RAILWAY HERITAGE: Cranking up the memories in Donegal town
Life & Style

RAILWAY HERITAGE: Cranking up the memories in Donegal town

THE Donegal Railway Heritage Centre has found a new use for cranks - using people power to make audio memories of the County Donegal Railway accessible to visitors in a truly green way.

The centre is now home to two audio crank-up machines, the first in use in any type of museum in Ireland, on which visitors use arm power to crank up the machine to listen to eight recordings of local people who lived and worked on the County Donegal Railway.

Mook Vignes (left) of Mirador Media and Niall McCaughan with the newly-delivered crank audio machine which will be installed outside the museum

One machine is positioned inside the centre and a second is outside beside recently returned 2-6-4t, number 5 Drumboe, which is now stationed below its newly erected platform canopy.

Centre manager Niall McCaughan said: “We have really gone green with these people-power machines which really involve visitors, and don’t add to our electricity bill.

“The quality of the recordings is excellent and they fulfil our wish to bring the railway to life for visitors by them hearing the authentic voices of CDR passengers and staff.”

He added: “One recording for example, is by Billy Patterson, who grew up in the station house at Letterkenny, where his father was stationmaster, and he recalls the railcars coming to and from the busy station.

The machine installed inside, showing the crank and story selector, at Donegal Railway Heritage Centre

“Our thanks to Mirador Media of Innishannon, county Cork, for manufacturing and installing these pioneering, green and highly effective museum information tools for us.”