Progress being made on essential track safety works - Kennedy

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Transport Minister Danny Kennedy visited the Antrim to Lisburn Branch railway line last week to review progress being made on essential track safety works.

The line is used as a diversionary route during engineering works on the NI Railways network or in emergency situations.

Mr Kennedy said he was impressed with the progress of this very important work.

“It is being carried out to address defective areas that will ensure the on-going serviceability and safe operation of the line,” Mr Kennedy said.

He added: “My key objective in investing in public transport is to provide commuters and other travellers with the choice of whether to use public transport for their journeys or the private car and to encourage them to travel more sustainably. It is essential that our rail network is maintained to the highest standard.”

FP McCann has been appointed to carry out vegetation and waste material clearance, additional drainage and track geometry improvements.

There will also be improvement works to bridges and culverts and additional fencing to address trespass and unauthorised access to the railway line will be installed.

Oliver Watts, Project Manager for Translink, said: “The main outcome of these works will be flexibility for Translink NI Railways when carrying large volumes of passengers or operating special services to one off events.

“The works will ensure the on-going serviceability and safe operation of the line.”

“We would remind the public to keep safe and avoid trespassing or to enter the railway environment at all times.”

Work on the line is expected to be completed in November.

The engineering works have been welcomed by South Antrim MLA Trevor Clarke.

“I, along with Dr William McCrea MP have raised this particular matter with Trankslink on numerous occasions, and therefore it’s great to finally see that progress is being made on essential track safety works,” Mr Clarke said.

He added: “Mr Clarke continued “This work that is due to be completed in November 2014 will ensure there is an on-going service and safe operation of the line.

“With this work put in place and with the rail networks maintaining a high standard it will hopefully continue to encourage people to travel by public transport.”

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