County Donegal Railways Joint Committee

by John Hinson

Signal at Killygordon
Photograph 1/1/60
from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

The narrow gauge line of the County Donegal Railways Joint Committee gained something of a reputation for being short of money, and running a train service in a style all of their own.

Whilst there is no disputing that full conventional signalling was provided at some locations (see Stranorlar East), much home-made and unconventional equipment was also used. This section depicts some unusual signals found along the line.

The signal shown on the right appears to be made from a conventional spectacle, spindle and weight bar assembly, mounted on a home-made post. The finial (and probably the other parts) is of McKenzie & Holland origins. On some lines in Ireland, this kind of signal was used to protect level crossings. No lamp is provided. The signal was located on the approach to Killygordon station, facing Strabane-bound trains.

Pictured below are two signals that applied to a level crossing near Inver.

On the left is a revolving board signal, turned parallel to the line to show "clear". A bracket at the top would allow a lamp to be provided.

On the right is a completely home-made fixed distant signal, with the wooden arm simply bolted onto the iron post. No provision has been provided for a lamp, but a touch of thought has gone into the finial fixed on top of the post.

Revolving board signal at Inver
Photograph from the
collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour
Fixed distant signal near Inver
Photograph 31/12/59
from the collection of Dr J W F Scrimgeour

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson