Irish Railway Record Society
In June, Translink Chief Executive Mrs Catherine Mason said that over the past four years rail patronage, including Enterprise, had increased by 28%, while the number of bus passengers on Metro [Belfast Citybus] and Ulsterbus was up by 7.3%.
Translink has found it necessary to increase its fares due to the continued rise in fuel costs. It’s fuel bill is expected to be £9m higher than last year. NIR fares were increased by 4.2% from 25 August. Bus fares were increased by between 5% and 6.4%.
Belfast-Dublin Following the
Selby accident on the East Coast Mainline when a Land Rover crashed off a
motorway bridge onto the line in front of an approaching train, an assessment of
124 NI rail bridges showed that 18 were in need of strengthening to prevent such
Antrim-Lisburn In March, the Minister for Regional Development gave details of expenditure on the line:
Rehabilitation work has been taking place at various locations between
Belfast-Larne The Minister for Regional Development advised the following capital expenditure took place over the last 5 years:
In addition, there was £4.1m of revenue expenditure on permanent way and structures.
In June, Translink announced that they had completed a £600,000 coastal protection scheme on the Larne line at Boneybefore, Carrickfergus. ‘Work involved the installation of approximately 3,000 tonnes of reinforced concrete, comprising of a large beam at the base of the existing stone wall, a slab over the existing stone embankment and finally the construction of a wave wall, all over a 370m long stretch. Work took place during low tide meaning the construction workers only had access for 5 – 6 hours twice in a 24 hour period’. Work on site started in February 2008 and took 16 weeks.
Newry Construction of the new station building is
proceeding rapidly. It is located on the up side. The up platform was closed on
21 July and the canopy was subsequently removed. Structural steel for the new
terminal building was in place by early August. Stopping trains used the down
platform, with few delays.
Station Upgrades The station upgrade programme continues. Work includes resurfacing platforms and replacing station furniture such as lighting, shelters, signs, etc.
Level Crossings NIR has advertised for a contractor to supply, install, test and maintain ‘a Co-acting Gates System for trial at a User Worked Railway Crossing’. NIR required delivery and installation in two phases: Phase 1) Prototype fully developed and tested by mid-December 2008; Phase 2) Trial system installed and commissioned by mid-February 2009. Among the requirements noted in the specification were:
Latch mechanism: a means to latch and un-latch the gates on both sides of the
railway from either side of the railway e.g. Hydraulic circuit or mechanical
cables (e.g. Bowden cables);
Gate mechanism: a means to open and close the gates on both sides of the railway
from either side of the railway e.g. hydraulic circuit using rotary actuators;
to manually override the system in the event of a failure so that the gates can
be latched/unlatched and opened/closed completely independently if required;
to secure the gates in both the open and the closed positions e.g. a separate
gate-post for securing gates in the open position; etc.
Equipment NIR used the services of a mobile ultrasonic rail test wagon from Sperry in June. It traversed the system at night. The Sperry wagon was also used on the IÉ system, with special instructions issued for its operation in July. The 4-wheel wagon is 5.92m over buffers, weighs 12.5 tonnes and has a 2.5m wheelbase. It has a two-pipe air brake system. It has a platform at one end and is numbered SRS242. It can be towed by a track machine or a locomotive.
IÉs EM50 track recording car visited the NIR system in July. It traversed the system at night.
with compliance with the current Network Rail standard for track geometry
recording, NIR have placed a contract with Balfour Beatty,
In August, NIR advertised for ‘12 auto-ballast hoppers ... The supplier will be responsible for the supply and maintenance of these hoppers, the training of NIR operatives...’.
Radio NIR has advertised for a replacement train
radio system. The current radio transmission network is serviced through base
stations located at
network survey was carried out, which identified a number of areas that had very
weak signal strength (i.e. black spots). Three new base station sites were
identified. These were Donegal (RTÉ broadcast mast), Ballymoney (O2 Mobile
phone mast) and
|Jun-08||Invitation to Tender|
|2009- 2012||Design and Build of Trains|
|2011||Delivery of Initial trains|
|2011||Trains commissioning and testing|
|2011||First trains enter service|
|2012||Last trains enter service|
111-Class 112 was on trial in May after overhaul in
York Rd Works. It later went to Inchicore Works where it received a
refurbished set of bogies. On Saturday
112 worked from Inchicore to Connolly. It returned to
80-class The last
un-refurbished set, 8089-8733-8738-8069, worked its final passenger train on an
ITG/MRSI special on Saturday 24 May (see below for details). Power car 8089
failed at Whitehead, was repaired, but did not work another passenger train.
of withdrawn vehicles has been undertaken by Clearways, Belfast Docks. The
following were scrapped in May: Power Cars 8068, 8091, 8098, Driving Trailers
8734, 8742, 8753 and Intermediates 8764, 8765. The following were scrapped in
July: Power cars 8083, 8085, 8086, Driving Trailers 8736, 8744 and Intermediates
8762, 8766, 8779, 8780.
450-class The class continues to operate Larne and Coleraine-Portrush services on
a daily basis, with occasional use on the
reply to a parliamentary question revealed that NIR spent £11.2m in six months
on all train repairs in 2007/08.
Timetable With the reduction of commuting during the summer holiday season, the normally locomotive-hauled 07:50 Portadown-Belfast Central did not operate from 7 July until 31 August. It also did not operate during the summer of 2007. It returned to service on Monday 1 September.
17 May The
The 08:55 special from GVS, 3007+3020, departed Coleraine at 10:50 with about 250/260 passengers. The 09:40 special from GVS, 3004+3016, ran non-stop through Coleraine at 11:22 and had about 250/260 passengers. The 11:30 Coleraine-Portrush, 3007+3020, loaded about 200 passengers.
The 10:40 GVS-Londonderry, 3-car 3018, arrived in Coleraine at 12:27 with about 330/380 passengers. The 11:25 Londonderry-GVS, 3022, arrived in Coleraine at 12:17 with about 350/360 passengers. Most transferred to the 12:20 Coleraine-Portrush, 3007+3020, which departed with 500/550 passengers.
At 11:45 there were four trains in Portrush, one in each platform and one in Barry’s sidings. Portrush cabin then switched out.
Saturday 24 May The ITG and MRSI operated a joint tour. GM 111 plus the Gatwick set operated Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly- Belfast Central. Passengers transferred to the sole remaining 80-class, 8089-8733-8738-8069, which then ran to Ballymena via Bleach Green Junction, returning to Belfast Central via the Antrim-Lisburn line before running to the RPSI Whitehead Depot. Due to failure of 8089 at Whitehead, 8455 operated Whitehead-Carrickfergus, before working the 16:30 Carrickfergus-GVS. 111 plus Gatwick set worked Belfast-Dublin-Belfast.Saturday 14 June Due to large numbers travelling, the 10:50 GVS-Londonderry was reported to have departed Central 53 minutes late. It was substituted by bus between Coleraine and
The remainder of this article appears in IRRS Journal number 167, published October 2008.
Copyright © 2008 by Irish
Railway Record Society Limited
Revised: January 01, 2009 .