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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Major work to enhance NI’s Rail Infrastructure continues this Christmas

Translink will be carrying out essential engineering work on the railway line in the Belfast area between Sunday 25th December and Monday 2nd January inclusively, and Sunday 8th January 2023.


As a result, there will be a part closure of the rail line impacting on the Derry~Londonderry line with bus substitution services between Antrim and Belfast. The line will operate as normal between Derry~Londonderry and Antrim. Passengers are advised to check times before they travel.


The Larne line will be closed with bus substitution services in place. Bangor, Portadown and cross-border lines will remain open with a holiday timetable in place.


This work is the next phase in the renewal and upgrade of the line between Lagan Junction and Yorkgate Station in North Belfast.


Announcing this year’s work, Translink’s John Glass, Head of Infrastructure and Projects said:

‘‘Translink is undertaking a significant investment programme to upgrade and protect Northern Ireland’s rail infrastructure. These works are vital to modernise and maintain high quality, safe and attractive rail services for today and for future generations.

“This will be the third Christmas that our engineers will be working through the festive period, taking advantage of the lower passenger numbers, to make significant progress on this project. This tried and tested approach has once again been carefully planned to minimise the overall disruption for our customers and our neighbours.

“We will also be taking the opportunity to complete additional engineering works on the Larne line during the closure period to minimise any future impact on passenger services."

Passengers are urged to check the website or Journey Planner before they travel and allow extra time for their journey.


“I want to thank all our passengers and local neighbours for their support and patience as we progress these essential works”, John concluded.

Passengers and residents wanting further details on this work can


This project is the next element of the Central Belfast Area Renewal Programme initially started at Halloween this year. The first phase was completed during Christmas 2020.

  • The Larne line will close with a bus substitution operating between Larne and Belfast Lanyon Place.

  • The Derry~Londonderry line will close between Antrim and Belfast Lanyon Place with a bus substitution.

  • The line will operate as normal between Antrim and Derry~Londonderry.

  • There will be a shuttle bus operating between Belfast Great Victoria Street and Belfast Lanyon Place.

  • The Bangor to Portadown line will remain open with a holiday timetable in place.

  • Cross-border services will continue to operate as per the holiday timetable.

  • Passengers with valid rail tickets will also be able to travel on scheduled Ulsterbus services 218 operating between Ballymena/Antrim and Belfast, in addition to the 212 service between Derry~Londonderry and Belfast during the closure period.


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