Catch the steam train at the Downpatrick & County Down Railway on this year’s Spring Bank Holiday, Monday 28th May,

The Spring Bank Holiday Monday is the perfect chance to take another trip to Inch Abbey this time to sample the delights of a real steam train and rail travel at its most traditional.

The train is being hauled by a ‘Black Beauty’ of the steaming kind, Orenstein & Koppel steam locomotive No. 1, a German-built locomotive that hauled wagons filled with sugarbeet during her working life in factories in the Republic.

If you’re looking for something to do in the gloriously sunny exam weather, you can catch the steam train out to the 12th Century Cistercian monastery at Inch Abbey – perhaps taking a picnic out with you to enjoy some chilled time on the banks of the River Quoile?

Teas, coffees and cold drinks as well as lots of buns at highly competitive rates will also be served all day onboard the DCDR’s buffet carriage parked at Inch Abbey station; if travelling in to the town from Inch Abbey the return journey can be made on any of the services.

A trip to the station museum and the Carriage Gallery visitor centre brings the golden age of the railway vividly to life and looks at the impact that 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 and climb on board the cab of a locomotive or carriage for their photograph to be taken, or can get to drive Thomas the Tank Engine on a model railway – ‘big kids’ might even get a go too.

For those a little more adventurous, and perhaps live out a childhood dream, you can buy a ‘Footplate Pass’ for just £20 and get to travel up in the locomotive cab with the driver. A reasonable level of fitness is required for these.

Trains run at the new times of 1pm to 4pm, with all-day access tickets costing: adults £7.00, £5.00 children and £6.00 senior citizens, and don’t forget that children aged three years old or below go free.  A family ticket costs £20, and  Or you can join the DCDR Society and get free travel for the entire summer months, as well as get regular updates on what’s happening at Northern Ireland’s steam centre.

You can buy your tickets when you arrive, or online now – visit our online ticket office!

Find out what to do on your visit here.