Improvements and Projects


Translink is committed to delivering high quality sustainable public transport that is vital for the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of Northern Ireland. We help to keep people connected to employment, education, retail, social and leisure opportunities, as well as provide opportunities for visitors.

Public transport will play a key role in Northern Ireland’s recovery from the impact of Covid-19 while also progressing modal shift away from the private car, helping to tackle climate change and air pollution.

Missed our latest Webinar?

If you missed our webinar presentation, you could still catch the recording. Watch our latest Webinar on youtube

Please note, the webinar was recorded on Thursday 16th September. Since then, the timeline and the impact of the works has changed. The information on this webpage will be more up to date.

Significant Upgrades
The Cullybackey Area Signalling and Level Crossings Renewals Project involves significant upgrades and associated civil engineering works on the track and the platform of Cullybackey Train Station and the surrounding area. 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.

Project Summary

As part of Translink’s vision to be your first choice for travel in Northern Ireland and provide services which connect people, enhance the economy and improve the environment, an essential major rail refurbishment will take place between Cullybackey and Ballymena. This project will be taking place from Winter 2021 to Spring 2023.

Contractor compounds are located at Shellinghill Road, Sand Road and Spence Crescent. These are used for essential material handling and storage.

The project has three elements:

  • Cullybackey Level Crossings: The upgrading of the three Level Crossings at Cullybackey, which are coming to the end of their operational life after 30 years of service and therefore require renewal. The crossing equipment will also be renewed with updated technology which will enhance safety standards.
  • Extension Works at Cullybackey Train Station: A platform extension at Cullybackey Train Station. This will enable longer trains with six car sets to stop at the platform, offering more space and more capacity for local passengers. There will also be improvements to the pedestrian access at the entrance of the station.
  • Killagan (2 miles north of Cullybackey) to Ballymena Cable Ducting: Around 5.5 miles of new cabling needs to be upgraded in the project area. This will enable technology enhancements to be maximised, driving improved signalling efficiencies and reducing the levels of maintenance required in the future.

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
  • Longer platforms for 6-car walkthrough trains - more space and capacity for passengers

Impact of Works

Work is progressing well, and we are establishing our temporary contractor compounds at Shellinghill Road and Spence Crescent. A further compound at Sand Road will be in use in 2022. These sites will be restored once the project have been completed.

Access to the site will be via Spence Crescent and the garden at Station House. Mitigation measures will be in place to manage noise and disturbance, including acoustic barriers creating this access. This work will also be carried out during the day.

During the works, engineering trains will be operating along the line. We will be working hard with our contractors to minimise any noise or impact on the local residents living in the surrounding area.

  • Level Crossings - Local road closures will be required from time to time to facilitate the renewal of the level crossings. Alternative routes will be in place as agreed with DfI Roads and signposted in advance.
  • Platform Extension - The platform extension works will be carried out at night with noise attenuation measures and prior notification to properties in the vicinity.
  • Cable Ducting - Ducting works will be carried out at night with noise alleviation measures and prior notification to properties in the vicinity.

This station will remain open during the Platform Extension Works however there will be a temporary diversion in place for pedestrian users.

Commissioning and testing will require a 10-day line closure in late 2022/early 2023 with a temporary timetable with bus substitution services in operation. Passengers with valid rail tickets will also be able to travel on designated scheduled Ulsterbus services.

Public Consultation

We will keep the local community updated as this project progresses, letting you know more about our construction methods, our timescales and exactly when we will be working.

We are grateful for your support for our efforts to deliver a better rail service for everyone, helping make public transport first choice for travel, for today and for tomorrow.