Council to complete study on railway line plan

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has appointed a company to conduct a technical study on a proposed Portadown to Armagh City railway line.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 8:34 am
Portadown Railway Station.

The council strategic director of community and growth, Olga Murtagh, confirmed AECOM has been awarded the tender for the study.

Members were also told that as part of the consultation and engagement process a meeting of the Portadown to Armagh City railway working group will be arranged while the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) will host a virtual meeting next Tuesday (January 18) to discuss priorities for the future of rail transport as part of the All Island Strategic Rail review.

Alderman Jim Speers asked for details on time lines and next steps in the project. “There is a local campaign group in Armagh, the Portadown to Armagh Railway Society (PARS) which is an organisation that is very supportive of this project and has been set up for the purpose of driving the return of the  railway to Armagh,” he said.

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“I would meet with them regularly and as chair of the Portadown to Armagh City railway working group I would appreciate if we had some clarity on the outcome of this study, the time line for its completion and then the next steps in relation to this project.”

Ms Murtagh told the chamber she was hopeful it would take no more than four months to complete.

“We will be meeting with AECOM to discuss the project methodology and the time line and then we will be bringing that back to the railway working group,” she said.

“This is a very important piece of work and we want to include this in our response to the regional strategic transport network plan so we would hope that it can be undertaken within a four-month time frame.”