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Translink Safety Bus Visits Lurgan Schools

18 April 2019

As part of an extensive programme of community engagement associated with the Lurgan Area Track Renewal Project, Translink’s Safety Bus has engaged with over 1,000 pupils at six schools in the Lurgan area to promote railway safety ahead of a major four-week railway line closure this summer to fully relay over 1.7km of track.  The closure will run from the William Street level crossing to beyond Bell’s Row level crossing, taking effect between Friday 26 July and Friday 23 August inclusive.

Pupils in St. Ronan’s College; Tannaghmore Primary School; Lismore Comprehensive School; Lurgan Model Primary School; St. Francis’ Primary School; and St. Teresa’s Primary School heard about the importance of the project and the dangers of playing or trespassing near the working sites.  

Numbers of passengers choosing the train have grown strongly in recent years.  Lurgan is now a key station for commuters, with nearly 1 million passengers using the station annually and 4.5 million passengers using the Belfast-Portadown line every year.  The forthcoming work will see Translink remove current speed restrictions, helping to provide more efficient journeys while maintaining overall performance and high safety standards.  The investment also secures the long-term sustainability of this line and maintains vital cross-border connectivity on this important corridor, in line with Translink’s Enterprise Strategic Development Plan.  Longer-term, the work will also reduce the level of maintenance on the line.  

As Translink’s dedicated travelling classroom, the Safety Bus travels to primary and post-primary schools across Northern Ireland to raise awareness of safety issues associated with the use of public transport.  

Allan Stewart, Translink’s Project Manager for the Lurgan Area Track Renewal Project, said: ‘‘Our widespread community engagement work in Lurgan has helped to raise the profile of these works amongst a range of stakeholders, and we’re delighted to have brought the Safety Bus to Lurgan to help inform school pupils of the scheme.  

‘‘In all, just over 1,000 pupils in local primary and post-primary schools received the rail safety briefing this week – we’re delighted with this positive result and would like to thank the schools for their support in allowing us to promote this important message.

‘‘During the forthcoming summer closure, engineering equipment will be operating along the line frequently, although regular scheduled services will not.  We would ask everyone in the local community to remain vigilant and continue to use the designated railway crossings safely.  The Safety Bus has carried the message to young people in schools across Lurgan about the dangers of using the tracks as a short-cut at any time, or trespassing on or near NI Railways property or around engineering sites.’’ 



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