A new railway project was launched yesterday with an iconic train removed from its Foyle Road site for refurbishment.
Local charity ‘Destined,’ yesterday launched their Meenglas project at the Foyle Valley Railway Museum, ahead of plans to re-open the Railway Museum next year.
The Meenglas is the red steam engine which has become a landmark outside the railway museum. It was removed to the Railway Preservation Society’s yard at Whitehead, Co. Antrim, for a new fit-out that will take six months to complete. A 100 ton crane was used to lift it onto a low loader for the journey.
Some of the works will include a re-plate of tank sides, cab and bunker and replica chimney. The engine will be returned and mounted outside the Museum in May 2018.
The Meenglas Project involves a partnership between Destined members and students from St. Mary’s College and St. Joseph’s Boys’ School.
Apart from the refurbishment of the Meenglas, the partnership is planning to research the history of the five railways that once operated locally and to set up the opportunity for people to tell their stories of the railways.
Destined plan to collate all this information into a historical hand book and the project will be captured by a fly on the wall video to be shared on the Destined website.
When the Meenglas arrives back on site, the charity proposes to establish a Foyle Valley Railway Preservation Society, which will welcome anyone with an interest in railways. They will also formally re-open the Railway Museum to the public at the same time. The project being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.