Central Area Track Renewal - Lagan Junction

High Quality Sustainable Transport

Translink is committed to maintaining and enhancing our infrastructure to deliver a high quality, safe, and sustainable public transport network today and for future generations.

An essential public service, public transport is fundamental to the economic, social, and environmental well-being of our society. As we emerge from the pandemic, it will be vital that well-used public transport networks return to their essential role of providing greener, healthier, and more active travel options for a better economic recovery.

The Lagan Junction to Yorkgate Track Renewal Project involves a complete renewal of the track at this location. It represents a major capital investment by the Department for Infrastructure and is essential to maintain high safety standards and operational performance for users of the railway.

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The works will be located in the central area of Belfast.

Project Summary

The Central Area Track Renewal (CATR) project is a track renewal project taking place in the centre of Belfast, from the south side of Lanyon Place Station through to Yorkgate Station, and also encompassing 400 metres of the Bangor Line from Lagan Junction (where the Belfast and Bangor Lines meet). 

The first element of the CATR project was successfully completed through the renewal of Lagan Junction itself in 2020.

The location for the second element of this project is from Lagan Junction to the north side of Yorkgate Station over the Dargan Bridge. This element of the CATR is known as the Lagan Junction to Yorkgate Track Renewal Project. 

The two main work compound sites which will be in use throughout the duration of the project are at Bridge End and York Street. 

Project Benefits

  • Enhancing the network to attract more people to choose ‘greener’ travel. 
  • Protecting Northern Ireland’s rail infrastructure for future generations. 
  • Enhanced network performance. 
  • Reduced maintenance levels for the future. 

Impact of works

We have carefully considered the best timing to deliver this important project to minimise its overall impact on passengers and local residents. 

All of the engineering works required for this project cannot be completed in a single blockade due to the significant disruption this would cause to Translink passengers and local residents. The work is therefore being undertaken through a series of smaller, prioritised line closures, as well as night works, to help reduce disruption. We are also mindful of the need to ensure public transport into Belfast City Centre is maintained at this crucial time. 

We are working hard with our contractors to minimise disruption to local residents and have put measures in place to mitigate against noise impact. 

Find out more about line closure details here.

Project Timeline

  • Late July 2022: Compound establishment. 
  • September and October 2022: Night-time working required to set out operations. 
  • Halloween 2022: One 72-hour weekend line closure. 
  • December 2022/ January 2023:  A 9-day full line closure and closure of Yorkgate Station. Main project works then took place during day and night shifts. Bus substitution services were in operation during this time. 
  • January and February 2023: Four 29-hour weekend line closures. 

Public Consultation

As part of our ongoing engagement with the local community, we have hosted public information events in Lanyon Place Station, Antrim Station and the North West Transport Hub. These events gave the public the opportunity to speak to our project team about the critical engineering works taking place. 

The main construction works have involved a complete upgrade and refurbishment of the railway line and signalling infrastructure between Lagan Junction and Yorkgate Station. This included a 10-day part line closure from 25th December 2022 – 2nd January 2023, and a series of 29-hour weekend line closures in January and February. 

Please watch back our recent webinar held for residents and stakeholders, providing further information on timelines, line closures and project benefits. 

Public Events

As part of our on-going engagement with the local community we hosted events in Lanyon Place station, Antrim station and the North West Transport Hub. These events give the public the opportunity to speak to our project team on the upcoming line closures and find out more about the critical engineering works taking place.   The main construction works will see an upgrade and refurbishment of the line and signalling between Lagan Junction and Yorkgate train station and this will include a 10 day part line closure on 25th December – 2nd January inclusively, other closures in January will also be needed. Find out more about the closures here.

This is the second phase of the Central Area Track Renewals Project - the first phase was completed successfully early 2021. Works are started at the end of October, with a recent closure over the Halloween weekend.

Please watch back our recent webinar held for residents and stakeholders, updating on the timeline, line closures and project benefits.

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