Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th and Tuesday 31st October, 4pm-7pm
Book your Halloween tickets now – go to our online ticket office!
Travel on our Scream Train to the haunted graveyard to meet the wicked witch and her friends, then onward to visit Merlin in his haunted cavern. Gift bags for the kids and face painting are included!
Trains depart at: 16:00, 16:45, 17:30, 18:15 and 19:00 from our station in Downpatrick.
Advanced booking is recommended! Some tickets will be on sale on the night, but priority will be given to people who have booked in advance to beat the queues.
Want to know more about our Halloween Trains? Read on…
Dress up for your visit to the haunted graveyard
There’s something strange happening at the Downpatrick & County Down Railway this Halloween. There’s ghosts on the platforms and ghouls on the train, it can only be the return of the Phantom Flyer for the railway’s Halloween Ghost Trains!
“Anyone who visits on Halloween weekend is in for a double treat,” says Railway spooksperson, Robert Gardiner.
He explains, “As well as travelling on a ghostly steam train, children who dare to alight at the Forbidden Platform, as well as any brave grown-ups, will be granted an audience with the Great Wizard in his own haunted Grotto train.
“If those who dare to enter Merlin’s domain pass his tests, then the children will receive a mystical gift.”
Mr. Gardiner adds, “And of course, why not try to turn the tables and scare Merlin by coming in ghostly fancy dress yourself?”
Spooky goings-on at the haunted graveyard
To add a really scary touch visitors could turn evil with some ghoulish facepainting as well.
So are you brave enough to visit a Haunted Viking Graveyard on Halloween night? The train will be stopping at the grave of King Magnus Barefoot on its travels and be warned as ghoulish things rise out of the ground before your eyes!
The Phantom Flyer will be dearly departing on Halloween weekend – Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th and Tuesday 31st October at the Witching Hour from 4pm-7pm for all Three Knights (or nights). Refreshments will be served on board a buffet carriage at the Loop Platform, and car parking is free.
On Halloween Night there will also be a fireworks display after the last train in Downpatrick Town Centre just down from the station.
Mr. Gardiner also reminds people about autumn weather, “Don’t forget that this is an outdoor event, so please remember to wrap up well.”
Beware the evil guard!
Tickets can be booked now via our online ticket office and cost £8.50 for Ghoulish Grownups and Little Monsters (children aged 4-15), £5.50 for Tiny Terrors (children aged 0-3) and Spooky Seniors (children’s ticket includes visit to Merlin and a gift bag as well as the train fare). Infants who do not require a goody bag can travel free of charge.
Tickets will also be available at the station on the night, but priority is given to people with advanced bookings. Book yours now to avoid disappointment!
10% discount is available to groups of 10 or more paying visitors. To take advantage of this, add Group Adult, Group Child or Group Concession tickets to your order instead of the ordinary ones.
And also keep an eye out for Santa’s visit to the railway Christmas – tickets are available at our online ticket office now.
LAST CHANCE TO CATCH THE TRAIN
There’s still time to catch the train this weekend at the Downpatrick & Co. Down Railway before the last summer train pulls out of the station.
Dress up and explore vintage trains in our gallery – free of charge this weekend!
The Railway is running its last trips to Inch Abbey this weekend, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September, as part of the European Heritage Open Days, and in the spirit of Province-wide scheme there will be guided tours on request of the lesser seen parts of the railway site not normally accessible to the public, as well as the chance to sample the atmosphere of rail travel at its most traditional.
After this weekend the next time the train will be out will be for the Halloween Ghost Trains at the end of the October, so this will be the last opportunity people will have to let the train take the strain before it is infested with ghouls and ghosts at that spooky time of the year.
Railway chairman Robert Gardiner says “As part of the European Heritage Open Days, we’re offering free access to our Carriage Gallery and workshop viewing area, where you can view vintage rolling stock under restoration and explore our unique collection of old railway carriages and locomotives.
Experience the driver’s life in the cab of a locomotive on our South Line.
You can even climb into the cab of an old locomotive and imagine the world of the driver, or explore inside some of the old carriages like passengers of old.”
He adds “As an extra special treat, we’re offering you the chance to travel in the cab of a diesel locomotive with the driver, for a short trip down our South Line, for a unique view of our railway. Places on this will be limited, so be sure to ask our volunteers when you arrive.”
Mr. Gardiner says “A trip to the station is also much more than boarding the train, with our museum and Carriage Gallery visitor centre we bring the golden age of the railway vividly to life and you can find out what impact the railways had on people’s lives, through artefacts from the smallest such as a ticket in the upstairs exhibition, or the largest such as lovingly restored railway carriages in the Carriage Gallery and the stark contrast of the wrecks these vehicles once were when rescued.
For the younger train fans, children can enjoy their own “Kids’ Station” in the Gallery, and dress up as a train driver or guard, or can get to control a model railway layout.”
Explore the ruins of Inch Abbey
From 1pm to 4pm, the steam train will run to Inch Abbey, and visitors can disembark and take a short walk up to Inch Abbey. These extensive remains are of a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1180 by John de Courcy, who led the 1177 Anglo-Norman invasion of East Ulster, and are the reputed site for where the story of St Patrick chasing the snakes out of Ireland was first recorded by the monks.
Mr Gardiner continues “You can also visit the museum in the station building which looks at the impact that the railways had on people’s lives, through artefacts from tickets to signals, and a gift shop you can visit before you leave.”
The new Downpatrick East signal cabin
Also open to the public for the first time this year is the lovingly restored Bundoran Junction signal cabin, now taking pride of place at Downpatrick Station rechristened ‘Downpatrick East’, where you can imagine yourself as the signalman controlling the trains and learning about the vital role signalling had on our railways – and is the only genuine vintage signal cabin that is also wheelchair accessible.
Refreshments are also served in a 1950s ‘buffet carriage’ parked at Inch Abbey Station where you can wait to make the return journey to Downpatrick.
Train fares, which are separate to the free access to the station and museum, cost £6.00 adults, children £4.50, and £5.50 senior citizens, whilst a family ticket costs £18 and children aged three years old or below go free.
Tickets provide all-day access to the steam trains, the museum, signal cabin and model railway. You can buy tickets on the day, or purchase in advance at our online ticket office.