The Peace Train Organisation (PTO) ran seven trains between Dublin and Belfast from 1989–1995, and a one-off special train that ran from Holyhead to London in June 1991. It received support from a broad range of civil society: trade unions, churches, business communities, the media, arts organisations, as well as political figures from many parties across Britain and Ireland.
At a time when security alerts were both disrupting journeys and dissuading passengers from using the Enterprise train services, the Peace Trains ran under the slogan of “Keep the Lines Open”.
A witness seminar on the Peace Train Organisation was held in Belfast on 30 March. It was attended by many of the surviving organisers. Introduced by Dr Connal Parr and chaired by Liz McManus, the seminar heard from panellists – Proinsias de Rossa, Eileen Bell, Gary Kent, Christopher Hudson and Bernard C Byrne – and audience members.
An interesting companion piece is the programme Northern Visions (NvTv) compiled some years ago using archive footage from the 1992 Peace Train.
The witness seminar was filmed on 30 March 2023 by Alan Meban.
Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about, reports from, live-tweets and live-streams civic, academic and political events and conferences. He delivers social media training/coaching; produces podcasts and radio programmes; is a FactCheckNI director; a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland; and a member of the Corrymeela Community.