Improvements and Projects


Translink is leading the transformation of public transport in Northern Ireland through our vision to be your first choice for travel, today, for tomorrow.

We will create the advanced public transport services and integrated networks which connect people and communities, enhance the economy, and improve health and the environment.

Project Summary

The Lisburn Area Renewal (LAR) project is a major track renewal project spanning from Lambeg Train Station (2.5km north of Lisburn Train Station) to Lissue level crossing (3.5km south-west of Lisburn Train Station).

The various elements of this project will ensure that high safety standards and operational performance are maintained, in turn helping to increase the reliability of the service and reduce future maintenance. The three main elements of the project are as follows:

  • Upgrades to Signalling: Replacing older wiring around the Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) location with new equipment will maintain operational performance. Signalling improvements on the track will also help future-proof the railway network.
  • Switches and Crossing (S&C) Units: Improving the track layout will make it easier to maintain, leading to less disruption. Removal of the 40mph speed restriction west of Lisburn Station will also reduce journey times for passengers.
  • Platform 3 Extension: This will facilitate easier access to new, longer, six carriage trains at the platform, offering more space and more capacity for local passengers.
Map of Work

Impact of the Works

The work has largely been undertaken in a series of smaller prioritised line closures, as well as nightworks, to help reduce disruption. The key dates are highlighted below.

  • October 2022   
    • Compound establishment
  • November 2022
    • 29 hr closure of Platform 3
  • January 2023
    • 54 hr line closure
  • March 2023
    • Three 29hr closures of Platform 3
  • April 2023
    • Two 54 hr line closures
  • September 2023
    • 29 hr line closure
  • October 2023
    • 29 hr line closure and 54 hr line closures
  • November 2023
    • Additional 29hr line closure
  • Christmas 2023
    • 8-day line closure between Christmas and New Year (11:30pm on 24th December until 4:30am on 2nd January)
  • Spring 2024
    • Project complete and compound demobilisation.

We are also mindful of the need to ensure public transport to and from Belfast city centre is maintained. During all line closures, a temporary timetable with bus substitution services has been in operation to ensure public transport routes are maintained.

The three main work compound sites which have been in use throughout the duration of the project are at Knockmore Yard, Benson Street car park and Lisburn Sidings. These compound sites will all be reinstated ahead of project completion. 

Mitigation measures are being implemented to minimise impact and disruption. e.g. noise attenuation, timing of deliveries, appropriate management of site compounds and considerate working by contractors at all times.

Public Consultation

Translink has engaged with the local community from the outset of the project through various meetings, online webinars, letters to local residents, the contractor’s control centre number and public drop-in sessions. We have hosted three public information days on the Lisburn Area Renewals project during March, September and November 2023 in the Bridge Community Centre in Lisburn city centre, and these events have provided the opportunity for local residents and stakeholders to meet the project team and ask any questions they have regarding the project.

A webinar on the project is available to view here. Please note, this webinar was recorded on 12th December 2023.

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.

Working With the Community

In line with our SPIRIT principles, we are responsible for our actions. We are good neighbours and corporate citizens in the communities where we operate.

We are engaging with the local community and elected representatives to explain how the works are being carried out and what to expect, and this will continue until project completion.

We are also supporting local community initiatives, which will help in leaving a lasting legacy associated with the works. As part of Rail Safety Week between 26th June and 2nd July, we were delighted to speak with P5 to P7 children in Tonagh Primary School to demonstrate railway safety issues which is particularly important in the Lisburn area, with the Renewals project ongoing. Our main contractor, Babcock, have recently facilitated a placement opportunity for pupils from Wallace High School where they were provided with detail on the work ongoing in the Lisburn area and insight into a career in engineering.

Translink have also committed funding to support the completion of a new sensory garden at Tonagh Primary School, building refurbishment works at Live Life Well-Being’s premises, a music programme for the Sensability charity and the creation of a reflection garden in the Tonagh neighbourhood.

We have used a range of in-person events and digital platforms alongside leaflet drops and presentations. We also have a community helpline set up with our contractor, Babcock Rail. If anyone has concerns with how the works are being carried out, they can contact the contractors dedicated control centre on 020 8629 5060, then option 5 (Rail Systems), then option 1 (Translink).