Academics explore possible reinstatement of rail link

Ulster University is exploring the possible reinstatement of the rail link between Portadown and Armagh, which closed more than 60 years ago.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 8:00 am
Overgrown but built to last: The railway line at Chapel Bridge was last used 62 years ago

The civil engineering team within the university’s Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment is using the regeneration of the abandoned line as a feasibility study as part of its Civil and Infrastructure Engineering masters degree programme.

The railway line from Portadown to the city of Armagh closed on October 1 1957, having been in operation for more than 100 years.

The feasibility study will entail exploring the development of the existing line and/or alternative routes, technological options, and quantifying the benefits and costs.

The Portadown Armagh Railway Society (PARS) said the 12-week project “will generate a tremendous amount of insightful data” for the society to use in its quest to restore the railway to the city of Armagh.

“We are absolutely confident it will be helpful in informing minds, and let people see that this is truly a realistic project,” said PARS member Derek Smyth.