Iconic train back on home track as Derry youths launch rail history project

Dermot O' Hara, DESTINED CEO Dermot O'Hara, Jim McGreevy,  Heritage Lottery, Roisin Doherty, Curator Museum Services, DCSDC, Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane , and Jim McBride, railway historian pictured beside the recently  restored Meenglass locomotive at the Foyle Valley Railway centre. DER0519GS-030
Dermot O' Hara, DESTINED CEO Dermot O'Hara, Jim McGreevy, Heritage Lottery, Roisin Doherty, Curator Museum Services, DCSDC, Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane , and Jim McBride, railway historian pictured beside the recently restored Meenglass locomotive at the Foyle Valley Railway centre. DER0519GS-030

A new project on the five railways which once operated locally has been launched as the Meenglass steam train was welcomed back to its Derry base following major refurbishment.

Local charity Destined, which addresses the needs of people with learning disabilities, hosted a celebration to welcome back the iconic 112-year-old red Donegal train at its Foyle Valley Railway Base on Wednesday.

DESTINED CEO Dermot O'Hara ,on the left, and Caolan Friel, DESTINED, present Mrs Betty Breslin, whose husband John work on the Great Norther Railway Ireland, with a bouquet of flowers recently at the launch of  the Heritage Lottery funded Meenglass Project 'The 5 Railways of Derry' booklet in the Foyle Valley Railway centre.  DER0519GS-

DESTINED CEO Dermot O'Hara ,on the left, and Caolan Friel, DESTINED, present Mrs Betty Breslin, whose husband John work on the Great Norther Railway Ireland, with a bouquet of flowers recently at the launch of the Heritage Lottery funded Meenglass Project 'The 5 Railways of Derry' booklet in the Foyle Valley Railway centre. DER0519GS-

The 40-tonnes locomotive, which has been given a cosmetic overhaul by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland at Whitehead Railway Works with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, is now back on display at the Derry museum.

The refurbishment formed part of a wider project involving Destined members and students from St. Mary’s College and St. Joseph’s Boys’ School researching the history of the five railways that once operated locally. The students collected memories from people who travelled on the old lines for a video and booklet.

Destined manager, Dermot O’Hara, said that the unveiling and and launch also heralds the start of a new Railway Preservation Society in Derry.

Plans are also being developed to mark the 60th anniversary in 2019 of the closure of the Co. Donegal Railway in partnership with Donegal Railway Restoration in Donegal Town.

DESTINED CEO Dermot O'Hara ,on the left, and Caroline O'Hara, DESTINED, second from the right, present teachers Sean McBride, St Mary's College and Fiona Harrigan, St Josephs Boys School, with a memento recently acknowledging the contribution from pupils at their schools to the Heritage Lottery funded Meenglass Project  DER0519GS-

DESTINED CEO Dermot O'Hara ,on the left, and Caroline O'Hara, DESTINED, second from the right, present teachers Sean McBride, St Mary's College and Fiona Harrigan, St Josephs Boys School, with a memento recently acknowledging the contribution from pupils at their schools to the Heritage Lottery funded Meenglass Project DER0519GS-

The Meenglas operated from Stranorlar to Strabane, Donegal Town and Killybegs and was withdrawn in 1959.