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Meeting 1st June 2016

Posted 12/6/2016

The County Donegal Railway 

    If you had assumed that the subject for this month’s meeting, “The History of the County Donegal Railway – a further look at Ireland’s broad and narrow gauge railways”, would only be of interest to Irish railways’ devotees you would have been proved completely wrong.

    Eric, obviously aware of this possibility, had carefully put together a selection of slides with supporting text that included all the facts but also conveyed the relevant information in a way that contained something for everyone – including stories about the people “in charge” and responsible for the day-to-day running of the Railway.

    It wasn’t a case of 1 slide and lengthy monologue, several slides were shown whilst the supporting information was imparted – possible because Eric had employed 2 narrators to read out the latter whilst he controlled the slides.  The regular alternation of these narrators also avoided any potential monotony creeping in.  Thanks must go to Neil Ramsay and Peter Cox for their narrative contribution.

    Further thanks must also go to Neil for bringing along a selection of his excellent narrow gauge models to support the talk.  Many of the slides shown, including various items of motive power in particular, were brought to life by seeing them in 3 dimensions as well.

    A lasting memory will be the diversity of appearance and unique character of much of the rolling stock and the inventiveness of the railway company, driven by limited finance, in its provision.  When diesel railcars appeared in the late 50’s, causing great excitement, little did I realise that The County Donegal had had them at least 20 years earlier!

    A big thank you to Eric for the obvious thought, time and effort that he had put into the preparation of material for the evening and for making it such an enjoyable one – and another thank you to Neil and Peter for their contributions to the evening’s unqualified success.

David Knight