All railway operators in Northern Ireland including light and heritage railways are required to comply with all new regulations introduced by the Department to further improve railway safety. In some circumstances heritage railways operating on their own tracks and at a line speed that does not exceed 25mph may be exempted from some of the more onerous regulations where the Department is satisfied that the safety of passengers and the general public is not compromised.
The Department has responsibility for the licensing of all light railways including heritage railways operating in Northern Ireland in exercise of the powers conferred on it under section 27 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1868.
Privately owned light and heritage railways operators
The following are privately owned light and heritage railways operators across Northern Ireland. Of these railways The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) is the only heritage operator that currently has excess to the main line network for special excursion trips. These excursions including cross-border trips are organised through special arrangements entered into by RPSI, Translink in Northern Ireland and Ianrod Eireann in the Republic of Ireland.
- Railway Preservation Society of Ireland
- Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
- Downpatrick and County Down Railway
- Belfast and County Down Miniature Railway Society
- Delamont Minature Railway Society
Other related heritage railway sites: