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Our railway is closed

Due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19, we are closed to the public and all visitors for the rest of 2020. Sadly, this includes the popular Christmas and Halloween events. 

It is not possible to book any tickets at this time.

Please see our Covid-19 appeal page for more details.


In BBC Radio Ulster’s “Stories in Sound” series this week, John Bennett investigated the story of the 1945 Ballymacarrett railway disaster on the old Belfast & County Down Railway in “An Accident Waiting to Happen”.

John Bennett learns how a series of errors and poor decisions, dating back many years, led to the worst accident on Ireland’s railways since 1889, with the deaths of 22 passengers. The accident essentially sealed its fate as a private company and led to the nationalisation of Northern Ireland’s rail network and the closure of the Belfast-Newcastle main line.

The episode was partly recorded at the Downpatrick & County Down Railway on board the sister carriage to Railmotor No. 3 which was involved in the accident.

As well as DCDR curator Neil Hamilton, John heard from survivors, spoke to family members left behind and learned how railway safety has been transformed in the intervening years.

Catch up with the episode for the next 30 days here:

Or download the programme as a podcast here: