Translink has announced that two local contractors, McLaughlin & Harvey and McCann BAM Rail JV will deliver major track engineering work between Coleraine and Derry/Londonderry due to commence on July 29.
The work will be ongoing until April 2013.
In a contract worth £16 million, McCann BAM Rail JV will be responsible for a full track relay between Coleraine and Castlerock as well as between Eglinton and Derry/Londonderry.
McLaughlin and Harvey Ltd will deliver track safety improvement works involving track re-railing between Umbra and Eglinton in a contract worth £1.3 million.
Both contracts form a major part of Translink’s Coleraine to Derry/Londonderry track renewals project representing a total investment of over £50 million funded by the Department for Regional Development.
Announcing the contracts, Eugene O’Brien, Head of Track, Translink NI Railways, said: “This project represents a significant investment in the line for the future.
“Passengers will notice train journeys are smoother and more comfortable; trains will be quieter and the overall performance and safety of the line will be maintained at a high level.
“We are pleased to announce these contracts with McLaughlin and Harvey Ltd and McCann BAM Rail JV and would like to thank the Department for Regional Development for essential funding to carry out this work. “The project will require the complete closure of the railway line between Coleraine and Derry~Londonderry from July 29 until spring next year. All work is planned to take place during sociable hours and we will be making every effort to ensure any disturbance is kept to a minimum.
“More people are choosing the train as their preferred way to travel with a record 10.7million train journeys made last year. This section of the track passes through some of our most scenic coastline and the completion of this project will allow us to build on this asset, contributing to the economic and social regeneration of the area, particularly during the 2013 UK City of Culture year.
“A temporary timetable will operate during the closure with bus substitutions in place for our passengers.. We will also be writing directly to households in the area to inform them about the work and changes to local services.
“Safety is always a top priority and we would like to remind the public that engineering trains will be operating along the line throughout this project so it is extremely important to stay vigilant, continue to use railway crossings safely and never use the railway line as a shortcut.
“We are looking forward to getting started on this next project phase and would ask for the continued support of local residents, our passengers and local representatives as we work hard to deliver a better rail service for everyone,” said Eugene.
The extensive engineering project will also include: installation of new drainage, new ducting for signalling cables, overhaul of the Bann Bridge and reconstruction of Pottagh Bridge.