Lisburn/Lurgan ballast upgrade progress


The Lisburn/Lurgan Ballast Rehabilitation Project (see last issue) continued during the period under review, the six-week project between Lisburn and Moira running from February 14 to March 25.

NIR GM No. 8111 stands at Moira on March 21 after arriving from Poyntzpass with the laden ballast hopper train. The wagons were left there until the ballast was needed later on during the night after ballast cleaner No. 781 had done its job. Chris Playfair

The used ballast, which was removed using the hired-in 13-wagon Irish Rail spoil train, has been unloaded by an excavator at a site adjacent to the closed station at Ballinderry on the Lisburn to Antrim branch.

This branch features significant adverse gradients from the junction at Lisburn for around five miles, which has caused difficulties with adhesion.

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The problem has been rectified by treating, as required, the railhead in the affected area with water sprayed by NIR’s Geismar-built waterjetter, which is based at Belfast Fortwilliam Traincare depot.

On March 22-23, the nocturnal positioning movements carried out prior to the start of the ballast cleaning/topping-up operation were observed.

The empty spoil train was hauled from Ballinderry to Lisburn by GM No. 8111.

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A NIR tamper then ran wrong road (on the down line) from Lisburn Yard to the work site near Moira, and was followed shortly after by IR ballast cleaner No. 781.

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