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Railway Museum's first in Ireland!

Publish date: 21 July 2022

The Donegal Railway Heritage Centre is delighted to announce that it has just installed Ireland’s first interactive railway cab through kind funding from the Heritage Council. 

Niall McCaughan, Manager of the railway Museum stated: “In recent years our museum has undergone a massive transformation in order to bring it up to day, and make it educative, engaging, and fun, whist at the same time rescuing, restoring and showcasing some of Donegal’s unique railway heritage. Not only in recent times have we restored and brought Drumboe, our Donegal steam engine back on site, but we have installed new interpretive signs throughout the site, installed new audio signs, given the museum a makeover, as well as publishing a new book, The Lough Swilly Remembered, as well as a new pocket size County guide. 

However, we thought it would be great if we could give kids and adults the actual experience of working in the cab of a steam train, with additional activities etc. for them to keep them busy. Our project was to build a nearly full-size steam engine cab, which would have all of the wheels, levers, gauges, etc., that you would normally see. Using modern technology, these are linked together, and using LED screens and the like, visitors are able to learn what is needed to operate a steam engine. 

Image © Donegal Railway Heritage Centre

The Interactive Steam Engine Cab has only been installed a few days, but is already proving a great hit, meeting its remit of both being educative and fun! It has all the excitement of a moving train as you look out of the portholes to see the track approaching, feed the engine with coal to make it go faster, pull the chain to hear the whistle, operate the various levers, watch it travel across Donegal on its own sat-nav (not an original feature!), as well as encouraging you to take part in various quizzes!"

You can get an idea of the full experience, by checking out this Video Link, where Mook, one of the designers and installers, gives us a quick tour of the highlights! 

The Museum is open until September 7 days a week, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12noon-4pm, and outside of this Mon-Sat. Finally, a reminder that our AGM will take place on Saturday 13th August, 2pm sharp at the museum. This will be followed by a talk from Peter Scott at 3pm from Heritage Engineering Ireland, Whitehead on the restoration of our famous steam engine Drumboe, which he led. This event can be attended both in-person at the museum and viewed online. 
For more information contact info@donegalrailway.com or Tel: 074 9722655


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