Translink has begun the short-listing process for the £9.3m investment in a new railway station in Londonderry and Rail Minister Danny Kennedy has confirmed redevelopment of the old Waterside Station into a modern fit for purpose railway station is amongst the project options.
The Minister revealed that a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) - aimed at short-listing potential contractors - has been issued.
He made the revelation in response to separate Assembly Questions tabled by Foyle MLAs Maeve McLaughlin and Colum Eastwood.
“As part of the first stage of the procurement exercise to appoint an Integrated Design Team for Londonderry Train Station, Translink have issued a PQQ for design services including Architectural, Civil/Structural Engineering, Permanent Way Engineering, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and New Engineering Contract Project Manager,” he stated.
“As part of the second stage of the procurement exercise, Translink will issue Invitation To Tender (ITT) documents which will include the Project Option of redeveloping the old Waterside Station into a modern fit for purpose railway station,” he added.
Ms McLaughlin welcomed the announcement.
She said: “The campaign to redevelop the old Waterside railway station to create a modern, purpose-built railway station for Derry has been ongoing for some time.
“I asked the Transport Minister for an update on the progress on the redevelopment and I am pleased the project is moving forward.
“The Minister told me that as part of the procurement exercise to appoint a design team, Translink have now issued a PQQ for design services.
“Translink will also issue an invitation to tender documents shortly which will include the project of redeveloping the old Waterside station into a modern station.
“This progress is welcome and marks another step forward towards the full redevelopment of the old station, which is widely regarded as an architectural treasure, into the type of modern station that Derry needs and deserves.
“Sinn Féin want to see this redevelopment as soon as possible, together with the completion of the upgrade work on the Derry to Belfast line to improve the transport infrastructure of the North West.”
A top civil servant at the Department of Regional Development (DRD) recentlyconfirmed that the start date for the separate andlong-awaited phase two of the Londonderry to Coleraine rail upgrade had slipped from May to September.
Mr Kennedy also said: “The contract will, hopefully, begin this year. There are other issues to be resolved.”