New Platforms Opened at Bellarena Station

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Mordac

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I searched and didn't find any recent threads about NIR to put this in, so starting this one, but if I've missed one, please move it there! Seems like the passing loop is finished as well, and the signalling works ETA is late 2016.

https://www.drdni.gov.uk/news/transport-minister-opens-new-bellarena-train-station-platforms


Transport Minister opens new Bellarena train station platforms
Date published: 22 March 2016

Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen today opened two new platforms at Bellarena train station marking a major milestone in the second phase of the Coleraine to Londonderry railway project.

The £46.4 million project is being primarily funded by the Northern Ireland Executive with EU funding support and comprises the construction of a rail passing loop along with installation of a new signalling and telecoms system.

Speaking at Bellarena Train Station, Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen said:

“The opening of the new platforms at Bellarena marks another significant milestone for this major project. I am pleased to say that work is progressing well on the Phase 2 project which is on schedule to be completed by the end of the year.

“More people are choosing to travel by train and investment in the rail fleet and infrastructure is paying off. Since the completion of Phase 1 of the project, passenger numbers on this railway line have increased by 12 percent in 2014/15 with over two million passenger journeys each year.

“As well as ensuring the long-term viability of the route, this major project signals the Executive’s continuing commitment to the North West. Once complete, it will also help improve safety and reliability and provide the capability for an hourly service to Londonderry.”

Translink Group Chief Executive, Chris Conway, said:

“These new longer platforms mean we can accommodate six-car trains and meet the demands of further local rail customer growth.

“Their opening marks the completion of the first stage of this ‘Phase 2’ project which also included:

a platform extension at Castlerock
construction of a new rail passing loop
closure of a User Worked Crossing and construction of a new farm access lane at Bellarena plus installation of ducts at both Castlerock and Derry/Londonderry station

“We also continue to make steady progress on the installation of a new signalling and telecoms system along the railway line to ensure it operates as effectively and efficiently as possible in the future and plan to substantially complete all Phase 2 works by late 2016.

“We would like to thank the Department for Regional Development and the European Union for essential funding to deliver this project. We would also like to thank our customers and local people for their patience and support as we continue to work hard to deliver this project on schedule,” said Chris.

Notes to editors:

1. Representing an investment of £46.4 million funded by the Northern Ireland Executive and the European Union ‘Connecting Europe Facility’, Phase 2 of the project also comprises the construction of a rail passing loop along with installation of a new signalling and telecoms system.

2. Phase 1 of the engineering track safety and improvement work between Coleraine – Derry/Londonderry was completed in March 2013 on time and on schedule.

3. Phase 2 project contractors are Babcock, a leading business in the UK rail infrastructure market, who was the successful bidder to deliver the signalling scheme and local firm, McLaughlin & Harvey, who have also been awarded the contract for the construction of a passing loop in Bellarena.
 
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thenorthern

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Very good news, in my opinion railways in Northern Ireland are not what they should be particularly on the Belfast to Londonderry line as its only two hourly compared to 8 trains per hour between London and Birmingham and 9 trains per hour between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Has there been any talk of what is happening with the Lisburn to Antrim line as I know it was singled last year but there has been discussions about reopening to regular passenger services.
 

Mordac

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Very good news, in my opinion railways in Northern Ireland are not what they should be particularly on the Belfast to Londonderry line as its only two hourly compared to 8 trains per hour between London and Birmingham and 9 trains per hour between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Has there been any talk of what is happening with the Lisburn to Antrim line as I know it was singled last year but there has been discussions about reopening to regular passenger services.

Now that this part of the upgrade is done, completion of the signalling upgrade at the end of the year will enable 1tph, which is still far from London to Birmingham, but of course the population is much smaller. ;)

There doesn't seem to be any business case for opening the Lisburn to Antrim line in the short-term, but it's in the nice to have file, meaning they'll probably do it the next time they manage to wriggle some more cash out of Westminster <D, or in the unlikely event that Belfast International grows enough that a rail link becomes justified. As far as I know that line was always single-track, though?

EDIT: Here's the long-term plan the DRD published in 2014. It's depressingly unambitious, but I suppose one must consider the budgetary and geographical realities: http://www.nienvironmentlink.org/cm...orisation-strategy-april-2014-final-draft.pdf
 
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najaB

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Very good news, in my opinion railways in Northern Ireland are not what they should be particularly on the Belfast to Londonderry line as its only two hourly compared to 8 trains per hour between London and Birmingham and 9 trains per hour between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
A bit of an apples and oranges comparison, but agree that there's scope for hourly service with appropriate infrastructure upgrades.
 

Elwyn

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The line wasn’t singled last year. It has always been single track since it was built. What they did was remove the two passing loops which I think had been clipped out of use for some time anyway. Considerable work was also undertaken improving drainage, cutting back foliage etc, and the line is currently available for diversionary use with a pilot man. The odd RPSI steam special uses it from time to time too.

Translink’s long term Business Plan last year said that they would like to re-open it to regular passenger traffic but that this would be subject to the NI Assembly providing the necessary funding. My understanding is that work is required to upgrade the mothballed stations, replace the signalling and to provide the stock for a service. (Though possibly 1 CAF unit might suffice).

The towns along the line (Crumlin, Glenavy & Ballinderry) all have considerable commuter potential into Belfast. In addition, there are plans to build a station at Lisburn West on the main line to Portadown but with an extra platform on the Antrim line which would also provide passengers. So a commuter service from Antrim’s bay platform to Belfast via Lisburn might well be viable.

The NI Assembly is very tight for funding at present. (When was that not the case?) I can’t see the line re-opening to regular use in the immediate future.
 

thenorthern

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Lisburn to Antrim was single line but there were working passing loops at Crumlin and Ballinderry until last year which have now been locked out of use although the infrastructure remains.

I think City of Derry Airport wanted Northern Ireland Railways to build a station at the airport but it was rejected as not feasible.

Hasn't most the Signal Boxes or Signal Cabins as they are known in Northern Ireland closed along the line meaning that all signaling is either controlled from Belfast or Coleraine.
 
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Mordac

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The line wasn’t singled last year. It has always been single track since it was built. What they did was remove the two passing loops which I think had been clipped out of use for some time anyway. Considerable work was also undertaken improving drainage, cutting back foliage etc, and the line is currently available for diversionary use with a pilot man. The odd RPSI steam special uses it from time to time too.

Translink’s long term Business Plan last year said that they would like to re-open it to regular passenger traffic but that this would be subject to the NI Assembly providing the necessary funding. My understanding is that work is required to upgrade the mothballed stations, replace the signalling and to provide the stock for a service. (Though possibly 1 CAF unit might suffice).

The towns along the line (Crumlin, Glenavy & Ballinderry) all have considerable commuter potential into Belfast. In addition, there are plans to build a station at Lisburn West on the main line to Portadown but with an extra platform on the Antrim line which would also provide passengers. So a commuter service from Antrim’s bay platform to Belfast via Lisburn might well be viable.

The NI Assembly is very tight for funding at present. (When was that not the case?) I can’t see the line re-opening to regular use in the immediate future.
I think I remember reading somewhere that there might be some capacity issues on the Lisburn to Belfast run if you were to add trains coming down from Antrim. You could make people change at Lisburn, but then you'd lose some passengers which might tip over the business case. Or you could couple at Lisburn if the stock allows that, but I don't know if platforms down the line would be able to cope with that or not. I suspect not.
 

Elwyn

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I think I remember reading somewhere that there might be some capacity issues on the Lisburn to Belfast run if you were to add trains coming down from Antrim. You could make people change at Lisburn, but then you'd lose some passengers which might tip over the business case. Or you could couple at Lisburn if the stock allows that, but I don't know if platforms down the line would be able to cope with that or not. I suspect not.

There are already 6 coach trains on the Portadown-Lisburn - Belfast route so 2 3 car CAFs could link up at Lisburn. That would work. I agree commuters wouldn't want to have to change at Lisburn. A through service would be much better.
 

thenorthern

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If the discussed hourly Enterprise service does become a reality then I would think that Northern Ireland Railways will upgrade the signaling into Belfast to accommodate more trains which should help Lisburn to Antrim.

In an idea world and if working with two separate authorities was easier I would introduce an hourly Londonderry - Belfast - Dublin Colony (reversal via Phoenix Park Tunnel) - Cork service based on the Cross Country services in GB. I know though it won't ever happen.
 

61653 HTAFC

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If the discussed hourly Enterprise service does become a reality then I would think that Northern Ireland Railways will upgrade the signaling into Belfast to accommodate more trains which should help Lisburn to Antrim.

In an idea world and if working with two separate authorities was easier I would introduce an hourly Londonderry - Belfast - Dublin Colony (reversal via Phoenix Park Tunnel) - Cork service based on the Cross Country services in GB. I know though it won't ever happen.

That's rather an unfortunate autocorrect fail on this anniversary! :o
 
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