Belfast Telegraph

Rail contract win puts Northern Ireland firms on the right track

By Donna Deeney

Two Northern Ireland contractors have been awarded the major track engineering contract on the railway line between Londonderry and Coleraine.

Firms McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd and McCann BAM Rail JV will carry out the work in a contract worth over £17m, which is a major part of Translink’s Coleraine to Derry track renewals project that received funding of over £50m from the Department for Regional Development (DRD).

McCann BAM Rail JV will be responsible for a full track relay between Coleraine and Castlerock as well as between Eglinton and Derry while McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd will deliver track safety improvement works involving track re-railing between Umbra and Eglinton.

Announcing the contracts, Eugene O’Brien, Head of Track at Translink NI Railways, said: “This project represents a significant investment in the line.

“Passengers will notice train journeys are more comfortable, trains will be quieter and the overall performance of the line will be maintained at a high level.

“We are pleased to announce these contracts with McLaughlin and Harvey Ltd and McCann BAM Rail JV and would like to thank the DRD for essential funding to carry out this work.

“The project will require the complete closure of the railway line between Coleraine and Derry/Londonderry from July 29 until spring next year.

“All work is planned to take place during sociable hours and we will be making every effort to ensure any disturbance is kept to a minimum.

“More people are choosing the train as their preferred way to travel with a record 10.7 million journeys made last year.

“This section of the track passes through some of our most scenic coastline and the completion of this project will allow us to build on this asset, contributing to the economic and social regeneration of the area, particularly during the 2013 City of Culture year.

“A temporary timetable will operate during the closure with bus substitutions in place for all our passengers.

“Safety is always a top priority and we would like to remind the public that engineering trains will be operating along the line so it is extremely important to stay vigilant, continue to use railway crossings safely and never use the railway line as a shortcut.

“We are looking forward to getting started on this next project phase and ask for the continued support of local residents, our passengers and local representatives as we work hard to deliver a better rail service for everyone.”

Track safety preparations that started in February 2012 have already been completed with ballast supplied by another local supplier Whitemountain Cam Quarry, Macosquin, situated between Limavady and Coleraine.

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