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Popular Laois steam train set to reopen for the first time since 2019

steam Engine

A popular Laois steam train is set to get back on the tracks for the first time since October 2019.

The Stradbally Woodland Railway will reopen for the St Patrick’s weekend following two years of Covid-19 enforced closure.

The Stradbally Woodland Railway is a 1km long single-track on a 3 ft narrow gauge railway line at Stradbally Hall – the site of Electric Picnic.

This narrow gauge railway is the oldest established heritage railway in Ireland.

It is operated and managed by the Irish Steam Preservation Society and was constructed in stages between 1969 and 1982 entirely by voluntary labour.

Peter O’Dwyer, the PRO of the Irish Steam Preservation Society, says everyone in the organisation is looking forward to the resumption of activities.

He said: “After more than two years closed to the public we are delighted to announce our first public running days for 2022.

“Róisín will be hauling trains during the St Patrick’s Day weekend on Friday March 18 and Sunday March 20 from 12-4pm both days.

“Tickets are priced at €18 for a family of four, €7 for adults, €3 for children and under 5s go free.

“We accept cash or card and you can buy your tickets on the day before boarding.

“I would encourage people to try something different for Paddy’s weekend this year with a family day out that’s perfect for all ages.”

The group are also running a fundraiser with a Massey Ferguson tractor up for grabs.

Peter said: “If you can’t make it but would like to continue supporting the railway and the Irish Steam Preservation Society as a whole you can purchase a ticket to win your very own vintage Massey Ferguson tractor in our Mad for Massey raffle.”

Anyone wishing to buy a ticket can do so by clicking here.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.