Donegal Railway Heritage Centre is delighted to announce that it has exciting plans to bring Donegal's most famous steam engine 'Drumboe' back to the county.
Furthermore, it plans to do so in this 60th Anniversary when Donegal Station and the Railway lines closed (1959), and will do so through a major Crowd Funding initiative.
The Centre's manager Niall McCaughan said: “Having recently started in my new position as Manager in this cultural gem, one of the most frequent asked questions is 'When is Drumboe coming back to Donegal?' We feel that we can mark this anniversary by raising the funding to take this engine back to Donegal Town. We have also made it easy for people to make a contribution, whether it’s €5 or €5,000 with a dedicated Crowd Funding site; any donation is greatly appreciated.
"We launched the campaign on St Valentine’s Day to encourage people to show their love for Donegal, and get behind the campaign."
The launch took place at Harvey’s Point where a large model of Drumboe built by the Heritage Centre is located. Donegal Railway Heritage Centre expressed their thanks to Harvey's Point or assisting in this launch.
They also thanked McMullin Associates Architects who have already been working on the architect plans for the canopy which will cover the steam engine, once it returns home. And of course, there was a big acknowledgement of the work of the North West of Ireland Railway Society. They rescued Drumboe and much of the other Donegal railway stock in the early 1970s, before they were scrapped.
Mr McCaughan said: "Donegal Railway Heritage Centre is a registered charity, and our overall vision is to develop and promote a robust and dynamic railway heritage facility, which will be of interest across a wide section of society but particularly to the local community. We wish to keep the history and heritage of the County Donegal Railways alive through the running of the Museum and the economic restoration of rolling stock and traction. Drumboe is a major part of our history and our heritage.
"We aim through Crowd Funding to raise much-needed funding, €60,000 in total to cover the cost of restoring the engine, transporting her back to Donegal Town, site preparation, building a canopy cover, mounting and lighting her.
"Although some work was done to the engine some time ago, much of it is in poor condition. There are no original Donegal steam engines left in the county, and this is even more tragic when you consider that County Donegal had the largest narrow-gauge network in the British Isles.
"Drumboe will become the centrepiece to the museum, and will make it not only a more attractive draw for locals and visitors alike, thus making it more sustainable, but it also will have a much wider positive impact on the local community and county, for the economic regeneration of the region, tourism, heritage and pride.
"Be part of Donegal's story, and help us bring Drumboe home."
Deirdre McGlone, Proprietor of Harvey’s Point said: "We are delighted to be involved in launching the crowdfunding to bring this iconic steam engine back to Donegal Town. Donegal has a great tourist offer, and this symbol of our unique railway heritage will be a welcome addition to this offer."
Jim McBride, Chair of the North West of Ireland Railway Society said: “On behalf of the NWIRS we welcome the launch of the crowdfunding scheme to complete the cosmetic restoration of Drumboe by the RPSI and return the loco to Donegal Town Heritage Centre. Without the help of NWIRS members, Drumboe would have been scrapped in Strabane in 1984.”
Anyone who wishes to make a contribution can do so at https://www.gofundme.com/bring-drumboe-home
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