Tag Archive for 'Down Railway'


oct 9 2013 ballyhornan railway by CadoganEnright

Members of the Ballyhornan residents association volunteered to help Cllr Cadogan Enright finish up a huge project he had been leading for some months at the Down Railway – they were also aided by friends of Cadogan – James and Noel Kileen of the local Green Party with a JCB. The project is now nearly completed

oct 2 2013 Downpatrick Railway AGM a great success

oct 2 2013 Railway AGM by CadoganEnright
oct 2 2013 Railway AGM, a photo by CadoganEnright on Flickr.

Cllr Cadogan Enright attended the AGM of the railway society on the last Saturday in September – taking a break from the laying of railway tracks on that day

13th March 2013 Road Service sucumbs to pressure

13th March 2013 Road Service finally sucumbs to pressure

Despite repeated visits to Rathkelter House by Cllr Enright – for more than a year the Roads Service has left a non-standard lock on the car park for Down Railway – creating a blockage for access by the Ambulance Service or other emergency services.

Delays in access affected a prominent ex-member of the railway who had a heart condition.

13th Feb 2013Down Railway Gets £32k essentail to its expansion to Ballydugan

13th Feb 2013Down Railway Gets £32k essentail to its expansion by CadoganEnright

Down Railway gets £32.500 for acquisition of land for extension to new Ballydugan Station


Councillors Cadogan Enright and Robert Burgess are threatening prosecutions on people who park up at Down Railway in the evenings and throw out fast food wrappings and drink cartons at one of Downs premier tourist attractions.

Railway director Neil Hamilton (left) with Cllrs Cadogan Enright and Robert Burgess

Railway director Neil Hamilton (left) with Cllrs Cadogan Enright and Robert Burgess

Cllr Burgess said “This problem is reaching epidemic proportions, and even though this area is cleaned in the mornings, it is back dirty again by evening. Down Railway is one of our key Tourist attractions and is being expanded and improved with help from the Council and other agencies.”

Cllr Enright agreed and said “Dumpers need to beware from now on. This location is now not only on the list for random checking on a daily basis by our enforcement officers, but will also be the subject of joint night-time patrols and monitoring by the PSNI and Environmental officers. Offenders will expect to pay £80 as a minimum, and prosecution though the court is also open to us. This dumping is going to stop.”

“There is going to be a crack-down”, said Cllr Burgess, “offenders will not be hard to trace as we will have their car registration numbers, so I would urge anyone who is thinking of driving into Downpatrick for a takeaway – to keep their rubbish until they get home or use one of the many Council-provided bins around the town”.

The Council, railway volunteers, the lottery and many government agencies have worked to deliver what is N.Irelands only working heritage railway. It has greatly expanded in the last year, with a huge new carriage museum, workshops and is in the throes of re-laying much of its existing tracks before its next big event on St Patricks day. This will make room for rapid expansion at a later date. A new entrance area is also being constructed to what is a working museum, and one of the jewels of Downpatrick.

Both Councillors help out at the railway on a volunteer basis, they invited people of all ages to volunteer – saying that there are a wide range of skills required from manual labour, operating heavy machinery, carpentry, engineering, administration, on the internet and in the museums and shop. There are 13 different teams of people working away throughout the week, and there were roles for people of every age and ability. See www.downrail.co.uk/join.htm

railway metal stolen down recorder

meetal stolen from railway in daylight by thieves dressed as volunteers

stolen railway buffers mourne obs

stolen railway buffers mourne obs by CadoganEnright
This Theft will delay the re-laying of railway tracks down to Ballydugan, Dundrum and Newcastle

Downpatrick cut-off and under water?

Downpatrick and Lecale Councillor Cadogan Enright attended the launch of the new town Master plan last week. Cllr Cadogan Enright said “There are some excellent points in the plan like the acceptance that “in-town” shopping needs to be developed around the bus-station, and that the proposed ring-road needs to go around the east and the south of the town. I have campaigned for these points in the past to ensure the sustainable development of the town going forward. It is essential that our infrastructure is developed to allow us to be one of the towns where public sector jobs can be outsourced. We have been ruled out as not meeting the criteria for decentralisation of jobs as we stand”.

The Downpatrick councillor continued, “However there are some really awful bloopers in the plan that you would have expected the DSD to have picked up on, especially when local people, including myself, had pointed them out in the consultation process.”

Vikings once landed their longboats to attack the Irish and take away Christian slaves - we want to build on the floodplain below sea-level near Down Railway in a world of rising sea levels = crazy

Vikings once landed their longboats to attack the Irish and take away Christian slaves - we want to build on the floodplain below sea-level near Down Railway in a world of rising sea levels = crazy

“The plan envisages building on half the flood-plain and flooding the other half and reclaiming a large part of Downpatrick Marsh for sports fields. This will potentially expose the town to great danger in the future. Downpatrick is already the lowest-lying town in Ireland with the centre almost half a meter below sea-level. Removing the flood-plain is a really bad idea, and professional planners should know better”, said councillor Enright.

Councillor Enright pointed out that there were issues with transport links too. “It is alarming to say the least that the A25/B8 to Newry is not shown in the plan as a primary link for the future. Without the A25/B8 and the direct buses to Dublin Airport noted we relegate ourselves to a suburb of Lisburn/Belfast rather than an important regional centre in Ireland as a whole. Instead the plan shows the dreadful B177 to Lisburn as one of our main two strategic corridors. Clearly our 3 main roads are A24, A7 and the A25/B8. The overall diagram on page seven looks like one written by someone from Belfast unaware of the districts links with Newry and Mourne and unfamiliar with the fact that the A25/B8 carries a lot of our private sector traffic and compares with the A7 and Ballynahinch Road (B24) for public sector traffic.”

“The Town seems to be in the process of losing its direct bus connections to Dublin and Dublin Airport with hardly a comment. These have one of the greatest concentrations of Tourist traffic in Western Europe. The seven million tourists who arrive at these locations annually are exactly the sort of Tourist that would be drawn to “St Patrick”, “The Mountains of Mourne” or any of our outdoor attractions”, said Cllr Enright.

Cllr Enright pointed out a number of other smaller errors or omissions too. “Examples include;

Cllr Enright with local campaigners to preserve railway infrastructure

1. The railway society secured lottery funding for the new link to the St Patrick’s centre, and this is shown in the Master Plan – but the council has inexplicably gone cold on this idea since the SDLP voted against it and the Railway society was forced to return the money to the National Lottery. If we show the link, then we need to support the Railway society in achieving it.
2. Northern Ireland Water seems determined to put their new sewerage pumping station in the middle od the car-park at the back of the post-office, if they do this the plan for the in-town shopping centre will be stymied. I have repeatedly brought this up at the Downpatrick area meetings and have had cross party support – but NI Water persist with the proposal.
3. There are no timelines pencilled into the plan, with no figures calculated even in draft, and vague references to short-term, medium-term and long-term for which no definitions exist within the report. If the plan is to happen it needs to be believable.

Councillor Cadogan Enright Concluded “The Master Plan envisages the biggest changes to the natural environment since the creation of the Quoile barrier, the draining of the Lough or the new Belfast Road. No process to deliver an environmental impact statement is envisaged in the report, nor are issues dealing with changes in weather patterns addressed –vital to a town whose centre is almost half a meter below sea-level.”