TRAIN TALES: Memories of trips taken between Donegal and Scotland required
Irish History

TRAIN TALES: Memories of trips taken between Donegal and Scotland required

COUNTY Donegal Railway Heritage Centre boss Niall McCaughan wants to hear from Glaswegians and west of Scotland people who remember the County Donegal Railways. 

He’s keen to include their memories in an audio archive at the museum which celebrates the life and times of the narrow gauge CDR.

Its narrow-gauge trains served Donegal for a century and carried thousands travelling to and from Donegal and Scotland.

“We know that many people, especially from the Glasgow area, travelled by boat from Ardrossan to Belfast, or from Glasgow to Derry, and took the Great Northern Railway train to Strabane,” he said.

“They transferred there, to the county Donegal Railways to catch the CDR’s, unique, diesel railbuses to Stranorlar, Glenties, Donegal, Killybegs and Ballyshannon, when returning to Donegal for the summer holidays,” he added.

“In the reverse direction, many made that journey to emigrate to Scotland or as seasonal workers for the tatty howkin’.

“We believe that there are memories in plenty out there, especially from older people who were children in the 1950s, and we’d be delighted to hear from them.

“The Glasgow and Scottish connection was very much part of the character of the County Donegal Railways.

“We want to record that for future generations before it’s too late.

“Although the railway closed in 1959, we know that there are still many people alive who travelled on, worked on, or knew the railway.

“We’re planning an audio resource and display at the centre for later this year, and we need to capture these memories before it’s too late.”

Mr McCaughan is also interested to hear from members of the Donegal diaspora across Britain, too. “Although the main flow of Donegal folk was towards Scotland, I know that there are considerable Donegal communities right across England, and we’d be delighted to hear from them, too, as, again, many people emigrated on the railway or used it for holiday visits back home,” he said.

Anyone who would like to contribute to the audio and written memory archive can contact Mr McCaughan at [email protected].