The RPSI has been running monthly meetings in Belfast, during the winter months, continually since February 1974.
Guest speakers from all corners of Ireland and beyond have enthralled our audiences with tales of all things railway - broad and narrow gauge - mostly steam, with many pictures from behind the scenes. Hundreds of slide shows and miles of movie film and video have revealed every corner of the island's railway network to consistently large audiences, reputedly the largest in these islands.
Please download and display/advertise the meetings programme.All Welcome!
|9th October 2019||1. Glenariff Mineral Railway
Steve Flanders will tell us about this industrial railway in the picturesque Glens of Antrim and probably best known for the White Arch on the Antrim coast road.
2. More Banking by Train
John Richardson will bring us more reminiscences from his time a peripatetic clerk in the Northern Bank in the 1960s which brought him to many railway towns. John brought us some of his tales in December 2017 - the highs, the lows and the often hilarious.
|13th November 2019||1. Giant's Causeway Tramway
John Moore tells us about the world-famous tramway between Portrush and the Causeway which began with steam but famously pioneered the use of hydro-electric traction. Though closed in 1949, its memory lives on.
2. Railway Graves
Peter McCabe, a local taphophile (look it up!), presents a virtual tour of the final resting places of many people associated with our local railways, including the legendary Berkeley Deane Wise.
|11th December 2019||The Wee Donegal in Pictures
Charles Friel marks the sixtieth anniversary of the closure of this much-loved narrow gauge system - the largest in these islands - which linked Stranorlar to Strabane, Victoria Road, Letterkenny, Glenties, Killybegs and Ballyshannon. See again the steam-worked goods trains, the legendary excursions battling though the Barnesmore Gap, the lively railcars, the stations and level crossings - all set in spectacular Donegal scenery. And discover how the story did not end in 1959!
|8th January 2020||1. Our Daily Bread - Another Slice
James Davidson brings us the story of how local bakeries used railways - and not just to get their varied produce overnight to many stations across Northern Ireland; includes many previously unseen pictures.
2. The BBC Archives Revisited
Ian Sinclair with more excerpts from local BBC radio and television programmes, both regular programmes and one-off features, which explored the local railway scene; many from a more innocent time and with some voices that are no longer with us.
|12th February 2020||The Derry Road Remembered
Jim Donaghy recreates a journey along the Great Northern line from Portadown to Londonderry Foyle Road through Dungannon, Omagh, and Strabane as well as the branches to Coalisland and Omagh Market which was closed 55 years ago this month. Includes many previously unpublished photographs by the late Des FitzGerald and others. It is time to stir the memories and share some of the stories that can only now be told!
|11th March 2020||Graham Hoare’s Irish Railway Photographs
Roger Joanes, himself a frequent visitor since 1959, presents pictures by his late friend Graham Hoare who travelled extensively in Ireland between 1956 and 1964 and took a special interest in lines and stations then threatened with closure - Timoleague, Tomkin Road and Trillick or old favourites like Fintona and Killybegs among very many others.
Meetings start sharp at 7:30pm and finish by 10:00pm.
Each night includes a 5 minute 'Newsreel'. This gives a bite-sized look at some recent event or intriguing piece of engineering in which the RPSI has been involved and is usually a mixture of video and still photographs. It is the natural appetiser to getting involved yourself, perhaps by meeting some of the volunteers who do so much behind the scenes.
It is followed by a talk/show illustrated on a large screen.
There will be an interval for tea/coffee, with time to visit the huge range of items for sale, giving you a chance to browse through the RPSI shop, including the large stock of new and second-hand Irish railway books, videos and other railway paperwork as well as magazines - far too many to list here.
The meetings are open to non-members and admission is free, although donations towards running costs are always gratefully received (there will be a collection on leaving).
The meetings are fully accessible for wheelchair users.