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Translink says sorry as signal failure causes chaos on Northern Ireland rail line

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 03/12/2015

Translink turnover fell in year to March 2015
Translink turnover fell in year to March 2015

A cut cable caused mayhem for hundreds of Northern Ireland commuters yesterday.

Translink apologised after services on the railway line between Lisburn and Portadown suffered serious delays with disruption to rush hour travellers and others.

Replacement buses were put in place for passengers on affected trains after the public transport provider said it had experienced a "major signalling failure".

Normal service has now resumed and compensation will be offered.

Ciaran Doherty of Translink said: "We were doing some scheduled maintenance works on the line into the night.

"Unfortunately, we managed to cut one of the communications cables on the line."

Belfast Telegraph readers were among those inconvenienced by the travel chaos.

Emma Gregson said she appreciated that delays happened but added it was the "poor way Translink dealt with it that annoyed everyone". "In Portadown no information was given to anyone," she wrote online.

"Then when they eventually put everyone on buses, 5 mins later a train to Belfast went with only 3 people on it! I was waiting for the train to Dublin which was delayed an hour and again they were very slow at giving any information.

"The delay went from 20 minutes to an hour, so people were unable to make other arrangements as we were not given the correct information.

"Very poor management by Translink. Even the staff at the station were annoyed because they didn't know what was going on."

Caitriona Keenan said: "This is why the train was so rammed packed and claustrophobic this morning."

And Lynne Keery had a "horrible morning" as a result of the signalling issue.

"Running 2 hours 10 minutes late and still haven't reached my destination," she wrote.

Anna Woods missed an examination. "Not happy," she wrote.

A statement from Translink said: "We would like to apologise to our passengers that were disrupted following a major signalling failure on the railway line earlier today.

"We operated a bus substitution service between Lisburn and Portadown and valid rail tickets were accepted on scheduled bus services.

"We had engineers working during the night and throughout the day to resolve this issue as quickly as we could and were able to resume normal scheduled train services by around 4pm this afternoon in time for the evening peak.

"Our passengers have come to expect a high-quality train service and we will be offering compensation for anyone inconvenienced by this disruption today.

"Passenger claim forms are available in main train stations or can be downloaded from the Translink website"


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