Railway signal box gets back on track after restoration in Downpatrick
A railway signal cabin that has been used as a potting shed in Co Fermanagh for the last 60 years is being restored in Downpatrick.
On Saturday, a crane was used to winch the former Bundoran Junction North signal box to its new home on the platform at Downpatrick railway station, home of the Downpatrick & Co Down Railway.
The cabin once controlled the north end of Bundoran Junction in Kilskeery, Co Tyrone, formerly a major junction for the Great Northern Railway (GNR).
It was thought none of the signal cabins had survived until a member learned that the former Bundoran Junction North cabin had been saved to be used as a garden shed in Ballinamallard.
"The base was largely rotten, but the top two-thirds were sound, and we've spent the last year rebuilding the base and it's pretty solid now," DCDR chief civil engineer David Crone said.
Last year the cabin restoration project received a large boost with grant aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund NI, allowing its restoration. A new brick base, using reclaimed bricks from the former Baptist Church on Great Victoria Street, was built by the students from the South Eastern Regional College.
"Many passengers will have seen the cabin gradually stripped and rebuilt over the last year, and after a lot of work by volunteer Jim Carson the cabin is now ready to be properly installed and finished," Mr Crone said.
"There's still a bit more work to do, the main thing left to do is the fine woodwork like the window frames, plus a new door."
Work is expected to continue for a number of months to complete the project.
The Downpatrick & County Down Railway is currently offering a free four-week trial membership for anyone interested in volunteering.
Contact the Downpatrick Tourist Information Centre on 028 4461 2233 or log on to the railway's website at www.downrail.co.uk, or www.facebook.com/downrail