The Scottish Industrial Railway Centre in Dunaskin (near Ayr, about 35 minutes from Turnberry Park) provides a wonderful window into Ayrshire’s industrial, steam powered past and the attraction’s Steam Days – the next one takes place from 28-29 May – are a great chance for families to visit the centre and find out more. We asked SIRC director Archie Thom to tell us more.
What are Steam Days?
The Scottish Industrial Railway Centre is the only place in south west Scotland where working steam locomotives can be regularly seen in action.
We are only open to the public at limited times, so our Steam Days are a chance for families to visit the site, see our trains and find out more about this important part of Ayrshire’s history.
We are a Living Museum with artefacts that are maintained and demonstrated in working order. These include two steam locomotives, a passenger brake van and a saloon coach with seating for about 40 passengers.
We also have several heritage diesel-powered locomotives. Of particular interest is Barclay locomotive Number 1952, which was built in 1928 and is the only fireless steam locomotive in working order in the UK. This engine is in steam on the last Sundays of May, June, July, August and September.
Click here for a full list of Steam Day dates: http://www.scottishindustrialrailwaycentre.org.uk/steam-days/4586273115
Sounds great. What else can we see?
The Scottish Industrial Railway Centre is a site of unique historical importance, having been founded as an iron smelting works as long ago as 1848. We are home to a number of fascinating industrial buildings (although not all are open to the public), and there’s a museum containing many items of industrial and railway interest, including a full size steam locomotive, a narrow gauge locomotive and a working G-scale steam-worked model railway.
We also have a small replica railway station where a steam locomotive hauls a passenger carriage, taking visitors along 500 metres of full sized track.
Across the site there are wide-open spaces with footpaths, so dog walkers and picnickers are welcome.
What are the newest highlights for 2017?
Our recently restored saloon coach was built in 1940 by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company as a private saloon to allow directors to inspect the line. It has now been adapted for general passenger use and can be operated by either steam or diesel locomotives.
What’s the cost of entry?
Family tickets cost £16 for two adults and up to three children. Alternatively, adult tickets are £6 and child tickets (aged 4 and over) are £4. There is free entry for children aged 3 and under.
The admission price includes admission to all attractions and as many rides on the train as you like (although this can be limited at very busy times).
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
The Scottish Industrial Railway Centre is owned and operated by the Ayrshire Railway Preservation Group, with all maintenance, operating and administration done by volunteers – so we are always delighted to welcome new members.
The Centre is not open to the public on any dates other than those advertised. See the website for more details:
If you’d like to attend a Steam Day, you can book a short break at Turnberry Holiday Park, which is just 35 minutes away. Prices start from £174 for a 3-night break starting 28 April, staying in a caravan sleeping up to six: