Translink (Northern Ireland) - Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) - A

Translink (Northern Ireland) - A

Translink is the brand name of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHCo), a public corporation in Northern Ireland which provides the public transport in the region. NI Railways, Ulsterbus and Metro are all part of Translink. It is led by CEO Chris Conway.

Translink provides services all over Northern Ireland and also to Dublin, in a partnership deal with its counterpart in the Republic of Ireland, Córas Iompar Éireann (CIÉ), through it’s subsidiaries Bus Éireann & Iarnród Éireann / Irish Rail. It also provides local bus services in many towns and cities all over Northern Ireland including Bangor, Derry, Ballymena, Omagh, Craigavon and Antrim. The Metro service operates throughout Belfast, right out to the suburbs.

NITHCo was established in 1967 to take over the railway and bus services of the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA), namely Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) and Ulsterbus. In 1996 the Translink organization was created to integrate the services of the Ulster Transport Authority as well as Citybus Limited (Belfast only - successor to the Belfast Corporation Transport Department). Citybus is now known as Metro.

Northern Ireland Railways

Northern Ireland Railways (NIR), formerly and briefly called Ulster Transport Railways (UTR), is responsible for running the railway network in Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish railway network is currently 330.58 km (205.41 mi).

The main passenger line operates from Portadown to Bangor. In addition to this, Translink also provides rail services between Belfast and Derry to the north and Newry to the south, continuing across the border, which is part of the fast Enterprise service between Belfast and Dublin. Also operated are services to Larne and Portrush, which is a branch off the Belfast-Derry railway line, at Coleraine.

In 2014, Translink announced that they were looking at proposals for a service operating from Belfast International Airport to Belfast city centre. These included proposals to reopen the Lisburn-Antrim railway line, which was closed to passenger trains in June 2003 in favour of the Bleach Green line which provides a direct line between Belfast and Derry. The Lisburn-Antrim line passes Belfast International Airport and could be used to provide services to it. However, despite general political support from the Northern Ireland Assembly, there has been no movement on these proposals to date.


Ulsterbus is responsible for most of the bus services in Northern Ireland. They operate around 20 bus stations which include: Armagh, Antrim, Lisburn, Bangor, Newtownards, Downpatrick, Newry, Craigavon, Dungannon, Omagh, Enniskillen, Derry, Coleraine, Ballymena, Magherafelt, Larne and Newcastle and others within Belfast and 1,100 buses. Ulsterbus is charged with transporting over 65,000 children per day to school.

Translink (Northern Ireland) Overview

Translink (Northern Ireland) Type: Subsidiary
Translink (Northern Ireland) Predecessor: Ulster Transport Authority
Translink (Northern Ireland) Founded: 1 January 1996, 27 years ago in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Translink (Northern Ireland) Headquarters: 22 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Translink (Northern Ireland) Key People: Chris Conway (CEO)
Translink (Northern Ireland) Revenue: £225.9M (2020)
Translink (Northern Ireland) Parent: Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company
Translink (Northern Ireland) Subsidiaries: Ulsterbus
NI Railways


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