The upgrade of Derry’s rail line is edging closer to completion as the first test run on the track was completed yesterday.
The latest arrival at Derry’s Waterside Railway Station, a full one month ahead of schedule, has been welcomed by rail enthusiasts locally. Translink yesterday tested out the newly laid railway track from Coleraine to Derry, doing so with a trial run by a CAF 3000 train, complete with six passenger carriages. A number of Translink executives and engineers made the 20mph journey to Derry. Trains will eventually travel the line at a maximum 60mph. The line was completely relaid, including new foundations, from Derry to Eglinton and from Castlerock to Coleraine. The section of track from Castlerock to Eglinton was rerailed. The renovations are being conducted as part of a £30million overhaul of the route, which was described by travel writer Michael Palin as: “One of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world.” The track has now been completely welded together ensuring a ‘smooth-ride’ for passengers. Bill Mooney of ‘Into The West’ rail lobby group said: “We welcome the fact that the work is complete and is one month ahead of schedule. We would also take the opportunity to remind the public to contribute to the public consultation scheme currently underway regarding the future of the Old Waterside Railway Station. We wish to see a return to that station.” The public can make their feelings known at www.surveymonkey.com/s/trainstation