“Railways to the West” programme brings railways to life for young people in the District

22nd November 2018

More than 50 young people from across the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area recently took part in a trip to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Cultra, as part of Phase 2 of the Council’s PEACE IV Programme “Railways to the West”.

The “Railways to the West” programme is one of 16 projects identified in the Fermanagh and Omagh PEACE IV Local Action Plan to benefit from a total funding package of £2.8m.

It focuses on the Great Northern Railway which passed through villages in Mid and West Tyrone and Omagh on its journey from Portadown to Derry/Londonderry until its closure in 1965.

The project is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding for this project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

The initial phase of the ‘Railways to the West’ project saw over one hundred young people from the Fermanagh and Omagh District participating in a number of creative summer schemes in August.  The week-long arts and heritage scheme sought to engage a wide representation of young people aged 7-12 years from within local communities which bordered the route.

Young people who attended the summer schemes were invited to participate in the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum’s “Model Railway Day”, which hosted Northern Ireland’s largest display of model railways and contained over 30 layouts and associated exhibits set out amongst the full-size prototypes in the railway gallery.

Participants on the programme will also have an opportunity to take part in further trips and activities planned up to March 2019, including a visit to W5.

Phase 2 will also offer adults across the district the opportunity to get involved in other events and activities planned between January 2019 and March 2019 to highlight the rich history and heritage of the Great Northern Railway.

Events scheduled as part of the programme include an informative talk entitled “The Derry Road Remembered” by renowned railway enthusiast Charles Friel, a drama production “The Sugar Train” by dramatist Bean McCaugherty, a range of walking tours and trips and the development of a DVD capturing stories and reflections from those who worked or travelled on the railway.

The “Railways to the West” programme is being delivered by Insight Solutions on behalf of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. For further information, or to get involved please contact Fergal O’Donnell from Insight Solutions on 0771 362 3264 or email fergal@insight-solutions.org.