Project information

Steamed Up for the Summer

Our steam engine has run out of 'puff' and needs major work to get it running again, which will cost £11,000 if we are to get in service for summer. To get BOTH steam locomotives back into service, and to keep steam alive in County Down we need to spend £25,000 to finish the overhauls.

4 to 6 months

Charity information: Downpatrick & County Down Railway

Downpatrick & County Down Railway logo
  • Need


    In the 1980s when we took delivery of our two steam locos - nicknamed the "Sugarpuffs" because they used to work in the Sugar Factories in the Republic of Ireland, they were scrap. And we mean put your finger through them. They'd lain out in the open for the guts of 20 years and the weather had taken its toll. We've been working on getting them back in working order since then. No. 3 was in better order, cross-border grant-aid sped up No. 1, but we have to come up with the rest ourselves.


    These are two engines built in the mid 1930s by the German firm Orenstein and Koppel for the Irish Sugar Company (Comlucht Suicre Eireann) for use in their factories at Mallow, Thurles and Carlow. There were a total of nine of these engines built (three for each factory) and they were used to transfer sugar beet wagons from the main line sidings in the factory complexes for processing. Withdrawn in the 1960s they lay out of use, and completion of will see No. 1 steam for the 1st time in 40 years

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Restore Orenstein & Koppel steam locomotives No. 1 and No. 3 to working order


    » Fundraising appeal amongst members and visitors
    » Bucket drops at local shops

    What success will look like

    Success will be the successful steaming of the two locomotives and their entry into service for the summer trains at our heritage line

  • Impact


    The project will complete a 20 year aim to restore to service two steam locomotives that were scrap condition, thereby securing their future for people of all ages to enjoy and appreciate Irish industrial and railway heritage.


    Undetected faults or problems discovered during the restoration process.


    Regular updates on our website, email bulletins, etc., detailing the ongoing and forthcoming activities, and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £11,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Fundraising Appeal
      £6,000 Donors Appeal
  • Background


    The Downpatrick & County Down Railway is Northern Ireland's only full sized heritage railway. It runs through the drumlin countryside of County Down - St. Patrick's Country - over the River Quoile and under the graceful Down Cathedral. With a mix of steam and diesel trains, and vintage carriages, there's plenty for train fans of all ages - from wee kids to "big kids". Run by volunteers, society membership entitles you to free travel.


    At the minute the DCDR is operating using diesel locomotives only, this means visitors such as children, adults and senior citizens are disappointed not to see steam trains in action. Steam trains make the journey come alive for them and let the children come up close and personal with their own "Thomas", as well as experiencing in most instances their very first train trip.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are the only full-size heritage line in Ireland, and so the only place these locos can operate.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Robert Edwards

    Senior steam engine worker, with over 30 years experience dealing with steam locomotives, their repair and operation

    Norman Bodel

    Locomotive superintendent, in charge of the locomotive team

No. 3 in service

No. 3 in service