2hrs 13mins
Dir: Neil Jordan
Starring: Liam Neeson and Aidan Quinn

The life of the Irish Republican leader Michael Collins

This controversial historical biopic features a number of shots of the RPSI-owned K2 Class 2-6-0 No.461 and S Class 4-4-0 No.171 Slieve Gullion on trains of historic rolling stock. Locations used for filming included Dublin Pearse and Rush & Lusk stations, and the railway shots featured a couple of excellent run-bys of No.461 and its train. As a footnote, the set for the film was built on the grounds of the old Grangegorman Hospital in Dublin. It took 17 weeks to build the massive set, the largest ever built for a film in Ireland. Full-sized replicas of the facades of the General Post Office and the Mansion House as they appeared during the period 1916-1922, including the Easter Rising and Civil War damage, were constructed. Overhead lines, tram-tracks and cobble stones were made and put in place to add to the authenticity, though the tram-cars are rather anachronistic as the type depicted did not appear until a year after Collins’ death in 1922. In one scene, two Dublin United Tramways Corporation ‘trams’ pass in opposite directions. Neither has its trolley pole in contact with the overhead electrical wiring, and both are bouncing around alarmingly on twin-axle chassis, thus giving away their true identity as fake builds with a petrol engine. It should also be noted that although Slieve Gullion was built in 1913 and is thus old enough to star in the set period, No.461 was not constructed until 1922. In the film it hauls a period train of 1918!

K2 Class 2-6-0 No.461 steams towards the camera in this fine opening shot
Whilst here it is captured arriving at a damp Rush & Lusk station in County Dublin
Liam Neeson and Aidan Quinn on the platform at Rush & Lusk
This second run-by of No.461 must be one of the finest of any film
The period scenes extend to Dublin Pearse station, which would have been known as Westland Row in Michael Collins’ time
As passengers board the train at Dublin Pearse, S Class 4-4-0 No.171 Slieve Gullion is on the left beneath the GREAT SOUTHERN & WESTERN sign. Interestingly, neither locomotive in the film belonged to the company whose routes were largely centred out of Kingsbridge station in Dublin (now Heuston) and not Pearse.
The final run-by shows No.461 crossing the River Nanny at Laytown. The bridge also featured in The Crying Game (1992).