Work full steam ahead for return of famous engine to Donegal

Plans on track for tourism project at Donegal Railway Heritage Centre

Work full steam ahead for return of famous engine to Donegal

The steam engine Drumboe will be put on display at the front of the Donegal Railway Heritage Centre

Work has begun at the Donegal Railway Heritage Centre in preparation for the return of Drumboe, Donegal’s famous steam engine.

Earlier this year the centre was granted funding to for the restoration of the engine, transporting it back to Donegal town, restructuring the site at the front of the centre, and building a new platform and a canopy,

As well as construction work at the Donegal town site, the restoration of the engine has also begun at Heritage Engineering Ireland, Whitehead, Co Antrim. It is expected the landmark project should be complete by late spring of next year. 

Mark McDaid, chair of Donegal Railway Heritage Centre said: “We are delighted that construction work has finally started after some delays due to the unscheduled Covid closures, however, we are on track for the building works to be completed by the start of 2021. Hopefully, not long after that, Drumboe after her refurbishment will return once again to the original Donegal Railway Station site which is now home to our unique museum. We would like to thank again, Donegal Local Development CLG, Graham Forbes (grandson of CDR Manager Henry Forbes), The North West of Ireland Railway Society and many others and all of our benefactors who have made this €100k project all possible, leaving now only a small amount remaining to be raise.

“Drumboe will become the centrepiece of Donegal’s railway museum in Donegal Town, making it a landmark tourism project drawing locals and visitors alike to the region, thus making it more sustainable. More importantly however, it will have a positive impact on the local community and County, in the economic regeneration of the region, our heritage and in increased pride! However our ambitions don’t stop there! We are still looking at a bigger plan in the medium-long term to open up a bit of track and once again have Donegal train stock running in this part of Donegal!” If members of the public wish to contribute towards the remaining small shortfall to cover some additional work on the project, they can do so through the website at or by contacting the museum directly. 

For more information, contact Donegal Railway Heritage Centre at email or check out our Facebook page.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email To contact Donegal Post, email To contact Inish Times, email

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.