Platform work to cope with longer trains on Larne railway line

A new  C4000 train on the Larne Line.

A new C4000 train on the Larne Line.

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PLATFORM extension work is due to begin next week on Larne Line railway stations.

Work will begin at Greenisland, Trooperslane and Clipperstown stations from February 25 and continue until early June.

The works at Greenisland are planned to be completed by early April, at Trooperlane by early May, then at Clipperstown in early June.

The work is part of an overall platform extension project across the rail network which commenced in 2011, that is required to accommodate longer trains and enable passengers to access all carriages safely.

Translink NI Railways project manager, Anthony Stove said: “This platform extension work is part of our preparation to allow us to operate longer trains and increase onboard capacity for passengers where there is a requirement.

“We have been working with DRD Roads Service to ensure that Sunday rail line closures do not coincide with road closures in the area as a result of the A2 roadworks.

“Passengers have been enjoying the improvements in reliability and punctuality brought about by the introduction of new Class 4000 trains onto the rail network in 2011/2012 and the launch of the new train timetable last month has encouraged even more passengers to try the train.

“We are contacting local residents directly to alert them to the work, including some night time works and would ask for their patience and support as we work to improve local rail services,” said Mr Stove.

Anyone who requires further information is asked to contact Translink on 028 9066 6630.

MLA Stewart Dickson learned at a meeting with Translink last week that six-carriage trains are to be introduced in March to cope with increasing passenger numbers and an influx of more customers when major road works begin on the A2 at Greenisland

“I have had an assurance from a senior manager that Translink will be in a position to introduce six-carriage trains onto selected Larne Line service from March,” said the Alliance spokesman on regional development.

“This should alleviate some of the problems of overcrowding and remove the need for so many passengers to stand, as highlighted to me by a number of constituents. This should result in a more comfortable and safe morning commute for passengers.

“My other concern centred on the departure times of trains and these have been largely sated by Translink’s assertion that 93.6 per cent of trains operating on the Larne Line have been on time since introduction of the new timetable. However, I still have concerns that the second of the two express trains which operate in the mornings, the 0835 service from Carrickfergus, does not arrive in Belfast until 0904.”