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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

TV | UTV Documentary Series about the Enterprise Is Just The Ticket!

A new documentary series about the Enterprise train service, its history and significance to Ireland, is coming to UTV.

Called ‘Enterprise – A Track Record’, UTV viewers can come on board to head back in time to the heyday of steam travel in Ireland, and go on a journey of discovery about Ireland’s most famous train.

Narrated by UTV’s Sarah Clarke, the two half hour programmes reveal the key role the Belfast to Dublin train route played in linking North and South.

Filming with the RPSI for the UTV Enterprise - A Track Record

Renowned author and historian Dr Eamon Phoenix, and railway consultant Jonathan Beaumont provide the facts and paint a picture of the service’s origins and a variety of the key players from the period, charting the development of the cross-border rail link that we nowadays take for granted.

Programme Consultant Jonathan Beaumont

The programmes provide an inside track on the world of the steam enthusiast - men and women who spend their free time restoring and running old steam locomotives and carriages, with interviews with several of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) members.

Railway author and historian, and keen RPSI member, Charles Friel shares some of his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Enterprise as well as some fabulous photography from the bygone era.

Filming with Charles Friel for the UTV Enterprise - A Track Record

Awash with colour and forgotten gems from the rich UTV archive, the programmes are peppered with reminisces, including from comedian John Linehan who reveals his love of steam travel, which goes back to his childhood and “may” have led to his becoming a mechanic after leaving school.

We also hear about the smuggling that went on during the days of the customs posts at the border, with popular items including butter and rosary beads. And we see how people power played a major role in keeping the service running during the Troubles, with the Peace Train movement.

RPSI members at Whitehead Railway

UTV’s Programmes Editor Tony Curry said:

“The Enterprise is an iconic part of our history, and these programmes take the viewer down memory lane to key events perhaps long forgotten. And whilst we are reminded of some of the darker days in its history, the commitment to the service from the beginning and the pride of those who work on it to this day really shines through.”

Visionworks Film Crew at RPSI Whitehead

Belfast-based independent production company VisionworksTelevision has produced the programmes for UTV. Director Pete Bleakley said:

“We had great fun making this series, as most of us had train sets as children, and getting ‘hands on’ with the real thing was an absolute treat - even staying up overnight to film the firing of a steam locomotive in Whitehead.”

RPSI Members at Whitehead

Producer Alan Morton said:

“It was interesting to discover how these important rail networks actually worked, and we met some real characters while filming this two-parter for UTV. Hopefully the viewers will enjoy the Enterprise experience as much as we did. This is one train you’ll not want to miss! All Aboard!”

The episodes will air on Tuesday 30th November and Tuesday 7th December at 7.30pm on UTV and on catch up on

The Enterprise

Maintenance Workers from bygone days

The Peace Train


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