LINE STILL MAINTAINED FOR EMERGENCIES
campaign to reopen the Antrim/Knockmore Railway Line has been
re-ignited after the Department for Regional Development
acknowledged upgrading the route was a "possibility".
Lisburn City Council has long campaigned to
have the line reopened and recently wrote to the then Minister
for Regional Development, David Cairns, seeking further
information about the line which was put in mothballs several
In response to the Council's enquiry, the
Director of the DRD's Public Transport Performance Division, Mr
David Carson, confirmed the Antrim-Lisburn railway line is
'still being maintained to a standard that enables trains to use
it in emergency circumstances'.
"In principle the line being upgraded as part
of a Belfast - Lisburn - Antrim - Belfast circular line still
remains a possibility" he said.
However, Mr Carson stated that in order for
the line to be reopened, the track would need to be upgraded.
"A recent desktop exercise undertaken by NIR
identified that a complete track re-lay and a signalling upgrade
would be needed before this stretch of line could be used on a
"The cost of those works was estimated in the
region of £35m."
Mr Carson also informed the Council that an
Interdepartmental Steering Group has been set up to evaluate the
railway network in Northern Ireland.
Alderman Cecil Calvert urged the council to
"keep the pressure on to ensure this line isn't forgotten
He said: "This is a very important section of
line. I think this is a very important step in the right
Alderman Jim Dillon agreed it was an issue which
the council must continue to push.