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Day of frustration for commuters as delays hit Central Station in Belfast and rail line

By Cate McCurry

Published 01/11/2016

The long queue of passengers yesterday
The long queue of passengers yesterday
The broken escalator at Central Station

Commuters and tourists at Central Station in Belfast faced travel chaos yesterday after mechanical failures led to major queues and huge delays.

Translink passengers faced disruption after a number of trains operating to and from Belfast city centre were delayed or cancelled because of the mechanical issues. Some spoke of their frustration at the long queues as they attempted to make their way home.

Translink confirmed that the Enterprise train from Dublin to Belfast stopped at Lisburn rail station and passengers were taken by bus to Belfast.

However, delays in other parts of the rail line were already causing a backlog of customers at the Belfast terminus.

One student, who was waiting on a train to Bangor, said it was "completely disorganised".

"No one seems to know what is going on or what exactly the delay is," she said.

"I don't think I will make my train home because the queue is too long and we haven't been given any information."

A Translink spokeswoman explained the reason behind the delays. She said: "The 11.20am Enterprise service from Dublin Connolly to Belfast Central terminated at Lisburn rail station at around 1.50pm due to a mechanical failure. Passengers were transported onwards to Belfast Central on buses.

"Local rail and Enterprise services were subject to delays and services between Lisburn and Portadown were operated by bus substitutions for a time. A mechanical failure on the Bangor line this afternoon also led to delays throughout the network."

It is understood one of the main escalators in the station has been out of order for some five weeks, adding to yesterday's long queues.

One frustrated Twitter user described it as a "shambles".

Laura Armstrong wrote to Translink: "Come on. Central station is nuts, train still missing in action and no staff seem to have a clue what's happening."

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