Improvements and Projects


Translink is currently in the process of introducing an additional 21 new Class 4000 carriages to the NI Railways network to complement our existing fleet and to enable the conversion of a number of current three carriage trains into six carriage trains.

This will allow for additional capacity across the NI Railways network at peak times – an extra 1,600 seats on the network every day - and help to encourage greater use of public transport as part of a shift to a cleaner, greener future.

This reflects a growth in passenger numbers in recent years and we anticipate that, as we build towards a greener future, more people will be willing to make the switch to public transport as Translink progresses towards our key ambition of a Net Zero public transport system by 2040.

The emergence from the pandemic offers an opportunity to harness a permanent modal shift towards greener, eco-friendly transport. Offering increased capacity across the network and providing greater choice for passengers is a key part of that strategy.

What We’re Proposing

The platforms at Dhu Varren and University stations have been extended to approximately 150 metres in length to accommodate six carriage sets and increase capacity.

As a vital public service, Translink is committed to delivering high quality, sustainable public transport that is crucial 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 tourism.

Both stations are busy and well used, particularly during the summer months and to provide access to the Ulster University campus at Coleraine.

A temporary contractor compound has been located at a site adjacent to Shell Hill Square, off Atlantic Court, Coleraine BT52 2NF for use during this project. A welfare unit for contractors has also been placed close to the existing platform at Dhu Varren.      

Check out this CGI video of what the two new stations will look like once the platform extensions have been completed.

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Project Benefits

  • Train services with six carriages can now call at both Dhu Varren and University. 
  • Increased passenger capacity on the NI Railways network, helping more people get back to the workplace, education and retail, social and leisure opportunities.
  • Increased Translink investment in the public transport network to help drive a sustainable future.
  • Enable the use of six-car walk through trains, allowing more passengers to experience the latest standards in comfort, quality, and accessibility with modern soft furnishing, at seat USB chargers and upgraded air conditioning.
  • New retaining wall and access ramp installed at Dhu Varren.
  • New acoustic barrier installed at University.
An artist's impression of a train at the extended platform at Dhu Varren

Indicative Project Timeline

  • December 2021: Planning application submitted to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
  • January 2023: Planning approval obtained from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
  • February 2023: Initial de-vegetation works carried out.
  • April 2023: Construction works, with site mobilisation commenced at University and Dhu Varren.
  • May 2023: University and Dhu Varren Platforms closed to passengers between Sunday 28th May and Sunday 10th September to facilitate essential works.
  • June 2023: Coleraine to Portrush line closure on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th June to facilitate essential works.
  • August 2023: Pile Testing to take place at University Platform and the installation of a DDA Ramp at Dhu Varren Platform
  • September 2023:
    • Line Closure from Monday 4th to Friday 8th September to facilitate construction works at University and Dhu Varren platforms during day shift.
    • Line Closure from Monday 11th to Sunday 24th September to facilitate construction works at University and Dhu Varren platforms during day shift.
  • 25th September 2023 - The Coleraine to Portrush line and both the Dhu Varren and University Platforms reopened to passengers following completion of main works.
  • Late September – October 2023 – Minor finishing works, carried out during the day on both platforms, including the installation of cycle storage facilities and passenger shelters, alongside the decommissioning of the contractor’s temporary compound.

Public Consultation

We have maintained contact with the local community as the works progressed, letting you know more about construction methods, timescales and exactly when we were working. We carried this out through a variety of means such as letter drops and online updates. 

We have also hosted three public information drop-in sessions in the Ulster University Coleraine Campus where members of the project team were available to answer questions about the project.

Should you wish to speak with our Project Control Team regarding the works at any time, they can be contacted on 028 9039 4402.

An artist's impression of the extended platform at Dhu Varren