Fed up with turkey and ham leftovers? Selection boxes all empty? Nothing to do after Christmas, knowing that the kids will be bored rigid before going back to school?
Well on Saturday 29th December the Downpatrick & County Down Railway is offering something a little bit different to keep the Holiday Blues away, with their New Year Diesel Specials.
You can pay for your tickets in advance online or pay on arrival at the station.
Railway chairman Robert Gardiner says, “Although Santa is gone, mums and dads everywhere are still looking for something to do with the kids instead of watching endless repeats on the television.”
“Downpatrick & County Down Railway is your guaranteed sanctuary from turkey sandwiches,” jokes Mr. Gardiner.
The locomotive gracing the rails will be ‘Baby GM’ 141 class locomotive No. 146, a Yankee engine built by General Motors in Illinois in 1962.
Mr Gardiner says “This American baby boomer is one of the last remaining examples of a class that saw service all over Ireland, including the famous ‘Derry Road’ line from Portadown to Dungannon, Omagh and Strabane, giving that line a short-lived taste of the future before its controversial and premature closure in 1965.
“We also offering Footplate Passes for £20 a trip on board this locomotive that typified Irish branch line trains for decades,” he adds.
Doors open at the Downpatrick & County Down Railway 12:30pm on Saturday, 29th December, and normal train fares apply at £7.00 adults, £5.00 children, and senior citizens/other concessions are £6.00.
With New Year just around the corner, it’s also the perfect time to make a New Year’s resolution, get active, and join Ireland’s only full-size heritage railway. With the appropriate training you could end up as a train driver or guard, or work on the platforms looking after the public. If that’s not your cup of tea, then you could try a hand at carriage restoration, or working on the tracks to repair and improve the railway.
If you want to volunteer, then check out the website or just go along and talk to any railway volunteer during your visit and they’ll point you in the right direction.