Come down and see the home of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) and its locomotives.
On summer Saturdays you can enjoy steam train rides at Whitehead Railway Museum between 11am and 4pm. The train runs a short but nostalgic trip up and down the track that gives you a chance to have a quick sample of the steam train era.
Located on the Causeway Coastal Route, in the seaside town of Whitehead, the museum is just 40 minutes from Belfast and 20 minutes from Larne. But why not make it a “rail” day out and travel there by train? That means you can enjoy the views as the train travels along the coastline. Whitehead NIR station is a short 10 minute walk from the museum.
You can explore the museum at your leisure, aided along the way by the wonderful guides who will be on hand to help with any questions. They have a rich knowledge of Irish railway heritage - some have been part of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland for over 50 years!
Bring along your own headphones and smart phone and you can enjoy our brilliant audio tour, available here.
The Museum is open every Thursday to Saturday from 10am to 2:30pm (last entry).
Limited spaces are available on guided tours at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm (times may vary depending on volunteer availability).
You can also self-guide at any time.
Tickets are available to purchase at the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre.
Whitehead Railway Museum has been awarded the ‘Good to Go’ industry standard mark, certifying that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and have the required processes in place.
The comfort and wellbeing of our volunteers and visitors is of utmost importance and so they have introduced a number of new measures.
Measures they have undertaken:
To help maintain social distancing measures all visitors must book online in advance.
- Enhanced cleaning regimes on site, with touch points in each gallery being wiped down regularly.
- Hand Sanitiser Stations are provided for you to use throughout the site.
- Asking guests to maintain social distancing whilst using our facilities.
- Toilets are available on site, but only 1 household or bubble at a time will be permitted to use.
- Some areas may be restricted, due to social distancing regulations.
- Using Perspex screens to protect visitors, staff and volunteers.
- Providing clear and frequent visitor information signage and floor markings on site.
- If you are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 we would ask you and members of your party or family group to not attend the railway museum.
- Please respect social distancing measures whilst on site. We are a largely open-air museum, with a great deal of space so as to allow for 1-2m distance between visitors.
- You are not required to wear a face covering, but this is advised. All of our staff and volunteers will be wearing appropriate PPE. Face Masks will be available for purchase in our tearoom.
- Please refrain from touching your face.
- Wash your hands often and use the hand sanitisation stations available as much as possible.
Food and Drink
The beautiful Platform 3 cafe is back for business as well. Step back to a bygone era in the quaint cafe, enjoying a warm cuppa by the fire or a cool drink under the outside canopy if the sun is shining.
Please note there are a restricted numbers of visitors, in order to allow for appropriate social distancing.
While contactless payment is advised, they also accept cash payments in GBP sterling.
Public toilets are available throughout the site. Please follow the guidance put in place for everyone’s safety when using these toilets.
The Museum is fully accessible. The team want to make sure everyone who visits feels welcome. If you need any extra help on your tour please don’t hesitate to contact one of the guides.
Top Reasons To Visit
- Step aboard the footplate of a 140-year-old steam engine
- See the signal arm change when you pull a lever in the signal box
- Stroll through the carriage in which the Queen travelled in 1953
- Hear how a major Ulster train crash in 1889 changed railway safety worldwide
- Enjoy a snack or lunch in Platform 3, a period-style railway refreshment room