Irish Railway Record Society
Rail passenger revenue increased by 10% in the last quarter of 2004 in comparison with the same period in 2003. In the same period the weekly average rail passenger miles increased from 2.71 million to 2.79 million.
Larne Line Work has commenced on re-laying the line between Bleach Green Junction and Whitehead. The main contractor AMEC entered into a joint venture with Magherafelt-based contractor FP McCann. The contract covers 71/2 miles of double track between Bleach Green and Saltmines (Kilroot) and 21/2 miles of single track from Saltmines to Whitehead and is worth approximately £17m (AMEC's share is worth £9m). Work also includes complete re-signalling of the newly re-laid line with colour-light multi-aspect signalling controlled from the Belfast Signalling Control Centre at Central and strengthening coastal defences between Carrickfergus and Whitehead.
The work is divided into three phases. The first phase started when the line was closed completely from Good Friday evening 25 March until on Wednesday 30 March (over the Easter Weekend). A special timetable was issued. Two 6-car and one 5-car 80-class sets were stabled in Larne Harbour on the Friday evening to form Larne-Belfast trains the following Tuesday morning. There was also bridge works on OB450 between Magheramorne and Larne, which continued at nights and weekends throughout April and May.
After Easter the up line between Saltmines and Bleach Green Junction was taken out of service from on Wednesday 30 March, with off-peak trains cancelled completely and peak period trains operating over the down line.
Additionally the down line between Bleach Green Junction and Saltmines and the single line between Saltmines and Whitehead was closed between and and between and Mondays-Fridays. It was also closed from Fridays until Sundays.
The only trains to operate were the , and Larne Harbour-Belfast GVS and , and GVS-Larne Harbour Monday-Friday, with no trains at weekends. These trains also catered for the considerable schools traffic on the line. Pilot working was in force for wrong-line working for the morning trains with flagmen at level crossings. Normal signalling was available for evening trains over the down line.
Work started on lifting track on the up line, excavating the trackbed and installing drains from the Bleach Green Junction end. All rail, 113 lb for CWR, had been laid out from Bleach Green to Whitehead and a road-rail lorry mounted flash-butt welder was welding them into long lengths. Concrete sleepers were stockpiled in various locations, including a section of the former Back Line’ at Greenisland. Other work included repairs to the sea defences between Kilroot and Whitehead.
2 will see a complete line closure from June until October. Phase 3 will last
from October to December. In early October, the line will re-open between Bleach
Green Junction and Carrickfergus and remain closed from Carrickfergus to
Belfast - Londonderry Carrowreagh level crossing at 76 miles 10 chains was renewed in an overnight possession on Saturday 5/Sunday 6 March. Many little used accommodation crossings have now been closed. A new bridge at Galdanagh north of Cullybackey has allowed three accommodation crossings to be closed.
Rock fall protection work has been completed at the site of the Downhill derailment and the speed restrictions removed. Steel netting has been installed on the steep embankments.
with the re-laying.
Work has been undertaken on strengthening OB222 at Scarva.
In February, NIR advertised for the supply and delivery of ballast to
Translink propose to carryout improvements at all stations and halts. This work will include the upgrading of facilities to comply with current Disability legislation requirements. The total value of the investment is estimated to be £9m.
Implementation of works will be phased over a three-year period and Translink advertised for Consultants for Project and Commercial Management, Architecture, Quantity Surveying, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Structural/Civil Engineering and Planning Supervision.
In February NIR advertised 'As part of an on-going programme of improving passenger facilities Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) invites expressions of interest for the manufacture, supply, delivery and installation of the following equipment for use at stations and halts on the rail network: passenger shelters, signage, seat-ing and litter bins. It is essential that applica-tions can demonstrate suitable proposals for use in areas subject to vandalism and conseq-uent ease of repair and maintenance, whilst providing attractive and practical solutions’.
are approximately 60 locations. It is anticipated that this will be a 3-year
phased programme commencing 3rd quarter 2005, Phase 1 being the
Services to Knockmore halt, which is located between Lisburn and Moira, were withdrawn from 24 March. Translink said they ‘took the decision after research showed that very few passengers use the halt. Since the withdrawal of services from the Antrim to Lisburn railway line, passengers at Knockmore can travel only in the Portadown direction. This means most passengers have gravitated towards Lisburn railway station. We would like to apologise to any passengers who will be inconvenienced’.
In March, it was reported that Translink had purchased 16 acres of land at Ballymartin near Templepatrick on the Bleach Green Junction-Antrim line for a Park + Ride facility. The site is between the A57 road and the railway line and is near the M2.
main structure for the new cleaning and servicing shed at Fortwilliam has been
substantially completed and cladding work was well advanced in April. Concrete
was also being poured for the fuelling and toilet servicing areas. McLaughlin
and Harvey are the main contractors and work is expected to be completed in
Automatic Warning System (AWS) system is being continually extended. AWS magnets
have been installed in Coleraine.
It is currently being installed between Magherabeg and
LOCOMOTIVES AND ROLLING STOCK
Deliveries continued in winter and spring. Sets 3011 and 3012 were
Set 3007 entered service on Tuesday 4 January and 3006 on
Thursday 6 January. Sets 3008 and 3009 both entered service on Monday 7
February. Set 3004 entered service on Monday 21 February. Set 3012 entered
service on Monday 28 February on the
Belfast Great Victoria Street (GVS) -
The new trains were primarily concentrated on
Bangor-Portadown services, with some operating GVS-Londonderry services. As
further drivers were trained more services were taken over by the 3000-class. On
29 January, a 3000-class was observed on a Saturday service for the first time,
Bangor-Portadown link. During the week commencing 7 February the 17.26 GVS-Portrush
was a CAF set to/from Coleraine.
Sets 3002+3004 were tested on IÉ between Tuesday 15 and
Thursday 17 February. They initially ran to
GM 8113 returned to service on Monday 10
January when it worked the
GVS-Newry links. It spent most of the spring on ballast
train duties. No. 111 is in
With new railcars entering service, 80-class railcars that suffer major
failures are being stored rather than being immediately repaired. Eight power
cars and 12 intermed-iates / driving trailers have been withdrawn.
Power car 8085 was being stripped for spares at
Braking trials have been carried out using new composite brake blocks.
IIf (Gatwick) Carriages
As more 3000-class CAF railcars were commissioned, the locomotive hauled
Mk IIf (Gatwick) set was temporarily placed in storage after it worked the 07:20
Newry-GVS on Wednesday 19 January. Newry services were subsequently operated by
various types of railcar, including 450-class before becoming a regular 6-car
3000-class working. Two carriages were stored in
The refurbishment programme continues in
In February, Translink confirmed that HSBC Rail, owners of seven new
9-car Meridian Inter City DMUs that had not been leased out, had approached
Translink and IÉ to explore lease possibilities. The
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Railway Record Society Limited