Notes: Donemana was one of the intermediate stations on the Donegal Railway’s (DR) Strabane – Londonderry Victoria Road line which opened to goods on 1 August 1900 and to passengers on 6 August 1900. The 14½ mile line was of the 3ft gauge and it had been built to provide the DR with direct access to the city of Derry/Londonderry (from 1894 until the line opened the DR had to tranship goods onto the 5ft 3inch gauge Great Northern Railway Ireland [GNRI] route to Londonderry Foyle Road).
The line was a single track railway, but at Donemana a passing loop was provided. Therefore it was the only intermediate station that had two platforms. The passenger facilities were located on the down platform (Strabane direction). The station was provided with goods facilities which were located to east of the down platform. It was also fully signalled, having a signal cabin at the north end of the down platform.
On 1 May 1906 the DR was taken over jointly by the GNRI and the Midland Railway (MR) of England. The joint concern was called the County Donegal Railway Joint Committee (CDRJC). As the GNRI had a line of its own between Strabane and Derry/Londonderry the route through Donemana (between Strabane and Derry/Londonderry) passed into the sole ownership of the MR. The station staff at Donemana became MR NCC1employees. The train services however were operated by the CDR.
On 7 September 1913 a serious accident occurred at Donemana station which resulted in the death of a passenger and injuries to six others. The accident was the fault of the engine crew who had spent the day drinking alcohol. The driver served three months in prison.
In December 1921 (following the Irish War of Independence) the island of Ireland was partitioned into two separate countries, The Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. Most of the CDR network was located within the Irish Free State but the NCC line through Donemana was located wholly within Northern Ireland.
In 1923 the MR was absorbed into the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) who became the part owner of the CDR and the owner of the Strabane – Londonderry Victoria Road line. The LMS let their network in Northern Ireland operate as the Northern Counties Committee (NCC). In 1946 the LMS NCC rationalised the layout at Donemana by removing the up side of the passing loop, and closed the signal cabin.
In April 1949 the former NCC network was purchased by the Northern Ireland government on behalf of the UTA for £2.67 million. Being part of the NCC network the Strabane – Londonderry Victoria Road line passed to the UTA but it continued to be worked by the CDR. The UTA announced its intention to close the line between Londonderry Victoria Road and Strabane in October 1954. The last scheduled passenger trains ran from Donemana on 31 December 1954.
CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED HISTORY OF DONEMANA STATION
CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS OF THE 7 SEPTEMBER 1913 TRAIN CRASH
Tickets from Michael Stewart. Timetables from Chris Hind and Jim McBride. Route map
by Alan Young
- Begley, J et al The County Donegal Railway - A Visitors Guide (County Donegal Railway Restoration Society, 1999)
- Bunch, M Michael Bunch's Donegal Railway Diary Part 1 1954-1955 (County Donegal Railway Restoration CLG, 2017)
- Bunch, M Michael Bunch's Donegal Railway Diary Part 1 1956-2018 (County Donegal Railway Restoration CLG, 2019)
- Johnson, S Johnson's Atlas & Gazetteer of The Railways of Ireland (Midland Publishing, 1997)
- Patterson, E M The County Donegal Railways - Revised Edition (Colourpoint,2014)
To see the other disused
stations on the Londonderry Victoria Road and Strabane railway click on the station
name: Londonderry Victoria Road, New Buildings, Desertone Halt, Cullion, Ballyheather Halt, Ballymagorry and Strabane (CDR)
Click here to see the Donegal Railway Heritage Centre website