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Night time improvement works on Belfast to Portadown line

2 February 2017

Works will get underway this month (14th February) on replacing ballast on the railway line between Knockmore (south of Lisburn) and Lurgan.

This forms part of a £25m project funded by the Department for Infrastructure, with support from the Connecting Europe facility.

A total of 21 miles of track will be repaired, 10.5 in each direction, during the entire project. This phase involves 3 miles of twin track between Lisburn and Moira. The programme of works, when complete, will maintain the reliability of the line, remove speed restrictions to facilitate trains operating at 90mph on parts of the track, continued safe operation of the line, a more comfortable passenger experience with a smoother ride, reduced need for on-going essential engineering works and improved drainage.

To avoid closing the line for extended periods, the works will take place at night. Noise will be kept to a minimum and a residents’ helpline has been set up.

The works will involve service changes affecting the last train in both directions Tuesday to Saturday, which will be replaced with bus substitution. 

• 11.32pm from Lisburn to Portadown Tuesday – Saturday
• 10.35pm from Portadown to Lisburn Tuesday – Saturday
• The 8.50pm Dublin Connolly to Belfast Central Enterprise train (departing Portadown at 10.28pm) will stop additionally in Lurgan and Lisburn between Tuesday and Saturday nights to facilitate customers, with bus substitutions between Moira and Lisburn.

On track machines, excavators, generators and site lighting will be used during the works. A total of 60,000 tonnes of ballast (stone) will be replaced during these works, which will be undertaken by McLaughlin and Harvey contractors. The ballast cleaning machine is being hired from Irish Rail and the new ballast will be supplied by Tullyraine Quarries in Banbridge, Co. Down.


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