Full steam ahead for the Railway Preservation Society taking the Ballymote line in Sligo for the annual steam engine excursion.

Reporter Tommie Gorman meets some of those on board to find out more about their enthusiasm for steam trains. The return fare for the  journey was £3 for adults and £2 for children. The Railway Preservation Society also provided a full bar service on board charging £1 a pint. Passengers included the Mayor of Sligo Tony McLoughlin and his daughter. 

Made in 1913 by Beyer, Peacock and Company in Manchester, the passenger locomotive was rebuilt in the 1930s by the Great Northern Railway at its yard in Dundalk. This old train is ready for action once more.

The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland has its headquarters in Whitehead, county Antrim. The Society agreed to run one of its annual steam train outings in Sligo to mark 125 years since the opening of the Sligo-Longford line by the Midland and Great Western Railway.

The steam train took an hour-long return trip to Ballymote, giving passengers and steam engine buffs the chance to compare the old with the new. Some had travelled from as far as West Germany for the steam train excursion.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 May 1987. The reporter is Tommie Gorman.