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Journal 179

TRANSLINK - NORTHERN IRELAND RAILWAYS

TRANSLINK CORPORATE PLAN

The Translink Corporate Plan 2012/13 notes that NIR is operating successfully in a difficult market with funding declining. It states that for “2014/15 there is a demonstrable decrease” in funding. It notes that there is a requirement for “£45m to maintain the railways. Clearly funding over the period to end 2014/15 will substantially undershoot that”. It notes that “the railways continued to grow strongly, achieving the highest number of passengers since the 1950s”.

The Plan states that Translink, DRD and the Strategic Investment Board have commenced a project to develop / construct a new, modern ‘Integrated Transport Hub’ for bus and rail services at Great Victoria Street (GVS). The proposal will utilise part of the Grosvenor Rd site, together with existing facilities at Glengall St, which comprise the Europa Bus Centre and GVS station.

The capital expenditure plan alludes to several interesting proposed projects. These include allocating a small amount of money for “dualling” of Yorkgate to Donegall Quay (Dargan Viaduct) and money for “dualling” of Monkstown-Mossley West. It also shows several projects with no finance allocation.

The rail Capital Expenditure Programme Year 2012/13 is noted in the following table:

Projects

2012/13

£000s

2013/14

£000s

2014/15

£000s

Coleraine - Londonderry Track Renewal Phase 1

22,967

0

0

Coleraine - Londonderry Track Renewal Phase 2

165

1,335

18,041

Class 3000 Overhaul (Phase 1)

2,100

2,100

2,468

Knockmore - Lurgan Track Rehabilitation

32

63

3,184

Class 4000 Overhaul

0

1,498

1,628

New Tamping & Lining Machine A

0

0

10

Londonderry New Station (ILEX) (Including Feasibility Study)

82

423

0

Enterprise Phase 3 Overhaul

271

709

1,219

UB190 (Bann Bridge Coleraine) Refurbishment Works

3,292

0

0

Lisburn - Lurgan S&T Cables Renewals

50

2,873

66

User Worked Crossing Safety Improvement Programme

1,085

85

467

Ticketing Refresh

0

36

128

Portadown Station Redevelopment

2,068

517

0

York Road Fuel Apron

70

250

1,750

Monkstown- Mossley West Dualling

27

23

140

Replacement Sandite Vehicle

0

0

0

Ballast Cleaning Machine (Lease)

0

0

1,004

New Train Care Maintenance & Stabling Facilities

1,823

0

0

Lisburn Station P+R

8

72

0

Coleraine-Derry Track Improvement Works

1,680

0

0

Adavoyle and Brackagh Embankment Stabilization

21

45

15

Lisburn Interlocking Renewal

93

1

257

Bridge Refurbishment & Strengthening

0

402

402

Moira P+R (Phase 3)

74

38

1,084

Antrim Integrated Bus / Railway Station

884

154

0

Class 4000 Rolling Stock

938

73

0

Larne Line Signalling Enhancements

0

50

53

Lisburn West - New Halt and Park + Ride

204

607

0

Hand Held Terminals Replacement

547

349

0

UWC 196 Reconfiguration - Brolly’s / McConaghys

486

360

0

Relay Room Fire Suppressant Systems

235

252

252

Platform Extensions

751

0

0

SMS / Mobile Applications RTI

0

295

326

York Road Heating

0

0

0

Signal Sighting and Risk Management Programme

204

217

211

Support Vehicles

157

160

160

Signalling Minor Projects

0

201

201

Embankments & Cuttings

0

201

201

Bogie Test Bench

0

0

516

Rail Validation Upgrade

0

0

0

OB167 Ballymoney Footbridge incl. Replacement of Cycle Way & P+R Facility)

582

0

0

UB453 (Glynn) bridge Replacement

5

25

0

Minor Works / P’way Capital Spares

140

141

141

Whitehead - Larne Track Remedial Works

559

0

0

Yorkgate to Donegall Quay Dualling (Dargan Viaduct)

41

59

0

Portadown Station P+ R

25

475

0

Moira New Footbridge

477

6

0

Driver Monitoring for Fuel Economy

403

42

0

Engineering & Staff Facilities Programme

0

0

0

Signal Replacement Switches Upgrade

0

28

317

Lurgan Level Crossings Signalling Alterations

30

20

0

Ballast Wagon Refurbishment

80

326

0

Vegetation Management Programme

100

100

100

Minor Engineering Projects

100

100

100

Dagger Rd Embankment Strengthening

1

0

40

Portadown PW Base

29

250

100

IT Technology Refresh Phase 2

0

69

148

Bridge Underwater Remedial Works

0

36

315

Signalling and Telecoms Asset Management Programme

0

1

152

Data Gathering (Balance Scorecard)

43

161

116

York Rd-Bleach Green S&C Replacement

200

103

0

Other Minor Works Projects Property (NIR)

0

100

100

Lurgan Station Refurbishment

0

0

0

Ballymena subway replacement

34

265

0

Messaging & Telecoms

73

174

13

Lineside Fencing

100

100

57

Sea Defences

0

0

0

Ballymartin-Templepatrick Passing Loop

0

25

25

Call Centre and Internet Journey Planner

110

40

0

Meeting House Lane & Glebe Road MCB Upgrade

100

0

0

Projects with a capital value of less than £250k

(2,021)

(4,708)

(5,103)

 

NIR TOTAL

 

 

41,525

 

11,326

 

30,404

TRANSLINK ANNUAL REVIEW

The Translink Annual review 2011/12 noted that 10.7m passengers travelled on NIR in 2011/12, an increase of 3.7% on the same period in 2010/11. The review also notes “The current funding profile as per the Comprehensive Spending Review puts huge pressure on the organisation in 2013/14 such that bus and rail services and customer service would need to be substantially pared back. We are in discussion with the Department for Regional Development to identify final funding and priorities for reshaping.”

LONDONDERRY LINE

Renewals Preparations McCann BAM Rail JV has a £16m contract for a full track re-lay between Coleraine and Castlerock as well as between Eglinton and Londonderry. McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd has a contract for track safety improvement works involving track re-railing between Umbra and Eglinton in a contract worth £1.3m. The project will also include installation of new drainage, new ducting for signalling cables, overhaul of the Bann Bridge and reconstruction of Pottagh Bridge between Coleraine and Castlerock.

In advance of the line closure a ballast train positioned to Derry on Sunday 22 July. Locomotive 8111 ran light engine 07:15 York Rd-Londonderry, with 8113 + 3 hopper wagons following later from Ballymena yard at 12:45. Both locomotives and the wagons will remain in Derry until 2013.

Temporary Timetable The Coleraine-Londonderry line closed for the re-building project from 01:00 Sunday 29 July until April 2013. A temporary timetable was published, with direct trains diverted to/from Portrush.

Monday-Friday departures from Portrush are at 06:13, 06:43, 07:10, 08:00, 09:42, 11:42, 13:42, 15:26, 17:48, 19:15 and 20:55. Saturday departures from Portrush are at 07:07, 08:22, 10:22, 12:22, 14:22, 16:22, 17:07, 18:22 and 20:55. Sunday departures are at 07:55, 10:55, 13:55, 16:55 and 19:55. The 10:55 runs non-stop from Coleraine (11:10) to Central (12:07).

Monday-Friday departures from Belfast Central are at 06:50, 08:40, 10:40, 12:40, 14:20, 16:10, 17:10, 17:40, 18:10, 19:53 and 21:25. All trains start from Great Victoria Street (GVS) except the 06:50 and 18:10. Saturday departures from Central are at 07:20, 09:20, 10:27, 11:20, 13:20, 15:20, 17:20, 19:20 and 21:20. On Sundays, departures from Central are at 09:53, 12:53, 15:53, 18:35 and 21:53. The 18:35 runs non-stop to Coleraine, arrive 19:33. All Saturday and Sunday trains start in GVS.

A bus connection is provided to/from Londonderry for most services.

Renewal Work Work commenced immediately using road-rail vehicles and industrial excavators. Old rail and sleepers were quickly removed. New sleepers were taken from stockpiles. Sections of rail were deposited in the “five-foot” and a SERSA road-railer electric arc-welder was used to weld them into long-welded sections. By September, progress on main track renewal was reported to be to schedule or ahead of schedule.

Coleraine Station level crossing was excavated and renewed and the points at both ends of the station were renewed over the weekends of 15-16 and 22-23 September. A temporary pedestrian crossing was installed. The work required a full line closure Ballymoney-Portrush. The Ballymoney-Coleraine section re-opened on Monday 17 September, but Coleraine-Portrush remained closed until Monday 24 September for work on the junctions on the approach to Coleraine and work on the branch near Cromore.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND SIGNALLING

Adelaide Depot Work continues on completing the £27.9m Traincare depot and associated track. New signals and points were commissioned on Monday 2 July.

The Minister for Regional Development advised the Assembly that Translink propose to introduce a new timetable “by the end of 2012”. He said that one prerequisite was “… construction of the new train stabling and maintenance facility at Adelaide must be completed. This latter project will also require requisite staff transfers to fully mobilise the new facility. Finally revised work patterns arising from the change in timetable will require Translink to carry out appropriate staff training, amend staff rosters and plan the full logistics of train scheduling and signalling required for operation of the new timetable.”

Survey In the early morning of Saturday 21 July a survey special operated from Ballymena to Portadown. It consisted of locomotive 112 plus one bogie flat wagon on which was mounted a camera equipped Danish registered pick-up truck owned by COWI, but known as the Google Car. The 03:40 departure from Ballymena ran to Portadown and ran round. It then called to Lisburn yard to allow the Google Car to be unloaded, turned and re-loaded onto the wagon for the return journey from Portadown to Ballymena the following morning. It departed Portadown at 04:00 on Sunday and ran via GVS to Ballymena yard.

Level Crossings Meeting House Lane (footpath crossing) was converted to a Manually Controlled Barrier (MCB) CCTV crossing on Sunday 22 July, monitored and controlled from Belfast Central Signal Box. Dunmurry Glebe Road crossing was converted to a MCB CCTV crossing, monitored and controlled from Belfast Central on Saturday 28 July.

STATIONS

Antrim The 180 car parking space Park + Ride was opened in August.

Jordanstown Cleary Contracting Ltd has been awarded a contract to construct a new Park + Ride facility. The £600,000 project will accommodate 61 cars and will include secure fencing, new lighting, signage and CCTV.

Portadown Work is progressing on major refurbishment and upgrading of the station. Temporary station facilities were provided in the car park from April. A temporary buffer stop has been erected at the Dublin end of platform 3, but the platform remains in use for trains to/from Belfast.

Londonderry In June, the Minister for Regional Development was asked “to detail the timescale for the provision of a new railway station at the Waterside in Derry”. He replied “Translink advise that they are working with Ilex to carry out a joint ‘Londonderry Railway Station Feasibility Study’ in order to identify the preferred location and concept layout of a new or refurbished station. As part of the study Translink will consider options to continue using the existing location, acquiring and re-using the old station building and also a new build option, including consideration of a site in close proximity to the Peace Bridge. It is Translink’s intention to hold a public consultation event in Londonderry as part of the decision-making process. The study is expected to be completed during 2012. The study is being undertaken at this stage so that suitable steps can be taken to protect any identified preferred site taking account of the views of local stakeholders. It should be emphasised that there is no funding within the current capital programme for a station to be built or refurbished.”

LOCOMOTIVES & ROLLING STOCK

80-class In advance of the leaf fall season NIR’s Sandite train operated crew training and trial runs on the Larne line, commencing with York Rd-Whitehead and return on Tuesday 11 September. The train consists of 8090 + 8097 + 8752 + 8094, the same vehicles as finished last year’s operations. Spray equipment is located in 8097, which is painted all-over yellow.

On Sunday evening 16 September, the Sandite train worked to Portadown to haul stored 80-Class power-car 8069 to York Rd. Depot. 8069 was hauled to Poyntzpass from the sidings at the Dublin end of Portadown where the Sandite train ran round the power car before proceeding back through Portadown to York Rd.

450-class Members of the class remained stored as noted in JOURNAL 178.

3000-class Set usage has gone down with the introduction of more 4000-class sets. Spare sets are regularly stored at Adelaide but are rotated into and out of service to keep them fully available.

4000-class The final set, 4020, was delivered to Belfast on Tuesday 3 July and entered service on Monday 3 September. Set 4016 entered service on Monday 30 July and set 4017 on Tuesday 28 August. The final sets were cleared for service in August, with sets 4018 and 4019 entering service on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 September respectively.

Enterprise Sets The first of the Mk III Electric Generator Vans (EGV) providing light, heat and power supplies to De Dietrich carriages entered service on Monday 10 September when 89604 (formerly 7604, full European Vehicle Number (EVN) 55-60-89-89604-8) was included in the consist of the 06:50 Belfast-Dublin. The train consisted of DVT 9004 + 6 De Dietrich + 89604 + 209. 209 had just returned to Enterprise duties after 2 years. It is anticipated that the reliability of locomotives will improve as they will not have to operate the engine continuously at full speed of 900rpm to provide 50Hz electricity (Head End Power) regardless of locomotive speed.

OPERATIONS

Timetable The Monday-Friday 10:28 GVS-Londonderry was diverted to Portrush (arr. 12:13) from Monday 7 June. A Coleraine-Londonderry connection was provided from at 11:58.

Westlife Specials On Saturday 23 June, 3003 + 3002 operated a 09:55 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly relief for the Westlife Farewell concerts. They returned as a 13:00 special to Belfast. Next day, 8-car IÉ 29023 + 29026 worked a 12:45 Dublin-Belfast relief.

MISCELLANEOUS

Wi-Fi Following testing, Wi-Fi is expected to go live on Class 4000 trains during 2012. Wi-Fi is also being introduced in selected stations.

Honours Mr Mal McGreevy, General Manager Rail Services, has been awarded an MBE for services to Public Transport in Northern Ireland.

Exercise In August, NIR and the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service conducted a level crossing collision exercise at Sheep Pen level crossing in Antrim. NIR said that “in the past year, there have been an average of 10 incidents of misuse at public crossings per month and almost 160 prosecutions were made – 91 of which have been safety related. A rise of reports of children and young people playing on railway lines over the summer months has also raised much concern, with over 110 incidents of trespass in July and August on the rail network.

The remainder of this article appears in IRRS Journal number 179, published October 2012

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Copyright © 2012 by Irish Railway Record Society Ltd.
Revised: January 04, 2016 .