Downpatrick & Co. Down Railway is Northern Ireland's only standard gauge (i.e. full size) heritage railway and is based in the county town of Down. The railway was founded in 1985 with the intention of rebuilding the entire former Belfast and County Down Railway branch line to Ardglass. However, it soon became apparent that this was an unrealistic goal and instead the railway was or is being rebuilt to Inch Abbey and Ballydugan - both of which are on the former BCDR Belfast to Newcastle main line. A more detailed history of the scheme is available on the 'History' page here. The Downpatrick & Co. Down Railway is a not-for-profit society as well as a registered charity and museum. We currently have a membership of just under 200 people from all over the world. We earn our revenue from the fares we charge per trip, donations and membership subscriptions. Major restoration jobs usually required large expenditure and we try to source grant aid for these. We are staffed entirely by volunteers, the railway has been painstakingly rebuilt from nothing by people giving up their Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays or even Thursday evenings! This website is also designed and maintained by a volunteer. Unlike many other Northern Ireland attractions, members of the public can - and are positively encouraged to shape the future direction of the railway. That's because our Management Committee is democratically elected from our membership every year.
All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Facilities and services
- Education facilities available
- Facilities for private functions and events
- Meeting room available
- Wheelchair access to some public areas
- Brochure or leaflet available with directions to museum
- Specialist publications on collections available
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