Rail upgrade will take ten years to finish
THE upgrade of the Londonderry to Coleraine railway project will not be fully completed for another decade, Rail Minister Danny Kennedy has revealed.
Although work on the first phase of the upgrade started this summer and is scheduled to be finished next April, and phase two will be completed during 2015, the final full relay of the line won’t be finished until 2021.
Independent Unionist MLA David McClarty asked his former colleague for an update on the ongoing work on the line.
He stated: “The project started on time in July 2012, and it will be completed in three phases. The first phase is the relaying of the ends of the section of the line and the completion of essential bridge work during the closure of the line between July 2012 and April 2013.
“While the line is closed, other essential track safety improvements work covering the middle section of the line will also be completed. Phase 1 of the work will cost around £27 million. The contracts have been agreed and have commenced. Work is ongoing.”
Mr Kennedy went on to reveal that the completion of phase one during Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 is only the beginning, with further work in 2015 and up to 2021.
“The second phase, to be completed during 2015, involves resignalling works and the construction of a new passing loop. The cost of this phase is estimated at around £20 million.
“In order to proceed with the work, an economic appraisement was approved by the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP). The third phase will be the full relay of the line.
“That will not be completed until 2021, and, as such, the necessary Budget cover has still to be secured. Work is ongoing and progressing. I am optimistic that the line will reopen in April 2013, as scheduled,” stated Mr Kennedy.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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