A network of 225 route km of 914 mm (3 ft) gauge railways, the largest narrow gauge system in north-west Europe, extended through County Donegal and neighbouring areas. The principal companies were the County Donegal Railway, opened from Stranorlar to the edge of the town of Donegal in 1882, and extended into a station in the centre in 1889, and the Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway which operated between 1853 and 1953. The network served the communities in this sparsely-populated area in the same way as the Vicinal in Belgium or the metre gauge network in the Sauerland. The Country Donegal Railway closed in 1959, and the heritage centre opened in the former station in Donegal in 1995. It tells the story of the narrow gauge lines in north-west Ireland through graphic panels and models, and holds a substantial collection of digitised photographs. Outside the station are several restored coaches in red and yellow livery which contain further displays. The centre has one steam locomotive, a Nasmyth Wilson 2-6-4T, called Drumboe of 1907.