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Journal 194



Summer Additionals: On Saturdays from 1 July 2017 to 2 September 2017, an additional Belfast Central – Dublin Connolly and return were ran with a 3-car C3K set. It departed Belfast at 10:20, stopping in Portadown, Newry and Drogheda. The return was at 18:00.

On Thursdays and Fridays from 6 July 2017 to Friday 1 September 2017, a 10:27 Belfast Central – Dublin Connolly and 18:00 return operated, omitting the Drogheda stop that is in the Saturday service.

Concert Specials: A late 6-car C3K operated from Dublin Connolly to Belfast Central in connection with the U2 concert in Dublin on Saturday 22 July 2017. The sets worked empty south at 21:00 and returned north at 23:55, calling at Newry, Portadown, Lurgan and Lisburn.

Derry/Londonderry Timetable: To correct the report in the previous Journal. It is not entirely accurate to say there are no changes at all on the SUNDAY Londonderry timetable. All trains arrive in Derry at xx:22, instead of xx:25 and leave there at xx:38 instead of xx:33. Times at all other stations are however unchanged.

The first week of the new timetable saw significant late running with delays up to 60 minutes caused, at least in part, by poor regulating. Two loops that are not scheduled to be used regularly were in use on 4 July 2017. The 22:40 Belfast Great Victoria Street – Coleraine crossed the 55-minute late 20:38 Londonderry – Belfast Great Victoria Street at Templepatrick and then the 25 minute delayed 21:38 Londonderry – Belfast Central at Magherabeg. The 20:10 Belfast Great Victoria Street – Londonderry and 18:38 Londonderry – Belfast Great Victoria Street crossed at Templepatrick on 8 July 2017.


Portrush Station: Translink intend to demolish and replace the current passenger station facilities at the station. This is basically a small concrete hut near the buffers; the actual station building is no longer in railway ownership and is a listed building. The existing platforms will have new canopies. This is all subject to planning permission; it is intended to have the work done for the Open Golf Championship (18 to 21 Jul 2019).

Portrush signalbox was switched in for RPSI steam trains on: 31 Jul, 6, 13, 20 & 27 Aug. The steam workings used P3 which has a run-round loop. To provide a path for the RPSI the 12.20 & 14.20 from Coleraine and 12.21 & 14.31 ex-Portrush service trains were cancelled on these dates.


Enterprise: The following workings resulted from De Dietrich failures:

Tuesday 6 June 2017: 8209 was declared a failure at Poyntzpass whilst working the 12:35 Belfast Central – Dublin Connolly working. Thunderbird 231 was sent from York Road and hauled the train back there for attention. The De Dietrich set was 9003, and the diagram covered by NIR CAF units.

Wednesday 28 June 2017: 3-car C3K 3002 worked the 0645 Belfast Central – Dublin Connolly, 09:30 Dublin Connolly – Belfast Central, 12:35 Belfast Central – Dublin Connolly and 15:20 Dublin Connolly – Belfast Central.

Monday 3 July 2017: 6-car C3K 3005+3002 worked the 16:05 Belfast Central – Dublin Connolly and 19:05 Dublin Connolly – Belfast Central.

Tuesday 1 August 2017: 29001 worked the 1650 Dublin Connolly – Belfast Central and 20:05 Belfast Central – Dublin Connolly.

Saturday 12 August 2017: 8209 + DD set 9001 failed at Dublin Connolly before departure with the 07:35 to Belfast Central. An 8-car 29000 set was used instead for the working and the 10:35 return.

111-class:111 failed at Whiteabbey around 03:45 on Tuesday 27 June 2017 while working an overnight ballast train. The driver was taken to York Road Depot by road and brought 112 from there to the failed train, which 112 then hauled to the depot,

112 appears to be the preferred motive power for engineering trains at present, the loco was last in use Monday 21 August 2017, light to Poyntzpass, hoppers to Belfast Central Siding then light to York Road.

Multiple Working Trials: With a view to operating heavier ballast trains as required, NIR have started multiple working tests on the 111 fleet.

113+111 were used for multiple working trials on Tuesday 6 June 2017, being noted in Ballymena. The pair were tested again overnight on 20/21 July 2017 in multiple between Belfast and Antrim, with a view to working heavier engineering trains in Autumn/Winter this year. This was followed by a loaded trial run (with 4 ballast hoppers) on 22/23 August 2017 between Belfast Central and Templepatrick, again using 111+113

3000-class: Driving Vehicle 3413 is currently under repair at Knorr-Bremse Rail Services (UK) Ltd at Wolverton, following a collision on 4 February 2016 with an excavator bucket at Knockmore Junction. It is expected to return to Belfast in early Autumn 2017.


CCTV: A tender was announced in early June for the upgrade and replacement of on-board Closed Circuit Television recorders on the Translink fleet. This tender also includes a number of buses, as well as the C3K and C4K fleets.

Ballast Cleaning: Iarnrσd Ιireann won a contract to supply and operate a ballast cleaner between Knockmore and Lurgan, as part of Translink's Infrastructure Network Engineering Capital Works Programme. This follows on from the previous sections of track cleaned in February-March 2017.

The remainder of this article appears in IRRS Journal number 194, published October 2017

Copyright © 2018 by Irish Railway Record Society Ltd.
Revised: May 17, 2018 .