IR­ISH NEWS

Cam­paign­ers ar­gue that Derry ‘de­serves bet­ter’ in row over listed sta­tion build­ing.

Steam Railway (UK) - - Contents -

Translink has come un­der fire over its re­gen­er­a­tion plans for Lon­don­derry’s Grade II-listed Water­side sta­tion. The North­ern Ire­land trans­port op­er­a­tor has un­veiled plans for a £26 mil­lion “multi-mo­dal trans­port hub” – but pro­poses to ter­mi­nate trains be­yond the train shed. A lobby group called Into the West has protested against the plan, and de­scribed Translink’s plans for the in­te­rior of the build­ing as “bland and medi­ocre”. Into the West Sec­re­tary Dr Martin Me­laugh said: “Derry de­serves bet­ter, and gen­er­a­tions to come will blame us for sell­ing them short if we don’t fight for it.” The pro­ject will in­volve new track and sig­nalling, along with a new platform. To com­ply with modern safety reg­u­la­tions, it is ex­pected that the platform will have to be straight, with greater ca­pac­ity than the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­ity. Opened in 1852 by the Lon­don­derry & Col­eraine Rail­way, Water­side closed in 1980, when Translink de­vel­oped a new sta­tion on the banks of the nearby River Foyle. Since then it has been in com­mer­cial own­er­ship, but the stone façade has been pre­served. Translink said: “The orig­i­nal build­ing will be re­stored, while the ex­ist­ing sta­tion will be de­mol­ished and the land used for a bus turn­ing cir­cle.” The Rail­way Preser­va­tion Society of Ire­land said: “We do not take a po­si­tion on such de­bates, we will let mem­bers make up their own minds. “Of more im­por­tance to the RPSI would be a platform of ad­e­quate length and a suitable loop with, ide­ally, a turntable.”

JOE CAS­SELLS

LMS-NCC ‘WT’ 2-6-4T No. 5 about to leave Derry Water­side with the 1.05pm to Belfast on July 25 1964.

ROBIN MOR­TON

The his­toric Grade-II Water­side sta­tion in Lon­don­derry, which is due to un­dergo re­gen­er­a­tion work.

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