Monday, 25 February 2013

Railways Future

I have read that there is to be a public consultation on the future network infrastructure and development of railways in Northern Ireland.

I am generally enthusiastic and in favour of the re-establishment of former railway lines, where the track-bed remains.

I believe that, in 2008, an independent proposal was suggested to Translink for a £460 million expansion of the network called Northern Ireland Network Enhancement (NINE).

This proposed the re-introduction of the network to several towns that have not had access to rail services for many years.

The main part of the proposal was that the Londonderry-Portadown line be re-opened, which would link Omagh, Strabane and Dungannon with branches to Enniskillen and Armagh.

In addition, this plan would see the re-introduction of services into the centre of Newry through a short spur from Goraghwood; and the introduction of the long-proposed rail link to Belfast International Airport via the Lisburn-Antrim line.

It is a pity that the Belfast-Newcastle line cannot, presumably, be re-instated. Do any readers know how much, or to what extent, the track-bed remains on this line?

1 comment :

Anonymous said...


The first part of the line to Newcastle goes to Comber. This line is intact and could be restored as a Newtownards/Belfast commuter line. It is currently a cycleway called "Greenway" I think.

I hope you would support the restoration of the old Londonderry Waterside railway station. It still stands next to the new (utilitarian) station having been closed in the 1980s.

It would be a fitting end to the journey to arrive in a Victorian building with some style.

It is a shame that all Belfast's wonderful railway termini do not any longer stand. But at least Londonderry can see its station restored.

Northern Ireland Railways are currently consulting people as to their views on this matter.