‘Unfortunate’ issues caused rail disruption

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Teething problems with the newly resignalled Derry to Coleraine rail that led to service disruption over the past month have been described as “unfortunate” by Rail Minister Chris Hazzard, who has confirmed affected passengers can claim compensation vouchers from Translink.

Mr Hazzard said: “As would be expected with any new, complex installation there will be a period of bedding in whilst all components settle into working under full operation loadings and final adjustments are made.”

The Minister said “system issues” caused disruption to some rail services on November 28, December 1 and December 7.

Two separate issues: a fault with a signal indication panel for City of Derry Airport; and a track circuit failure at Lock Crossing automatic half barrier; affected the line on November 28. And on December 1, there was a problem with the barriers at Bellarena and a faulty track circuit indication at Castlerock.

“I acknowledge that the performance issues on those dates were not satisfactory,” said Mr Hazzard.

“I will continue to monitor the punctuality and reliability of train services on the Derry line in light of the full implementation of the Phase 2 relay, which includes the installation of a signalling system. Phase 2 is not expected to be substantially complete until the end of 2016,” he added.

The Minister said delayed passengers were entitled to compensation

“I can confirm that passengers are entitled to claim rail travel vouchers as part of the delay-repay compensation scheme. Details of the scheme can be found on the Translink website via the following link. http://www.translink.co.uk/corporate/About-Us/Publications/Delay-Repay-Compensation-Scheme/. Any other specific promotions or concessions will be advertised by Translink. Ultimately the new signalling system installed as part of the phase 2 project will benefit passengers to and from Derry,” he confirmed.