Irish Railway Record Society
TRANSLINK - NORTHERN
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:
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
The 180 car parking space
Park + Ride was opened in August.
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.
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
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
& 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.
Members of the class
remained stored as noted in JOURNAL 178.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Following testing, Wi-Fi is
expected to go live on Class 4000 trains during 2012. Wi-Fi is also being
introduced in selected stations.
Mr Mal McGreevy, General
Manager Rail Services, has been awarded an MBE for services to Public Transport
in Northern Ireland.
Copyright © 2012 by Irish Railway Record Society Ltd.