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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Enterprise train service connecting Belfast and Dublin celebrates 75th anniversary

At 10.30am on 11th August 1947, the inaugural Enterprise train service travelled from Belfast to Dublin – a seven-carriage steam train operated by the Great Northern Railway (Ireland).

Its first year in service consisted of one train in each direction with Its launch heralding a new era in cross-border rail travel connecting the two cities.

Today, 75 years later, Enterprise passenger demand is on course to reach an all-time high with 16 departures daily (8 in either direction).

From an operational perspective, there have been many milestones over the decades like diesel railcars replacing steam locomotives to major refurbishments and railway upgrades. But the Enterprise story has also been impacted by the wider historical context like The Troubles when the Peace Train Organisation was set-up and the ‘contraceptive trains’ of the Irish Womens Liberation Movement.

Now jointly operated by Translink NI Railways and Iarnród Éireann, the Enterprise Strategic Development Plan outlines ambitions for the development of the service from procurement of new fleet and line electrification to journey time improvement options.

To celebrate the rich history of the service, an exhibition of photographs of the train, its customers and staff through the years is now on display at Dublin Connolly Station and Lanyon Place Station.

Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said:

“Today we celebrate the service, our staff and customers over the decades. Whatever your reason for travel, Enterprise has been there to connect us to family, friends and opportunity, evolving with the times and better connecting Belfast and Dublin. Thank you to everyone who has shaped the Enterprise journey and we look forward to delivering our ambitious plans to secure the future of our flagship cross-border rail service.”

Iarnród Éireann Chief Executive Jim Meade, said:

“The Enterprise service has a rich and evocative history. I am certain that our customers will very much enjoy the exhibition that is now on display at Lanyon Place and Connolly.

“The Enterprise train is a key economic and social connector for the people of Dublin, Belfast and the stations in between and we look forward to another 75 years of its successful operation.”


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