1885 - 1895
Donegal Town Railway Station
Detached three-bay two-storey triple-pile former railway station, built 1889, in use as a visitor's attraction and Bus Eireann Depot. Projecting front porch and two-bay waiting room wing to west and five-bay store wing to east. Double pitched natural slate roof with double pitched roofed breakfront, ridge tiles and modern slate roof on extension to west, rendered chimney stacks with terracotta pots, cast-iron and replacement PVC rain-water goods, timber cornice with wooden eaves and cut stone brackets, wooden painted barge board to gables with pointed finial. Squared random coursing of low relief rock-faced masonry and dressed stone, with painted ashlar quoins and painted stringcourse to ground. Segmental headed replacement timber and sliding sash windows, with painted ashlar block and start surround and painted stone sills; square headed one-over-one sliding sash above doorway to first floor and square-headed timber windows to modern extension with half-bow timber window at modern western gable. Segmental headed door opening in porch breakfront, pitched natural slate roof with ridge tiles, painted ashlar surround with overlight, replacement timber panelled door, dressed stone entrance steps and kerbstones. Sited in own grounds at end of Tyrconnell Street bounded by modern wall and fencing to rear displaying a portion of original narrow gauge railway line, Bus Eireann corrugated-iron garage and parking area located immediately adjacent the railway station building.
This highly appealing late-nineteenth-century former railway station retains its original character and form. It is well-built using good-quality snecked stone masonry with high quality dressed stone quoins to the corners and to the openings that attest to the grandiose ambitions of the railway company at the time of construction. The snecked stone masonry and attention to detail are typical features of Victorian railway architecture and engineering in Ireland. The triple gabled central block with decorative timber brackets supporting the eaves is an interesting and unusual feature that creates an attractive roofline. This railway station was originally built to serve the Druminin to Donegal Town section of the Derry (Victoria Road) to Killybegs narrow gauge (three foot) railway line (originally standard five foot three inch gauge; regauged in 1894), which was built (to Donegal Town) in 1889 by the West Donegal Railway Company, and later extended to Killybegs in 1893. This line was closed entirely in 1960. A railway station of a similar design was built at Killybegs at the far end of the line but is now demolished. Another narrow gauge line was built from Donegal Town to Ballyshannon by the County Donegal Railways Joint Committee in 1905, which also closed in 1960 due to the competition from road transport etc. This railway station is now an important tourist amenity and serves as an important historical reminder of the County Donegal Railway, which is considered one of the most evocative of all railway lines in Ireland, and is an integral element of the built heritage of Donegal Town.