The Downpatrick & County Down Railway (DCDR) was set up in 1985 with the aim of restoring a portion of the former Belfast and County Down Railway as a working railway museum, incorporating the various aspects of Northern Ireland’s railway heritage.
The railway project is, to date, the only Irish Standard Gauge railway restoration project ever undertaken in Ireland (Irish standard gauge is five foot three inches as opposed to narrow gauge which is three foot and English standard gauge which is four feet eight and a half inches).
Unlike other railway projects in the British Isles, the DCDR did not have the luxury of moving into the site with a railway infrastructure still intact.
In 1995 the first phase of the project to set up the railway was completed when three quarters of a mile of track was in Downpatrick. Trains now run just over two miles but it is oplanned to wxtend the line to Ballydugan.
More information about the railway can be found at – https://www.downrail.co.uk/
The railway owns a number of 5ft 3in gauge steam locomotives.