The last train to Derry

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Local lobbyists have marked the closure of the Derry to Coleraine rail line with a final trip.

Derry rail lobby group Into the West enjoyed a last trip on the Derry to Coleraine line on Saturday night before the it was closed for long awaited upgrade work.

The line is expected to remain closed until April next year as lines are relayed between Derry and Eglinton and Castlerock and Coleraine. Rerailing is to take place between Eglinton and Castlerock while Bann Bridge in Coleraine is to get a complete overhaul - the first refurbishment of the bridge in over 100 years.

Bill Mooney of Into the West told the ‘Journal: “We took the last Derry train on Saturday night to highlight to the public that there will be no service for the next nine months. This upgrade is much needed and we are glad to see it finally being carried out.”

A spokesperson for Translink said: “Two local contractors have been appointed to deliver this extensive project. Preparatory works has already been carried out in recent months and we plan to complete this project by April 2013. This project represents a significant investment in the line for the future.

“It will ensure the overall performance and safety of the line will be maintained at a high level as well as deliver smoother, more comfortable and quieter train journeys.

We are working closely with the local community to promote safety as there will be engineering trains operating along the line during the closure period.”