Part of the new exhibition that will be "previewed" this coming weekend

Part of the new exhibition that will be “previewed” this coming weekend

There’s still time to catch the steam train this weekend at the Downpatrick & Co. Down Railway before the last summer train pulls out of the station.

The Railway is running its last seasonal trip to Inch Abbey this weekend, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, as part of the European Heritage Open Days, and as well as the chance to sample the atmosphere of rail travel at its most traditional, as part of the province-wide scheme there will be tours of the new exhibition room upstairs in the station, as well as the recently constructed “Carriage Gallery”.

Railway Chairman, Michael Collins, said “After this weekend the next time the steam train will be out will be for our Halloween Ghost Trains at the end of the October, so this will be the last opportunity people will have to travel on the steam train before it is infested with ghouls and ghosts at that spooky time of the year!”

“As part of the European Heritage Open Days, you can come down to the see the new exhibition dedicated to the history of the railways in our area in our historic station building, plus a taster of our new Carriage Gallery before it’s fully open to the public.”

He continues, “If you want a tour of the signal cabin, please ask a member of staff as you will need to be escorted beyond the platform and may have to wear a high visibility jacket,” he says.

Mr. Collins adds, “Don’t forget that this is the last week that there will be a Living History Monk at our train’s destination at Inch Abbey, provided by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. He’ll be explaining life in a medieval monastery, how the monks lived, worked and prayed, and also about John deCourcy who founded the abbey.”

Entrance to the new exhibition and under-construction Gallery is free, and the steam train will be running from 2pm till 5pm at a charge, with tickets costing £5.50 adults, £4.50 children or senior citizens, and children aged three years old or below go free. There’s no need to book and a ticket lasts all day. And to keep the children entertained the “Thomas the Tank Engine” model railway will be back as usual.