A number of rail closures in Lurgan will have a knock on effect for services in Portadown and Lisburn.
Translink will be carrying out major investment and infrastructure work in the Lurgan area later this year, via the Lurgan Area Track Renewal Project.
Over 1.7km of track will be relayed during a four-week closure period in July and August.
In order to prepare for this however, there will be two scheduled weekend closures of the railway line at Lurgan during the weekends of 23-24 February and 2-3 March.
These are to facilitate track drainage and associated level crossing works. These works will take place in the area between the William Street level crossing and Bell’s Row, and every effort will be made to minimise inconvenience.
These closures have been timed to minimise disruption for railway users and the wider community as far as possible. Bus substitutions will be in place between Lisburn and Portadown, calling at Lurgan, for both Enterprise and NI Railways passengers.
After the second weekend closure during the weekend of 2-3 March, no further scheduled closures of the line are planned until the four-week closure running from 26 July–23 August, although site establishment and further preparatory works will take place throughout the spring and early summer.
Over 4.5 million passengers use the Portadown Line every year, with almost one million journeys made to and from Lurgan Train Station annually – it is now one of the busiest stations on the NI Railways network.
The work will see Translink remove current speed restrictions, helping to provide more efficient journeys while maintaining overall performance and high safety standards.
The significant investment in this project also secures the long-term sustainability of this section of the network and maintains vital cross-border connectivity in line with our Enterprise Strategic Development Plan.
In the longer-term, this work will also reduce the level of maintenance required on the line, as well as contributing to the economic development of Lurgan and the surrounding area.
The work represents the first phase of a number of planned strategic improvements within the Lurgan area over the coming years, subject to appropriate funding and permissions. These include an enhanced station, signalling redesign works and potentially improved park and ride facilities.
Translink has been engaging with local community stakeholders and elected representatives about the project to ensure that public information is widely available.
A spokesperson said, “During the forthcoming weekend closures, engineering equipment will be operating along the line. As always, we would ask the local community to stay vigilant, continue to use designated railway crossings safely and not to become complacent. It will be important to impress upon young people the potential dangers of using the tracks as shortcuts or trespassing on or near NI Railways property or around engineering sites.
“Translink, along with our contractors, would like to thank commuters and members of the community in Lurgan for their patience while we carry out this essential work on the tracks.”
Further information on this project can be found at www.translink.co.uk/latr/