A £30 million scheme on the Coleraine to Londonderry railway line has reopened ahead of schedule; great north-west railway journey back on track
(Press release The Northern Ireland Executive / Department for Regional Development:) Belfast, 22 March 2013 - Transport Minister Danny Kennedy officially reopened the line today which was due to be completed in April. Services will resume this Sunday ahead of Easter and in time for many of the major events in the City of Culture year.
The Minister said: ‘This is an important day for this city and the North West. I want to congratulate all those involved in the successful completion of Phase 1 of this major project. I know that everyone in the north-west is looking forward to the full resumption of this important transport link between Coleraine and Londonderry, together with the improvement in those services by the modern trains which will be used on the line. Not only does this railway line improved transport connections across Northern Ireland but it also creates potential for tourism to grow during and after the UK City of Culture year.’
The line was closed in July 2012 to allow essential renewals and safety works, including completing essential bridge works and the refurbishment of the Bann Bridge.
The estimated costs are over £30 million supplied by the Department for Regional Development. Funding of €1.6 million was secured through the European Union’s Trans European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme.
The works were contracted to McLaughlin and Harvey and a joint venture comprising two companies - BAM and FP McCann.
Continuing the Minister said: ‘I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to McLaughlin and Harvey, BAM and FP McCann and to all those from Translink, my own Department and from Europe in delivering this project and actually completing it ahead of schedule. This was a considerable task and the efforts of the contractors and the Translink staff have ensured that we are here today to re-open the line and resume services in time for Easter.’
Further works are planned to take place on the line during 2014/15 and in 2021.
Notes to editors:
- This project was awarded €1,615,219 in December 2012 by the Trans European Network (TEN-T) programme.
- The total cost of the scheme was around £30 million which included: £22 million for Phase 1; £3.5 million for work on the Bann Bridge and £4.7 million for safety improvements.