Footplate rides

If you want to add an extra special treat to your day at our railway, you can travel with the driver of one of our locomotives, for a trip you won’t forget.

The fireman shovelling coal on the footplate of our steam locomotive

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to travel on the footplate of a steam locomotive, or even in the cab of a main line diesel locomotive? If so, wonder no more, you can do just that at a running day at our railway.

A £20 per person supplement will get you a trip from Downpatrick to Inch Abbey and return, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the steam engine. At times when we run a diesel service, you can imagine yourself in the cab of a locomotive on a distant branch line in rural Ireland in the 1960s or 70s.

Cab rides are subject to availability – places are limited, and sometimes we may have to refuse them for operational reasons. For example, if we are training a new fireman or driver.

To take part in a footplate ride, you need to:

  • Be 18+
  • Be reasonably fit and able to climb into and out of a cab
  • Wear sensible footwear (sandals are not sensible!
  • Sign an indemnity form before you are permitted to travel
  • Comply with any request from the footplate crew, they are responsible for your safety and that of everyone on the train

Only one person can take place in a cab ride on the steam locomotive due to limited space in the cab.

Footplate passes are only available on application from the ticket office on the day of travel. If you have any questions about footplate rides please use our contact page to get in touch.

Steam driver Jeff, comfortable on the footplate of O&K No. 1
Diesel driver Mike, taking his job very seriously