THE £5.6 million refurbishment of Portrush Train Station has been completed ahead of The Open golf championship coming to the town.
The new station comprises upgrading of the three platforms, with building contractor Graham extending the permanent way for Platforms 1 and 2 at the existing station.
The station now accommodates 6-car train sets to provide increased capacity.
Graham has installed modern facilities, providing enhanced passenger information and a new public address system. The new station also includes increased cycle storage space to encourage active travel and ‘greener’ tourism links.
Funding for the station was secured from the Department for Communities (£4.7m) and Department for Infrastructure (£900k+).
The new Portrush Train Station has been completed ahead of the 148th Open, Portrush, to be held in the town this July.
The event is expected to attract around 190,000 visitors and offers a significant opportunity to sustainably develop the economy of Portrush town and the wider north coast and will bring substantial benefits to the area in terms of visitor numbers, spend and investment.
The new train station is one element of a wider £17m Portrush Regeneration Programme, led by the Department for Communities, which also includes a major public realm and revitalisation scheme for the town. The station is a contemporary design to complement the surrounding public realm works.
Jonny Kerr, Contracts Director at Graham, said: “We are very excited to be handing over the completed train station at Portrush to Translink and eagerly await the response from the travelling public to what is a gateway to the town and North Coast.
“Portrush is one of Ireland’s most popular seaside resorts. The new station’s increased capacity will allow for further passenger and visitor growth as well as delivering wider economic benefits to the region.
Mr Kerr added: “I’d like to thank the project team and all of our partners for their hard work and collaborative approach in delivering this project safely and ahead of schedule and in time for the upcoming 148th Open taking place in the town.
“This is a proud achievement for Graham and we look forward to seeing the lasting impact this project has for both residents and visitors of Portrush and the wider north coast for many years to come.”
Richard Knox, Translink’s Head of Rail Service Operations, said: “We are delighted to take possession of Portrush Train Station from our contractor, and we look forward to welcoming the public to make use of what is above all their facility.
“As Translink continues our journey towards making public transport ‘your first choice for travel’ in Northern Ireland, investments like Portrush Train Station are of critical importance.
“We are proud of what Portrush Station has to offer the travelling public, and we’re certain that those passing through this summer will be impressed by what they encounter, from modern waiting facilities, improved passenger information and signage to local amenities and attractions, as well as enhanced cycle storage to promote more ‘active’ travel.
“We’re looking forward to the official opening of the site later in June, which will mark a formal end to our work on the new station.
“To mark that event, we’ll be installing a time capsule on site, complete with contributions from local organisations, to commemorate this eventful year in Portrush’s history.”
The capsule will not be opened until 2069.
Added Mr Knox: “Portrush Train Station provides a real sense of ‘place’ for the town and is a great gateway for the world to come and see what Portrush has to offer.”