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The Meenglas operated from Stranorlar to Strabane, Donegal Town and Killybegs and was withdrawn in 1959.