NI Railways (NIR) - NI Railways Infrastructure - G

NI Railways (NIR) - G
NI Railways Infrastructure
The rail network is focused on Greater Belfast. Both the Bangor and Larne lines have been re-laid in recent years, enabling timetable improvements to be delivered. The only significant "inter-city" routes are the main line between Belfast and Dublin, which covers services to Newry, and the Belfast-Derry line. This line is single track with crossing loops north of Mossley West and single track only west of Castlerock, which limits the service in both frequency and speed, in the current timetable the train takes 2hr4m while the bus takes an 1hr50m.
The pressure group Into the West, which campaigns for improved rail links to the North West region, has stated that the need for a quality rail service, as part of a larger integrated transport policy, is vital to the economic development not just for the city of Derry but for the wider cross-border region.
On 21 November 2007, the Regional Development Minister announced that the investment strategy being considered by the NI Executive included the relaying of the Belfast-Londonderry line north of Coleraine, planned to include new signalling and a new crossing loop, allowing more trains. The total cost was £64 million, and began in 2011, lasting five years. Prior to the major relaying of the Coleraine-Londonderry section, £12 million was spent on improving the section between Ballymena and Coleraine.
This saw the stretch between Ballymena and Coleraine closed completely for four months, with a replacement bus service. Trains continued to run between Derry~Londonderry, Coleraine and Portrush, with a small fleet stabled at Coleraine - four trains were stabled instead of the three previously reported. Once the project was completed in 2016, there is a further proposal to add two trains per day, enabling journey times between Belfast and Derry~Londonderry to be reduced by up to 30 minutes.
As part of this plan, Translink envisages an hourly service to Derry~Londonderry, half-hourly to Ballymena. There have been proposals to improve the Belfast-Dublin line between Knockmore and Lurgan, enabling journey times to be reduced and frequency increased. This will improve NIR's services and allow an hourly Enterprise service to Dublin.
In May 2008, the Regional Development Minister announced that his department would commission a study, in conjunction with Donegal County Council, to investigate the effects a resurrection of railway services in the north-west of Ireland with a long-term projection of building a railway line connecting Derry~Londonderry with Sligo through County Donegal.
As part of NIR's plans for its new rolling stock, it has built a new traincare depot next to Adelaide station on the site of the old freight yard. As a means of improving timings of its services, Belfast Great Victoria Street is planned to undergo a major refurbishment that will see the platforms lengthened and the curves reduced, together with the addition of a new fifth platform, all planned to bring about the transfer of Enterprise services from Belfast Lanyon Place.
Further plans are afoot to double the track from Monkstown to Templepatrick, to further increase capacity on the Derry~Londonderry line.
NI Railways Overview
NI Railways Main Region(s): Northern Ireland
NI Railways Fleet Size: 47
NI Railways Stations Called At: 54
NI Railways Parent Company: NITHCo (Translink)
NI Railways Dates of Operation: 1967-
NI Railways Predecessor: Ulster Transport Authority
NI Railways Track Gauge: 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) Irish gauge
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