County Donegal Railways Stock
in the Irish Railway Collection

© copyright photographs by Colin Duff


The Irish Railways Collection contains a fair number of items of County Donegal Railways stock, not all of which are illustrated here.

The Irish Railways Collection is displayed at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra (pronounced Cult-raw or Cult-rar, I have heard both from locals), County Down, which is seven miles east of Belfast City Centre on the Belfast to Bangor railway line and the A2 road. In addition to the Railway Collection there are also extensive road transport and bus, air and marine collections. The latter features a special display about the locally-built, ill-fated ocean liner Titanic. The large site also covers many aspects of Irish Life and Culture, so a full day is required to view everything, even superficially. There is much of interest to both genders and all ages, so a visit is highly recommended.

Like the (British) National Railway Museum at York and its Locomotion outstation at Shildon photography is not so easy due to low lighting levels and restricted viewing angles.


CDRJC locomotive number 2, Carriage number 2 and trailer number 1

This view from the circular high level walkway reveals:

  • 2-6-4T locomotive no.2 Blanche, built by Nasmyth Wilson & Co. of Manchester in 1912 and was still in service when the County Donegal Railway closed on 31st December 1959.
  • Carriage no.1 built by the Birmingham Carriage & Wagon Company for the opening of the West Donegal Railway in 1882. Originally a tri-composite, it was rebuilt around 1910 as a 1st Class saloon and used by the Directors on inspection tours.
  • Railcar trailer number 3, which was built by the Drewry Car Co. Ltd, London, as an Irish standard gauge petrol-engined railcar for the Dublin & Blessington Steam Tramway. It was bought by the CDR in 1934 and re-gauged to 3ft. The engine was removed in 1944 and was then used as a trailer.
CDRJC Railcar number 1

Railcar number 1 is a highly significant exhibit. It is the first internal combustion engined railway vehicle in Ireland and also one of the early pioneers of such stock in the world. It was a success by proving the viability and economy of operating petrol and diesel engined railcars.

It was built in 1906 by Allday and Onions of Birmingham as an open-bodied inspection car. The enclosed body was fitted in 1920 and this railcar went through three new engines before it was withdrawn in 1956.

CDJRC Railcar number 10 Railcar number 10 was built in 1932 by Walker Brothers of Wigan for the Clogher Valley Railway. It was the first articulated railcar in Ireland. No. 10 operated the last train on the CVR in December 1941, thence being sold to the CDRJC. It was still in service when the CDR closed in 1959, having clocked up over 700,000 miles in service.

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