Notes: Desertone Halt was opened by the Midland Railway (MR) in 1907 to serve the small settlements of Drumagore, Killymallaght and Disertowen in County Londonderry Ireland. It was situated on the 14½ mile single track Strabane – Londonderry Victoria Road line which had been opened on 1 August 1900 (for goods with passenger services starting on 6 August) by the Donegal Railway (DR). The MR had been the owner of the line since 1 May 1906 when they had taken over the DR in partnership with the Great Northern Railway Ireland (GNRI) and formed the County Donegal Railway Joint Committee (CDR). Although the line between Strabane and Victoria Road was wholly owned by the MR the train services were operated by the CDR.
Located 4½ miles from Victoria Road and 9½ miles from Strabane the halt at Desertone was provided with a single timber constructed platform located on the east side of the line. Simple timber hut like structures provided the basic passenger facilities.
The halt was served by 6 up (Londonderry Victoria Road direction) and 5 down (Strabane direction) services in 1910.
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 MR line through Desertone Halt 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 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 Desertone on 31 December 1954.
CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED HISTORY OF DESERTONE HALT
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, Cullion, Donemana, Ballyheather Halt, Ballymagorry and Stabane (CDR)
Click here to see the Donegal Railway Heritage Centre website