Don McDonagh’s iconic miniature railway has started a new chapter at Gunnedah Rural Museum.
The railway was unveiled at the museum’s open day on Sunday. Mr McDonagh expressed his gratitude to the museum volunteers for bringing his trains back to life, reflecting on the day fire damaged the set in 2014.
“I was in Tamworth Hospital when told about the fire and that my trains had been damaged,” he said.
“I thought to myself, what have I got to go home to? It was a very dark time for me.”
Mr McDonagh donated his set to the museum in 2015 and upon seeing the new display he was filled with joy.
“I couldn’t be prouder if a statue of me had been erected on top of the town hall,” he said.
He also presented a railway bell from Central Station, Sydney, to museum president Ian Guest. The bell will be installed near the new exhibit.
Exhibit Project officer Owen Tydd said some of the trains in Mr McDonagh’s set were still being restored, and there was still some “window-dressing” to be done.
Don McDonagh – Donation of railway, track & buildings
Michael Broekman – Namoi Valley Bricks, donation of bricks & pavers
Tim Mackeller – MEX, donation of crusher dust
Lindsay Allen – concreating
Darrell Kingdom – electrical
Chris Cottington – Supply & errection of fencing
Gunnedah Garden Club – advice & plants for landscaping
Museum Members who assisted in construction of railway
Owen Tydd - (minister for mini railways)
Bill O’Gorman - (minster of works)
Rudi Dornmayr - building restoration
Jim Tudgey - building restoration
Narelle Phillips - painting of buildings
Conner Phillips - construction of river
Paul Gruber - earthworks & loan of cement mixer
Natasha Palmer – advice on brick and paver laying
Supply of Labour