Museum Hours: 10am to 5pm Monday - Saturday & Sundays (April-Sept) 11:30 - 4PM

“February 2020 Newsletter”



Since our last newsletter, we have been very busy, probably the busiest period we have had in many years, as you will see from this newsletter. Our footfall on/offsite has increased by 36% compared to the previous year which is great news! However, we have as you know ambitious plans for the next 12 months and beyond, and much of this would not be possible without your ongoing generous support.  If you haven’t been on-site for a while, I would ask you to call in for a coffee and a chat.
Santa a Success!
We were delighted with the success of our Santa event at the end of 2019 which became the talk of the County. This year we decided to give the event a much-needed complete overhaul in order to meet with current expectations. We had an unprecedented turnout for our Santa event. The reason for this was due to a variety of factors including:

  • A major upgrade of sets particularly in the main carriages
  • Great staff ensuring that everyone felt truly welcomed
  • Good Santa pressies
  • Additional marketing
  • Word of mouth from last year’s visitors and from this years
  • New Christmas installations onsite
  • One of the best Santa experience in the County!

We were overwhelmed with the response, and although it was great to increase the income from it, ultimately and more importantly, the kids and parents had a terrific time. These sorts of family events are important as not only do they bring in much-needed income but also bring people into our museum who otherwise would have never come into the buildings, many of them, locals! We would like to thank “Lights N Shades”, based in Donegal Town Shopping Centre who kindly donated Christmas lights for our event.

During the winter months when there are fewer visitors, it gives us more time to work on the maintenance of our artifacts as well as the building. At the moment the team has been working on the wagons (the grey wagon door can be seen in the picture being repaired), and ongoing work continues on the carriages.
Separately, the museum display areas need to be given a facelift, so we are closed for a fortnight from Monday 17th February to the public for about two weeks to complete this work. This will be done on a tiny budget, but we would like to thank Martin and the team at Donegal Town Hardware who sponsored decoration supplies for this work.
Return of Drumboe – Update
Our ambitious plans to bring Drumboe back to Donegal continues. As mentioned in the last newsletter, as well as having received several donations we have made a grant application towards some of the work on Drumboe and work to the front and back of the station.
We had hoped to get an update in January, but the meeting has been delayed until March. However we still need to get the complete package in place, so if you would like to donate, then please Click on the link below. Any donation, gratefully received!
Our new book, “County Donegal by Rail in Colour” has quickly become an overnight success and follows hot on the heels of our previous publification, “Michael Bunch’s Donegal Railway Diary Part 2”.
This new book, a hardback album of all high-quality colour photos taken of the Donegal railway’s by John Langford, gives a unique flavour of the line in its last year of operation showing both steam and diesel trains, passenger and goods, and stations and countryside. The publification, kindly funded by the Leader Rural Development Programme, has been selling very well across Ireland and the UK, as well as having received orders from further afield.MEMBERS OFFER: Remember that if you are a current Member you can receive a 10% discount. To avail of this offer contact the museum directly at Tel: (074) 9722655 or email 

Show your support by becoming a Member!
As a charity like many heritage groups, we would not exist without the support of Members and the wider public. Members help sustain this local organisation while enjoying many outstanding benefits throughout the year, including discounted merchandise, free entry for two visits, member-specific newsletters like this one, etc. and know that you are supporting our unique work in rescuing, showcasing, educating and celebrating our unique Donegal railway heritage for current and future generations.
The even better news is that for the first time ever we commissioned a limited edition 60th Anniversary Badge which is free to all new and renewing Memberships.  Every year we will produce a new limited badge! For more details or to renew your membership, click on the link below.
Out & About!
As mentioned previously we have had a focus on re-engaging with the local and wider community and over the last period, we have been out and about. These engagement events have included:
  • RSPI Event in Belfast
  • Pobal Client Heritage event in Lullymore, Kildare
  • Castlefinn & Districts History Club
  • 60th Anniversary event at Mullanboys

We have also received great coverage in the local press, in various quality railway magazines from across the British Isles as well as on Highland Radio, Ocean FM and the BBC.

Also as part of our 60th Anniversary, we were invited out to Mullanboys Halt by Fred Symmons and were delighted to run our Wickham Trolly there for the crowd that assembled on a very cold December day!

Have you a Donegal Railway Artefact?
Have you something in your attic or sitting about that could be donated or loaned to Donegal Railway Heritage Museum so that more people can get the opportunity to see it and appreciate it?  As the main dedicated railway museum in the county, we are always looking for something new (or in this case old) to add to our unique collection.
In the last few months, we have received a few different items including a station porter luggage trolly which originally was used at our station, original Donegal luggage labels, a railway lamp and a selection of original Donegal Railway Tickets.
All loans and donations are greatly appreciated. If you have anything that might be of interest, please contact Niall at (074) 9722655 or email