Community campaign for opening of halt

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The community in Ballinderry are campaigning to have the village railway halt reopened.

Local residents hope that once the Knockmore to Antrim line reopens, they can convince Translink to open the halt in the village and allow the train to stop there a few times a day

Ballinderry residents insist this is a viable option and that it would be a great benefit to those living in the area, particularly schoolchildren and commuters.

However, the prospect of reopening the Ballinderry Halt may remain a pipe dream for the foreseeable future as Translink have said the opening of the Knockmore to Antrim railway line is an “aspiration” with no definite plans or timescales drawn up.

A spokesperson for Translink explained: “The re-opening of the Antrim to Knockmore rail line for scheduled passenger services remains an important aspiration within Translink’s long term Corporate Plan and is one of the strategic options set out in the Department for Regional Development’s Railway Investment Prioritisation Strategy (May 2014).

“It is dependent on the delivery of a number of additional factors including the procurement of additional trains and the construction of a new Transport Hub in Belfast.

“The engineering work currently being undertaken will ensure the on-going serviceability of the line for safe operational use as a diversion route in the event of an emergency or planned engineering works. This work is due for completion by the end of the year.

“We are also currently planning to build a new Park & Ride facility at West Lisburn, with secure parking for around 400 cars. This project is at feasibility stage, a planning application for the project is still to be submitted and full funding is yet to be secured. It is expected that construction works for the Park and Ride will commence between late 2015 and early 2016, but this will be subject to funding being secured and planning permission being granted. This will be served by trains operating on the Portadown line.