Shamrock Specials Will Be Running From Inch To Downpatrick On Sunday And Monday

WITH car parking at a premium in the St. Patrick’s Festival parade day, the Downpatrick and County Down Railway will be offering a “rail” alternative to carnival goers with its ‘ St Patrick’s Day ‘Shamrock Specials.’

In conjunction with Down District Council, the railway will be offering a Park’n’Ride service from their station on the Belfast Road directly into the heart of the carnival between noon and 5pm on St. Patrick’s Day, Monday 17th March.

Railway Chairman John Wilson said that this St. Patrick’s Day boarding at the Inch Abbey terminus is a sure way of beating the traffic and letting you steam into the town for the festival celebrations.
[caption id="attachment_47776" align="alignleft" width="390"]A busy scene at the Downpatrick railway Station last St Patrick's Day. A busy scene at the Downpatrick railway Station last St Patrick’s Day.[/caption] He added: “We know that many people end up parking far from the town and end up having to walk a fair distance into the town centre. So why not park at our Inch Abbey Station, where you can walk onto a vintage train that will take you into the heart of the carnival?”

But as well as providing a means of getting from A to B on St. Patrick’s Day, Mr. Wilson suggests a visit to Inch Abbey itself, a ruined 12th Century Cistercian Abbey.

He said: “While also getting people into the carnival, if you’re already in the town, why not get onboard at Downpatrick and travel out and visit this glorious Christian heritage site while celebrating Ireland’s Patron Saint? You also get the best view of Down Cathedral, the site of St. Patrick’s Grave, from on board the train.”

Tickets will be available on the day at Inch Abbey and Downpatrick stations, Park and Ride return tickets cost £5.50 adult, £4.50 children or senior citizens, while children aged three years old or below go free. 

As well as this public service offered by the local heritage railway, on Sunday 16 March, the railway will also be expanding its St. Patrick’s Day events by taking you even further back in time to discover what life was like a millenia ago, close to the time of St. Patrick.

The tour starts in Down County Museum for this medieval mystery tour of Downpatrick. This unique family event will take you to a variety of sites and centres in the historic town of Downpatrick to uncover our area’s rich medieval history. A guide will led visitors on an epic afternoon adventure which will include tracking down medieval treasures in Down County Museum, unearthing artefacts at the Saint Patrick Centre and travelling back in time to Inch Abbey on a genuine steam train express with the Downpatrick and Co Down Railway.

The price of the event is £7 for adults, £4.50 for children and a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) is £20.

Refreshments will be served on both days onboard a buffet carriage while you wait for the train.  The railway museum exhibition and new Carriage Gallery visitor centre will also be open, as well as a new interpretative display actually inside the carriage workshop allowing you to see the work that goes on behind the scenes. For further information on events – or if you are thinking about joining as a volunteer contact the Downpatrick Tourist Information Centre on 028 4461 2233 or log on to the railway’s website at: or find them on facebook at : or follow on twitter@downrail]]>