The construction of a new train maintenance facility in Adelaide, south Belfast could mean months of unwelcome noise, local residents have said.
Construction of the facility will see demolition of some of the buildings currently at the site as well as the removal of the existing track and concrete, with piling work planned to last around six weeks.
The depot will accommodate a new fleet of 20 trains and is expected to take 18 months to complete. It will function alongside the current maintenance facility at York Road and Fortwilliam which, according to Translink, “are operating at, or near to full capacity”.
John Copeland, chairman of Lisburn Road Residents Association and a Morton community centre member said: “We have had three meetings to discuss the work but we won’t know for certain how much the noise will affect local residents until the piling begins on May 4/5.”
Translink have stated in a letter to residents: “Work and deliveries are planned, where possible, to take place during sociable hours and we will be making every effort to ensure that noise is kept to a minimum. However while much of the noisy works will take place during daylight hours there will be some night time works required.”
Of the possible ‘noisy works’ John Copeland said: “There’s concern that the noise will affect residents during the night as well as causing problems for night shift workers during the day time.”
Mr Copeland said there was a potential for damage to the local houses, caused by vibrations from the planned work.
“These houses were built around 1896, so the walls and foundations are weak and could be damaged,” he said.
“The work is happening just 20 feet from my back door, and I think it’s the people in the back rooms of the houses who will be affected most.”
Along with the initial construction work there is also concern over the amount of noise caused by the facility once it is up and running.
Mr Copeland continued: “Trains will be taken in to be washed from 12am and then released between 6am and 7am. A sound wall has been proposed for the new site to help with the noise but as it is not enclosed, a building to house the area where the trains are being cleaned would be better.
“If there are problems once the facility is up and running then they’ll just have to find a way to solve them”
Translink have appealed for the support of the wider public.
A spokesperson said: “We ask members of the public to stay away from the track and the contractor’s sites and to impress on young people the dangers of playing in these areas particularly with brighter nights and school holidays approaching.”
For complaints about the current works at Adelaide contact Graham's Construction Ltd on 078 1857 5545 or Belfast City Council on 028 90373 3006.