Donegal Railway Heritage Centre

Donegal Railway Heritage Centre in Donegal

The County Donegal Railway was the largest narrow-gauge railway system in the British Isles, although it began its existence in the form of the Irish 5’3” broad gauge. The first line to open was the Finn Valley Railway from Strabane to Stranorlar in September 1863 to 5’3” gauge. Strabane had already been reached by the Londonderry and Enniskillen Railway in1847. Proposals were then made over the next few years for an extension from Stranorlar to Donegal Town, but this time in 3-foot gauge, experience in Antrim having led promoters to feel this was a cheaper option both for construction and operation. Despite these funds were hard to obtain and the railway was opened initially to Lough Eske Station, in the Townland of Druminnin, in1882, and extended in to Donegal Town in 1889. The next twenty years saw the peak of construction of the narrow-gauge lines, from Donegal Town to Killybegs in 1893, and from Stranorlar to Glenties in 1895.

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