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Downpatrick & County Down Railway
The DCDR coat of arms, based on a monogram design used by the BCDR
Locale Northern Ireland
Commercial operations
Name Belfast & County Down Railway
Built by Belfast & County Down Railway
Original gauge 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) Irish Gauge
Preserved operations
Operated by Downpatrick & Co. Down Railway
Stations 4
Length 4 miles (6.4 km)
Preserved gauge 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) Irish Gauge
Commercial history
Opened 1859
Closed 1950
Preservation history
1985 Work Starts On Preserved Railway
1987 First Public Trains Run
1995 South Line extended To Magnus' Grave
2005 North Line extended to Inch Abbey
2014 Carriage Gallery officially opened

The Downpatrick and County Down Railway is a 5 ft 3 in gauge heritage railway in County Down, Northern Ireland. It operates passenger trains with Irish steam and diesel locomotives and carriages on part of the former Belfast and County Down Railway mainline. Its four miles of track connect the town of Downpatrick with the local tourist attractions of Inch Abbey and King Magnus' Grave, as well as Downpatrick Loop platform.

The railway's Downpatrick terminus, located at the foot of Down Cathedral, contains an award-winning museum which houses a variety of railway artefacts. These range from restored locomotives and coaches to historic railway relics and buildings from across the whole island.

It is the only operational Irish standard gauge (5' 3") heritage railway in the whole of Ireland.


Belfast & County Down Railway

The railway first arrived in Downpatrick on 23 March 1859, with the completion of the Belfast and County Down Railway's mainline from Belfast Queen's Quay railway station. The line originally terminated at Downpatrick, but in 1869 a separate company- the Downpatrick, Dundrum & Newcastle Railway- built an extension to the seaside town of Newcastle. The BCDR took over the DDNR in 1881, though this unforeseen extension had created an inconvenience wherein trains running between Belfast and Newcastle had to run around at Downpatrick to continue their journey in a fashion similar to Kilkenny railway station on the Great Southern and Western Railway. The opportunity arose in 1892 to end this cumbersome practice with the opening of the Downpatrick, Killough and Ardglass Railway and, with it, Downpatrick Loop Platform. The DKAR was built and operated by the BCDR, and branched off from their mainline about half a kilometre from the new Loop Platform. In conjunction with this, a 'Loop Line' was constructed which enabled trains to bypass the main Downpatrick Station, calling instead at the Loop Platform where passengers intending for Downpatrick could switch to a local train and carrying on without having to run around.


Following the 1945 Ballymacarrett rail crash and the resultant £80,000 (The equivalent to £3,376,000 in 2018) it had to pay in compensation, the Belfast and County Down Railway was financially ruined. This was a deciding factor in the nationalisation of the company as part of the Ulster Transport Authority in 1948. The UTA closed all BCDR lines except the Bangor branch a mere two years after taking them over, and so on Sunday 15 January 1950, all the railways around Downpatrick were closed. The tracks were lifted in 1953 and Downpatrick station was handed over to the UTA's bus division, becoming Ulsterbus in 1968. Ulsterbus moved out of the station in 1975 and it was demolished shortly after, erasing the last trace of the railway in Downpatrick town.

Heritage Railway

Local architect Gerry Cochrane M.B.E. was inspired to start the scheme after taking a walk along the route of the line, and by 1982 had gained support to rebuild part of the line as a heritage steam railway from the local council. Lord Dunleath, whose father had purchased the railway trackbed adjacent to his estate after the closure of the BCDR in Downpatrick, gave the newly formed society a package of land on which to build the line and station for a peppercorn rent. This was on the approaches to the old Downpatrick station, which had been demolished in the 1970s. Work started on rebuilding the railway in 1985, with public trains finally running in the town again in Friday 4 December 1987, making it the first Irish gauge heritage railway in Ireland to carry passengers over its own track. Track has been relaid on nearly 6 km (4 mi) of Belfast and County Down Railway trackbed, and a 1.6 km (1 mi) extension south to the hamlet of Ballydugan is planned.

The railway began life as the Downpatrick & Ardglass Railway, as the original intention was to extend the railway to this fishing port on the south coast of County Down. This name was dropped in 1996 following the abandonment of this proposal and the railway was renamed the Downpatrick Railway Museum until 2005 when the new name, Downpatrick & County Down Railway was adopted following the opening of the Inch Abbey extension.

O&K No. 1, Downpatrick Station
O&K No. 1 at Downpatrick
Steam at Downpatrick - - 325234
O&K No. 3 Pulls a train out of Downpatrick in 2006
Downpatrick Loop Platform - - 350087
The Loop Platform
Downpatrick Station
Downpatrick station building
Downpatrick 9
The BCDR Railmotor undergoing restoration in 2014.


Approximately 5 km (3 mi) of 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) Irish standard gauge track are open as of 2019, along which a steam locomotive, currently either O&K No. 1 or 3, and 1950s-60s era diesel locomotives are run, drawing preserved rolling stock. Passenger trains are usually operated with brake/generator standard class coach 3223, which was built in 1954 by Córas Iompair Éierann, brake/standard class coach 728, which was built in 1951 by the Ulster Transport Authority, and Park Royal brake/standard class coach 1944, also built in 1954 by Córas Iompair Éierann. Stock is added to or withdrawn from the 'running set' as maintenance allows. Older carriages built by the Great Southern and Western Railway and Belfast and County Down Railway were operated on the line, but as 1950s/1960s stock became available the DCDR moved these vintage carriages inside for overhaul and display. These vintage coaches are now used on a select few special running days, such as European Heritage Open Days and for private contracts, as they are too historically important for everyday wear and tear.

The railway also aims to have an at least partially operational mechanical signalling system, using the preserved King's Bog and Bundoran Junction signal cabins along with multiple semaphores that are on the site. Related to this is the Double Track Project, which will allow simultaneous operation on the North and South lines.

Every year, the DCDR operates the following trains:

  • Saint Patrick's Day Specials, which are held on Saint Patrick's Day and operate to Inch Abbey.
  • Easter Specials, which take place over a couple of days around the Easter Period, and operate to Inch Abbey.
  • May Day Specials, which take place on May Day and operate to Inch Abbey.
  • Summer Specials, which take place every weekend during summer and operate to Inch Abbey. One of these days is typically reserved for diesel haulage.
  • EHOD Days, which run in conjunction with the last Summer Specials weekend. These offer visitors free cab rides in a diesel as well as behind-the-scenes tours.
  • Halloween Specials, which take place on the weekend prior to, and on, Halloween night, and operate to Magnus' Grave.
  • Santa Specials, which take place on the weekend prior to Christmas, and operate to the Loop Platform.
  • Mince Pie Specials, which take place on either the last or last weekend of the year, and operate to Magnus' Grave or Inch Abbey - these are usually diesel-hauled.

Bank Holidays, shunts, private charters and film contracts make for extra trains throughout the year too.

On operating days, visitors have access to the BCDR Museum which is housed upstairs in Downpatrick railway station, the Downpatrick East signal cabin, a model railway room, the workshop viewing area (Where carriages can be seen undergoing restoration) and the Carriage Gallery.

A gift shop and buffet carriage, the latter of which will be parked at Inch Abbey or Downpatrick Loop Platform railway station, are open on operating days.

In 2020, all public DCDR operations were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stations & Buildings


  • Downpatrick Station is the principal station on the DCDR network, where all passenger trains originate from. It has two platforms, though one of these is currently out of use. The original BCDR station was sited on Market Street, but was demolished and replaced by a supermarket before the DCDR was established.
  • Downpatrick Loop Platform has no road access, which helped it to escape demolition in the 1950s. It serves as the interchange point between the DCDR's South and Loop lines. Downpatrick Loop has two platforms.
  • King Magnus' Halt is the current terminus of the South Line. It has one platform and serves the grave of Viking King Magnus Barefoot, a site previously inaccessible before the arrival of the railway. Magnus Halt was not an original BCDR station, though it is located at the site of the BCDR's Ardglass Junction.
  • Inch Abbey Halt is the current terminus of the North Line. It has two platforms and serves the ruins of Inch Abbey. The station was not part of the BCDR, as it is located on a short deviation away from the original trackbed.

Buildings & Structures

  • Downpatrick Station Building was originally the town's Gas Manager's House, sited across the road from the DCDR and moved over brick-by-brick.
  • Downpatrick Signal Cabin, a BNCR structure, was moved brick-by-brick from Kingsbog Junction on the Belfast–Derry line.
  • Downpatrick East Signal Cabin, a GNR structure, was originally Bundoran Junction's North Cabin. It was moved to DCDR in 2011 and opened to the public in 2017.
  • Downpatrick Locomotive Shed, a BNCR structure, was moved stone-by-stone from Maghera where it was originally the goods shed.
  • Downpatrick Station Canopy was originally attached to the Maghera Shed.
  • Downpatrick Water Tower was moved from Antrim station.
  • The Arch, which spans the main gate, bears the name of the railway and is based on an original design at Cookstown.
  • Bridges 163 & 164 are original BCDR bridges, and carry the Back and South lines respectively across a narrow stream.
  • Downpatrick Loop Platform and Canopy are the only BCDR buildings left in Downpatrick.
  • The Cutting is just beyond the limit of passenger operations on the South Line. It carries trains up a slight gradient, with vertical retaining walls on either side.
  • The Quoile Bridge is the longest bridge on the DCDR. It carries the North Line over the River Quoile, and though the spans are newly fabricated, the concrete centre pier is original.

Carriage Gallery

Completed in 2012, the Carriage Gallery is the DCDR's museum with rolling stock that is not being used to run public trains during their visit. Like the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, the Carriage Gallery houses vehicles in an indoors environment where the public can get up close and learn about both the vehicles in question, and Irish railways in general. Despite its name, the Carriage Gallery also contains locomotives, both steam and diesel, and even a road-going tar boiler. Designed in homage to the Victorian railway termini with their grand overall roofs, the Gallery collection is arranged across 3 roads with 4 platform faces, allowing visitors the chance to enter the vehicles. The condition of the exhibits ranges from fully restored to as-discovered so that visitors can appreciate the huge work required, with some carriages still in the hen-house state they were found in on farms across the country.

The Carriage Gallery was officially opened by the Earl Of Wessex in 2014.

Rolling Stock


The railway hosts three steam locomotives, eight diesel locomotives, seven diesel railcar sets, twenty-four carriages, thirty-four wagons and two permanent way vehicles, making for a total of seventy-seven railway vehicles. If the railcar constituent coaches are considered as individual carriages, the total is eighty-one vehicles.


At present O&Ks Nos. 1 and 3 are the operational steam locomotives. 1875-built 0-6-0 tank engine, GSWR No.90, delivered to Downpatrick on Sunday 30 September 2007, is Ireland's oldest steam engine capable of operation. Two E Class diesels, Nos. E421 and E432, were acquired in 1986, with E421 working the Society's first passenger trains. However, the E Class could not start from cold and thus three G Class diesels arrived at the railway to facilitate shunting and works trains - one was purchased privately by a volunteer from Westrail, and two are on long-term loan from the Irish Traction Group (ITG). The ITG also loans three mainline diesels to the railway - CIÉ A class No.A39R (arrived 22 November 2009), 141 class No. 146 (arrived 27 November 2010) and 201 Class No. C231. (arrived 7 June 2014).


Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway Railcar B, built in 1947, was donated to the railway by Iarnród Éireann in 2006. This railcar arrived in poor condition and it will be some time before the DCDR can return it to operational condition. Prototype BR-Leyland railbus, RB3, which was modified in the early 1980s to run on Irish metals and was used for a period by Northern Ireland Railways, was acquired by DCDR in 2001, with the hope of using it to run midweek trains as it did not require as large a crew as locomotive-hauled trains. However, due to several faults inherent with the prototype Railbus' design, this did not come to fruition. Three more ex-NIR railcars are owned by DCDR, comprising the last 450 Class, 458 ''Antrim Castle'', which arrived in 2014 and has been converted to a buffet train, and two 80 class railcars which arrived in 2018.


There are four main 'carriage rakes'. These are:

  • Old Buffet: Conventional 1950s carriages used as the buffet train and Santa's Grotto during the Autumn and Winter months. Shown in pink on the tables below.
  • New Buffet: A 450 Class railcar and DBSO used as the buffet train during the Spring and Summer months. Shown in blue on the tables below.
  • Everyday Running Set: 1950s carriages used during most running days. Shown in green on the tables below.
  • Vintage Running Set: Antique carriages (Edwardian period or earlier) normally on display in the Carriage Gallery, but brought into service for special events. Shown in brown on the table below.

The everyday running set currently consists of CIÉ 1944 and UTA 728, with generator van CIÉ 3223 being added for Autumn/Winter operations to provide heat and light. On special days, the Vintage Set is used, consisting of BCDR Nos. 72 and 148, and GSWR 836. 836 is also sometimes added to the everyday running set on very busy days, creating a high-capacity rake along with 1944 and 728 capable of seating over 200 people. The buffet set is publicly accessible on running days when it is parked in a platform (the New Buffet at Inch Abbey during Spring and Summer, and the Old Buffet at the Loop Platform in Autumn and Winter).

The remainder of the carriage fleet is considerably varied, with a mix of six- and four-wheeled and bogie carriages, and representatives from virtually every time period and Irish gauge railway company - including the BCDR (The DCDR owns 5 of the 6 extant BCDR carriages), GNR, GSWR, GSR, UTA, NIR, CIÉ, and most significantly, the Ulster Railway, which is represented by No. 33, the sole surviving UR vehicle and Ulster's oldest carriage. Other notable carriages are BCDR Railmotor No. 72 and Royal Saloon No. 153, both of Ireland's extant Travelling Post Offices and the last AEC railcar. Two carriages, GSWR No.'s 1097 and 1287, arrived at the railway in the mid-2000s on loan from RPSI, though ownership was later transferred to DCDR.


The DCDR also has a large selection of wagons, goods vans and underframes. Ex-NCC brake van No. 33 was the railway's first passenger-carrying vehicle. Included in the railway's wagon fleet is the most powerful steam crane in Ireland, NCC No. 3084. As the wagons do not contribute to bringing in revenue like engines and carriages, most are in storage except for a small few in use by the railway's Permanent Way or Locomotive Departments. In time, DCDR hopes to construct a dedicated goods shed in order to finally give its wagons a permanent home.

PW Plant

A small fleet of permanent way vehicles, all acquired from NIR, and some road/rail on-track plant are used by the railway's Permanent Way department.

Stock Lists

Steam Locomotives

Number Wheel Arrangement Build Date Original Operator Arrived At DCDR Current Status Photo Notes
1 0-4-0T+WT 1934 Cómhlucht Siúicre Éireann 1987 In service Downpatrick.jpg Worked first trains in preservation in 2013.
3 0-4-0T+WT 1935 Cómhlucht Siúicre Éireann 1987 In service Downpatrick Nummer 3 (1).jpg In service from 2000 to 2010, overhauled before resuming service in 2018.
90 0-6-0T 1875 Castleisland Railway/GSWR 2007 On display in Carriage Gallery, awaiting overhaul No. 90, Downpatrick.JPG Originally built as a railmotor.

Diesel Locomotives & Multiple Units/Railcars

Key: No designated rake Old Buffet New Buffet Everyday Running Set Vintage Running Set
Number Class Build Date Original Operator Arrived At DCDR Current Status Photo Notes
E421 E421 Class 1962 CIÉ 1986 On display in Carriage Gallery, awaiting overhaul E421 At Downpatrick.JPG Named W.F. Gillispie OBE.
E432 E421 Class 1963 CIÉ 1986 Awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 1.jpg Out of traffic.
G611 G611 Class 1961 CIÉ 1996 Awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 2.jpg Owned by the Irish Traction Group.
G613 G611 Class 1961 CIÉ 1986 Undergoing overhaul G613 (Deutz).jpg Privately Owned.
G617 G611 Class 1962 CIÉ 1996 Operational Downpatrick 3.jpg Owned by the Irish Traction Group.
A39R A (001) Class 1955 CIÉ 2009 Operational A39r, Downpatrick.JPG Owned by the Irish Traction Group.
146 B (141) Class 1962 CIÉ 2010 Operational 146, Downpatrick.JPG Owned by the Irish Traction Group.
C231 C (201) Class 1956 CIÉ 2014 Operational C231 At DCDR.JPG Owned by the Irish Traction Group.
Railcar B - 1947 SLNCR 2006 Awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 4.jpg Last passenger-carrying SLNCR vehicle.
RB3 - 1980 BR 2001 Stored NIR RB3 Ballymena Geograph-2091774.jpg Experimental Railbus built by BREL/Leyland for use on British Rail, came to NIR in 1981.
458 458 450 Class 1987 NIR 2014 Operational Downpatrick 5.jpg 3-car set named Antrim Castle. Power car
798 798 Downpatrick.jpg Intermediate
788 788 Downpatrick.jpg Driving trailer
69 80 Class 1978 NIR 2018 Operational, but not yet in service 69, DCDR.jpg 2-car set. Power Car
749 Undergoing internal restoration 749, DCDR.jpg Driving Trailer
90 80 Class 1978 NIR 2018 Stored, but mechanically operational 8090 At DCDR.jpg 2-car set. Power Car
752 1979 752, DCDR.jpg Driving Trailer
712 - 1962 CIÉ 1998 Awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 6.jpg ITG-Owned Wickham Railcar.
713 - 1962 CIÉ 1999 Undergoing overhaul Downpatrick 7.jpg Wickham Railcar, Nicknamed Rosie.


Key: No designated rake Old Buffet New Buffet Everyday running set Vintage running set
Number Type Original Operator Arrived At DCDR Current Status Photo Notes
39 Six-Wheeler BCDR 1987 In Carriage Gallery, awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 8.jpg Third Brake. Sitting temporarily on a GSWR six-wheeled underframe.
72 Bogie BCDR 1985 On display in Carriage Gallery, operational Downpatrick 9.jpg Originally a railmotor; later converted to autocoach.

Ran successfully in railmotor mode with No. 1 in April 2016.

148 Bogie BCDR 1987 On display in Carriage Gallery, operational Downpatrick 10.jpg Incorporates half of 148 and half of sister coach 152.

Wheelchair accessible.

Sits on GSWR no. 1110's underframe.

153 Bogie BCDR 1987 In Carriage Gallery, awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 11.jpg Royal Saloon, carried at least 3 British Monarchs.

Sitting temporarily on GNR parcels van no. 619's underframe.

Acquired in 1984 and stored at RAF Bishopscourt until 1987.

154 Six-Wheeler BCDR 1984 In Carriage Gallery, awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 8.jpg Second class half-back.

Sitting temporarily on WLWR no. 935's underframe

638a Four-wheeler CIÉ 2019 Undergoing assessment Tin Van at Downpatrick.jpg Arrived at DCDR 05/03/2019.
1918 Bogie CIÉ 1988 Operational Laminate Coach No. 1918, Downpatrick.jpg Laminate Brake.
1944 Bogie CIÉ 1995| Operational Park Royal, Downpatrick.JPG Park Royal.

Returned to traffic 24/11/2018 after a 20-year overhaul.

2419 Bogie CIÉ 1988 Operational Laminate Coach No. 1918, Downpatrick.jpg Laminate Buffet.
2977 Bogie CIÉ 2017 On display in Carriage Gallery 2977 At Downpatrick.jpg Travelling Post Office.

Owned by An Post.

2978 Bogie CIÉ 1995 Operational Downpatrick 13.jpg Travelling Post Office.

Used as Santa's Grotto during Christmas operating season.

3223 Bogie CIÉ 1988 Operational Downpatrick 14.jpg Laminate Standard Brake and Generator.

Only used in Autumn and Winter.

Equipped with propelling cab.

6111 Bogie CIÉ 2015 Awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 15.jpg Former AEC railcar 2624, converted to push-pull driving trailer in 1974.
Unknown Six-Wheeler GNR 1993 Awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 16.jpg Third class 17x series, exact number not yet known.

Involved in Armagh rail disaster.

Transferred to BCDR in 1922.

Sits on MGWR no. 13M's underframe.

33 Unknown Ulster Railway 1986 In Carriage Gallery, undergoing overhaul Downpatrick 17.jpg Only surviving stock from UR; on temporary underframe.

Third oldest carriage in Ireland (built 1862).

Sitting temporarily on a former GSWR horsebox underframe.

25 Six-Wheeler MGWR 2006 In Carriage Gallery, awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 18.jpg -
53 Six-Wheeler MGWR 2006 In Workshop, awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 19.jpg -
69 Six-Wheeler GSWR 1992 In Workshop, undergoing overhaul Downpatrick 20.jpg Converted from Full Brake to Brake First Saloon.

Privately Owned.

836 Bogie GSWR 1986 On display in Carriage Gallery, operational Downpatrick 21.jpg -
1097 Bogie GSWR 2005 Awaiting overhaul Downpatrick 22.jpg Originally on loan from RPSI, ownership later transferred.
1287 Bogie GSWR 2004 In use as a 'Tarry' (mess van) Downpatrick 23.jpg Originally on loan from RPSI, ownership later transferred.
728 Bogie UTA 1991 Operational Downpatrick 24.jpg Ex-MPD driving trailer; later 70 Class Intermediate.
8918 Bogie BR 2014 Operational DBSO, Downpatrick.JPG Ex-BR DBSO 9712, later came to NIR but was never used in service.

Used as translator wagon between 458 and 146 for buffet train.

3189 Bogie BR 2007 Operational Downpatrick 25.jpg Ex-MK I Brake Third.

Converted by CIÉ to Generator Coach.


Number Type Original Operator Arrived At DCDR Current Status Photo Notes
1536 Tanker Private Owner 1999 Stored Downpatrick 29.jpg -
18885 Goods Van CIÉ In use Downpatrick 30.jpg Contained Generator - known as Roaring Meg.

Used to store Halloween props.

27756 Container Flat CIÉ 2017 In use 27756 Downpatrick.jpg Carries a spare English Electric 4SRKT engine.
8452 Plough/Brake Van GSWR 1990 In use Downpatrick 31.jpg Used to store Hallowen props and as crew transport to Magnus Grave at Halloween.
8314 Ballast Hopper GSWR 1986 Stored Downpatrick 34.jpg -
8411 Ballast Hopper GSWR 1986 Stored Downpatrick 33.jpg -
C496 Ballast Hopper NIR Stored Downpatrick 35.jpg -
Unknown Goods Van BCDR 2013 Stored Downpatrick 36.jpg Body only.

Sitting temporarily on wagon underframe C604.

C505 Flat NCC In use Downpatrick 38.jpg Used for Permanent Way trains.
713 Flat NCC
  • 1991 (As Carriage)
  • 2002 (Conversion)
In use Downpatrick 39.jpg Former 70 Class Driving Trailer, body destroyed by arson in 2002.

Used for Permanent Way trains.

Unknown Bridge Wagon BCDR Stored Downpatrick 41.jpg 1 of 3.
Unknown Bridge Wagon BCDR Stored Downpatrick 41.jpg 1 of 3.
Unknown Bridge Wagon BCDR Stored Downpatrick 41.jpg 1 of 3.
C378 Open Wagon Courtaulds 1987 Stored Downpatrick 42.jpg -
33 Brake Van NCC 1987 Stored Downpatrick 43.jpg Used in the lifting of the Portadown - Derry line.

DCDR's first passenger-carrying vehicle.

C??? Flat NCC Stored Downpatrick 46.jpg Brown Van underframe.
3084 Steam Crane NCC 1994 Stored Downpatrick 47.jpg Consists of crane, water wagon & jib wagon, built 1931.

Capable of lifting 36t.

667 Goods Van NCC 1987 Stored Downpatrick 48.jpg Brown Van.

1 of 4.

674 Goods Van NCC 1987 Stored Downpatrick 49.jpg Brown Van.

1 of 4.

687 Goods Van NCC 1987 Stored Downpatrick 50.jpg Brown Van.

1 of 4.

688 Goods Van NCC 1987 Stored Downpatrick 51.jpg Brown Van.

1 of 4.

Unknown Underframe BNM 1999 In use Downpatrick 52.jpg Part of former Bord na Móna track laying vehicle. Regauged and repurposed.

Used by Permanent Way department.

Named ''Pink Panther''.

Unknown Underframe BNM 1999 In use DCDR - Ballast Regulator Conveyor.jpg Part of former Bord na Móna track laying vehicle. Regauged and repurposed.

Currently carries detached conveyor from Ballast Regulator 315.

C32 Open Wagon UTA 1985 Stored Downpatrick 53.jpg Pyramid ends.

Permanent Way Vehicles

Number Original Operator Arrived At DCDR Current Status Photo Notes
7 (7007) NIR 2008 Operational Downpatrick 27.jpg Type 7 Tamper
315 NIR 2010 Operational Downpatrick 28.jpg USP3000C Ballast Regulator
Atlas NIR 2010 Operational Atlas, Loop Platform.jpg Road-Rail equipped Excavator
Komatsu Railway Plant Services 2015 Operational Komatsu, Downpatrick.jpg Excavator
Dumper Hydrex Rail 2011 Operational DCDR Dumper.jpg Nicknamed Daisy
Trailer Hydrex Rail 2008 Operational DCDR Dumper Trailer.jpg Hauled by Bruff or Dumper
Bruff NIR 2015 Operational DCDR Bruff.jpg Recovery Vehicle

Former DCDR Vehicles

Number Type Arrived At DCDR Left DCDR Fate Reason Notes
3BG Steam Locomotive 1989 2001 Returned to Whitehead Loan expired Loaned to DCDR from RPSI.
3 Steam Locomotive 2005 2012 Returned to Whitehead Loan expired Loaned to DCDR from RPSI.
Daewoo Road-Rail Excavator 2008 2013 Sold to Pakistan Surplus to requirements -
JCB Backhoe Excavator 1990 2009 Sold Life-expired -
47M Six-Wheeled Carriage Unknown 2007 Scrapped Roof collapse -
713 70 Class Driving Trailer 1991 2002 Destroyed Arson Underframe survives as a flat wagon - see above.
448 GNR Carriage Unknown 2006 Scrapped Beyond repair Only half of the coach body.
2053 GNR Brake Van Unknown 2002 Destroyed Arson -
Unknown Tank Wagon Unknown Unknown Scrapped Unknown -
Unknown GNR Goods Van Unknown 2015 Destroyed Destroyed by a storm Grounded body.
HC1 Hedgecutter (formerly tamper) 2006 2020 Scrapped Surplus to requirements, life-expired -
Tar Boiler Road vehicle 2017 2020 Returned to McCreath Taylor Owner's request Privately owned.


  • National Railway Heritage Awards: Ian Allan Railway Heritage Award (First Class): Received in 1992 in recognition of Downpatrick Station Building.
  • Northern Ireland Tourist Board and British Airways Tourism Awards (Highly commended): Received for 'Best Project', December 1999.
  • Heritage Railway Association Carriage and Wagon Award (Highly commended): Received in 1999 in recognition of GSWR carriage No. 836.
  • Down District Council Tourism Heroes Award: Received in May 2008.
  • Co-operation Ireland Pride Of Place Award: Received in November 2012.
  • Heritage Railway Association Annual Small Groups Award: Received in 2014 in recognition of its involvement of young people and its excellent building and museum development.
  • Heritage Railway Association Carriage and Wagon Award: Received in 2019 in recognition of the restoration of BCDR railmotor No. 72.
  • Ulster Architectural Heritage Society Heritage Angel Awards (Highly commended): Received in October 2019 in recognition of the restoration of Bundoran Junction North signal cabin.
  • National Railway Heritage Awards: Abellio Signalling Award (Highly commended): Received in December 2019 in recognition of the restoration of Bundoran Junction North signal cabin.

Television & Film Appearances

  • Children in Need Quiet Man Spoof (BBC One NI, 2001)
  • Puckoon (2002)
  • Flight to Freedom (BBC One NI, 2005)
  • Rain (2005)
  • A Potted History of Armagh (BBC One NI, 2006)
  • Raising Steam, a 40-minute documentary of which the DCDR was the subject (BBC One NI, 2008)
  • Our Wee World (BBC One NI/Barking Films, 2010)
  • Christopher and His Kind, starring Matt Smith (BBC2/Mammoth Screen, 2011)
  • Wodehouse in Exile, starring Tim Pigott-Smith and Paul Ritter (BBC 4, 2013)
  • Walk the Line (Barra Best, BBC NI, 2014)
  • The Lost City of Z, starring Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland (2015)
  • The Woman in White (BBC, 2017)
  • The Last Letter (BBC NI, 2018)
  • Mrs Wilson (BBC, 2018)
  • Agatha and the Truth of Murder (Channel 5, 2018)
  • Extreme Railways, starring Chris Tarrant (Channel 5, 2019)
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