services for two days, where re-enactments of a number of events that happened on Irish railways throughout the 1900s were staged.
These scenes included recalling the tradition of families travelling for their summer holidays to Bundoran on trains, pilgrims making their way to Lough Derg and on board the “Radio Trains” of CIE (Irish Rail’s predecessor), the series also looks at the darker side of Irish history with re-enactments of two IRA attacks Cork in the 1920s and in Clones on trains that led to the deaths of many soldiers and civilians.
Downpatrick & County Down Railway chairman, Mr. Michael Collins, said the documentary was one a series of films and programmes to be shot at the railway, which he said was becoming increasingly well known for its film potential.
He said the TG4 crew were delighted and surprised by the wealth of props and trains available to them, with carriages from the 1920s and the 1950s used as authentic trains for the documentary.
He said a number of other film opportunities were also in the pipeline.
“These help our fundraising as an associated fee, they are also very useful for publicity as they spread the word about the local railway,” he said.