Covid restrictions saw the Downpatrick and County Down Railway closed for two years and due to an extensive maintenance backlog was unable to open earlier in 2022.
However, after a tremendous amount of work from the dedicated team of volunteers at Heritage Railways, they are now able to open their doors to the public this summer.
The award-winning railway will initially only operate on Saturdays from mid-July and will see its Class 450 diesel railcar services to the public, this is due to ongoing steam locomotive overhauls which have been delayed due to the loss of key volunteers during the pandemic.
Work is currently underway to get the steam locomotives back into service in time for Lapland Express trains this Christmas, with further details to be revealed very soon!
The railway doors will open for the first time on Saturday 16th July with trains running every Saturday in July, August and September as part of the Downpatrick and County Down Railways summer train scheme. To find out more about the summer train schedule, please visit: https://www.downrail.co.uk/event/summerdiesel/
Alongside the summer schedule, two special events have also been confirmed, the first of which is the SuperTrain which is a superhero experience kids will love and will take place on Saturday July 23rd. To learn more about the SuperTrain, visit: https://www.downrail.co.uk/event/superheroes/
The Jurassic Express will also run on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August and will bring an exciting dinosaur adventure to the Downpatrick and County Down Railway. Further details of this event will soon be added to the railway’s website.
The railway is still facing ongoing issues with Newry, Morne and Down Council over the main station buildings which unfortunately means some areas of the station are unavailable at the moment.