Translink have gone to tender for new rail station project in Derry estimated at £9.3m, but lobbyists have expressed concern that there is no mention of redeveloping the Old Waterside Railway Station.
Translink have said they will not comment on anything outside the tender, but the tender document states that “Northern Ireland Railways intend to provide a modern, fit for purpose station”, with “pedestrian and cycle access to the Peace Bridge”.
It also states that a number of options will be considered in the feasibility stage “to successfully achieve these aims”.
Jim McBride from Into The West, whose campaign led to Derry’s rail line being saved and who have been at the head of the lobbying to bring the Old Railway Station into use, said that they were extremely concerned at the contents of the tender.
Mr McBride said: “With consultation exercise a few years ago on options for the station, it took them eight months to get the results out to the people, and over two thirds of the people wanted the Old Waterside Station, but this would indicate we are now going to get a new railway station closer to the Peace Bridge instead.”
Referring to the tender document, Mr McBride said: “It is not ‘renovation’ or ‘refurbishment’ of what’s there, it’s ‘construction’. Ground construction means you are going to take it from the ground up.”
When asked by the Journal what the implications were for the Old Station, a spokeswoman for Translink said: “We cannot comment on anything that is not included in the tender.”
Mr McBride added: “Into The West believes that this indicates that we are not going to be allowed to reuse a valuable heritage building. We are going to get what they want to give us.”
The railway tender document involves two related projects- the £9.3m Train Station project in Derry and a £1.73m enabling project at a greenfield site beside Bellarena Station on Seacoast Road, Limavady.
The latter (Project 1) will allow the existing Permanent Way (track) yard in Derry’s Waterside to be relocated there.
The £9.3m Project 2- the Derry Train Station- will include “railway station redevelopment, platforms, canopies, park & ride” as well as track works, and Signals and Telecom works in Derry City.
A rough breakdown of this estimated cost includes £4.3m towards construction, along with £1m for ground contamination works, £2m on track works and £2m on signalling and telecom works.
Tender responses have to be submitted to Translink by April 17th 2015.