Belfast Telegraph

Piece of railway history back on track after 60 years

By Staff Reporter

An historic railway signal cabin that lay in an orchard for nearly 60 years has been restored to its former glory by the Downpatrick and County Down Railway (DCDR).

In its working life, the cabin was a control room for the north end of the triangular Bundoran Junction in Co Tyrone, formerly a major junction for the Great Northern Railway (GNR) network, before the entire line was closed 60 years ago on September 30, 1957.

The cabin, now located at the DCDR's base in Market Street, Downpatrick, is to be formally opened to the public today by veterans of the GNR.

Railway Chief Civil Engineer, David Crone, said: "Very little of the railway infrastructure from the west of the province survives, so we are delighted to have restored this significant piece of railway heritage."

Railway chairman, Robert Gardiner, added: "For us as a heritage railway and accredited museum it's so much more rewarding to be able to restore a building that has some real provenance behind it, something you would have seen in use if you were a railway traveller in the west of Northern Ireland."

Visitors will be able to explore the signal cabin themselves at the start of the DCDR's summer train running season, which begins on June 17.

The signal cabin project has been completed with the help of a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The DCDR team is also keen to obtain any Great Northern memorabilia or photographs for display in the restored cabin. They can be contacted via their Facebook page or through their website at www.downrail.co.uk

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