TRANSLINK have said that work being carried out on the Coleraine to Londonderry line is on schedule for completion next April.
The current activity, the first of three phases, includes bridge works, track refurbishment and a total renewal of the two end sections of line. The Coleraine to Londonderry section of track dates back to the 1970s and its condition had deteriorated since then due to age and other factors.
The purpose of these works is to carry out a renewal of the track to ensure that services can continue to operate for the next 30 plus years.
Pottagh Bridge, located between Coleraine and Castlerock is approaching a key stage in its development with six pre-cast concrete bridge beams being delivered to the site this week for installation.
Meanwhile, the Bann Bridge, a well-known landmark and lifting bridge which stretches over the River Bann on the outskirts at Coleraine is undergoing a major refurbishment which includes the bridge being cleaned and painted.
The line works are also well underway with some rerailing on the 34-mile long line section already completed.
Clive Bradberry, Head of Infrastructure, Translink said, “The project is on schedule and reaching an exciting point and the progress of the works is evident.
“The benefits of the project will be numerous but mainly it will allow rail services to continue to operate between Londonderry and Coleraine for the next 30 plus years.
“The works will maintain high safety standards on the line and as a result, there will be a significant reduction in future maintenance costs. In the medium term, there is also an economic benefit to the local area as contractors involved in the works are staying nearby and spending money in local shops and leisure facilities.
“Once completed, the line will offer passengers the choice to travel by train, a reliable and sustainable means of transport and there is an aspiration to eventually run an hourly service between Londonderry and Coleraine following the completion of signalling works and a new passing loop subject to further investment.”