21/05/2008

£12m Translink Project Cements Future Of Rail Link

Any doubts about the future of the railway line to Londonderry have now been allayed with the announcement that a specialist construction and management consultant, Turner & Townsend, has been appointed as the project managers of Translink's £12 million Ballymena to Derry Track Life Extension project.

The specialists have secured the project - described as a "significant coup" - and their role will centre on project management and cost management.

Funding has been made available to Translink until 2010 to make improvements to 61.9 route miles of rail track which was originally laid between 1976 and 1978.

The works will include converting the route to continuously welded rail, formation repairs at five locations, further repairs will be carried out on ballast shoulders along sections of the route with the provision of additional top ballast where necessary.

Works will also include the treatment of 3,000 wet spots within the track beds between Ballymena and Derry.

Major benefits for Translink will be achieved from this project, the most notable being reduced maintenance costs, increased speed of trains and increased life expectancy of the route by 10 years.

Jackie Clarke, Director, said: "The Track Life Extension project is one of several that Turner & Townsend is currently working on under the NEC3 form of contract.

"As a major rail/civil engineering project for one of the largest public sector organisations in the province, the contract is a significant coup for the Belfast office."

Turner & Townsend is also currently working with the Railway Procurement Agency on Metro North in the Republic of Ireland and a number of projects for Network Rail and London Underground in the UK.

(JM)

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