Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

Please have a read of this page as it may answer your query without the need to contact us.

What Are Your Health & Safety Guidelines?

  • All our trains will operate under any health restrictions current at the time in the relevant jurisdiction.
  • Please always follow the advice and guidance of our guides and stewards at all times.
  • Parents are responsible for the behaviour and activities of children on and around our trains, and in our Museum premises.
  • Do not trespass on the railway for that special photograph; please remain on the platform at all stations.
  • Members of the public are not permitted to travel on the locomotive footplate. However, if circumstances and time allow it may be possible to visit the footplate during station stopovers.

Can I Get A Refund?

  • The normal refund policy on day excursion tickets is: “We regret that tickets, once purchased, may not be exchanged/cancelled or money refunded. However, we are happy for them to be passed to friends or family.” The annual weekend railtour may differ.

How Can I Get Information On Trains & Events?

  • All currently available information on trains and events can be obtained from our Trains/Events web page.
  • If the destination you are interested in hasn’t appeared on our website it means no further details are available for release at present. There is no need to contact us - we will update the website as soon as we have the relevant information.
  • When tickets are available for sale, full booking details, including fares and dates, are published on the Society’s website. If it’s not on the Trains/Events pages of the website then you can’t buy tickets for it.
  • Every effort will be made to ensure that our trains will run as advertised. The Society shall not incur any liability for delays, mishaps, alterations, cancellations or other situations outside of its control.
  • As we operate heritage rolling stock, there may be exceptional circumstances which mean that we are unable to operate hauled by a steam engine. In that event, we reserve the right to replace steam with diesel.
  • The annual programme of dates is not normally published until the early months of each year - when confirmed with the railway companies.
  • The approximate duration of a day excursion return trip is:

Dublin-Greystones: 2 hours
Dublin-Maynooth: 2 hours
Portadown-Lisburn: 1½ hours
Belfast-Whitehead: 1¾ hours
Belfast-Lisburn: 1 hour

  • Details of the annual enthusiasts’ weekend railtour in May are usually available on the Trains/Events page at the beginning of the year.
  • We occasionally run diesel-hauled excursions, but all trains will be steam-hauled unless otherwise advertised.
  • Should you wish to consider hiring a complete train then please give sufficient advance notice, preferably at least 6 months. It would help if information provided included: date, route, passenger numbers and any catering requirements. Email us the full details.
  • At present, we do not run footplate experience driving courses. Maybe in the future.

Does My Young Child Need A Ticket?

  • Children under 3 years of age do not need a ticket so long as they do not take up a seat which might otherwise be required for a fare-paying passenger. However, children of any age travelling on the Christmas, Easter or Halloween trains must have a valid ticket - if they wish to receive a present.
  • Where child fares are offered (and not all trains have them) they apply to passengers aged under 16.

How Can I Book Tickets?

  • Release of tickets for the ever-popular Santa Special trains (and others) will be notified on the website and our social media channels. We have a Steam Train News email list. You can register for this facility by emailing us.
  • Our ticket sales for mainline are online, and tickets will usually be available a few weeks in advance of the relevant train.
  • The Society uses ticket agencies through which the majority of bookings are handled. Any booking enquiries should in the first instance be addressed direct to the agency from which you purchased your ticket.
  • Belfast-based trains (some Whitehead events may be paid on admission):

Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, 8-9 Donegall Square North, Belfast, BT1 5GJ, +44 28 9024 6609.

  • Dublin (postal sales):

RPSI Tickets, Innovation Park, 128-130 East Wall Road, Dublin, D03 X316, +353 1 480 0553.

  • Train fares cover a wide range, starting from around £5 for train rides at Whitehead with Belfast/Dublin mainline trains being at the top.
  • We do not operate a voucher system to allow pre-purchase of tickets.
  • The RPSI is a charity and is not funded by either government in Ireland. Thus, we cannot accept free travel passes nor offer reductions on fares, e.g. for students, carers, etc.
  • All tickets for our trains are for return journeys - unless otherwise stated.

What On-Train Facilities Are Available?

  • All Society trains have a dining car serving tea, coffee and light snacks. A full bar service is also provided. We request that you make use of these facilities rather than bringing food and drinks on board.
  • All our trains have adequate toilet facilities.
  • As our carriages are historic/vintage we can carry only a limited number of prams and buggies on trains. Also they must be folded and stowed in the luggage van of the train.
  • Regrettably, our carriages from the 1960s and 1970s are unsuitable for wheelchair passengers unless they can be assisted from the platform to a seat and the wheelchair folded for stowing in our luggage van. We are unable to cater for electric wheelchairs or buggies.
  • With the exception of guide dogs and registered assistance animals, pets are not permitted on the train (nor inside our museum and café), although they are welcome on our platform.

Can I Get Some Information On Your Society?

  • The RPSI, with its headquarters at Whitehead Excursion Station, County Antrim, operates trains from both Dublin and Belfast.
  • The Society’s Whitehead Railway Museum is open for public visits - see website for details.
  • You do not need to be a member of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland to travel on our trains, although we do encourage you to join up and support us.
  • To become a member of the Society, or to volunteer, please visit our Membership pages.