The Railway Line

The West Donegal Railway Company opened this line on 25th April 1882, the start of it’s construction having been hampered by seven weeks of snowstorm. The line closed in 1959. The Railway ran alongside a ledge built into the hillside for part of its route through Barnesmore Gap. Much of the trackbed can still be traced today, and is visible to all who visit Biddys.

No 4 “Meenglass” with 11 coaches is seen on 3rd August 1959 storming up the Barnesmore Gap with her return excursion. The remoteness here is well illustrated, with the train clinging to the side of the Blue Stack Mountains. Note also the telegraph poles, vital in transporting all the telecommunications services that the railway required to keep it running. This would not only allow voice telephony between stations and signal cabins, but also operated the various block sections. (Top, Right) No 2 “Blanche” is seen on the same date at Barnesmore Station, with her excursion of 10 coaches.

Will we ever see it in use again?

A very old photograph of Barnesmore Gap showing the abandoned railway line. Photo Credit