Improvements and Projects DHU VARREN & UNIVERSITY PLATFORM
Published on:May 9, 2023

Translink is currently in the process of introducing an additional 21 new Class 4000 carriages to the NI Railways network to complement our existing fleet and to enable the conversion of a number of current three carriage trains into six carriage trains.

This will allow for additional capacity across the NI Railways network at peak times – an extra 1,600 seats on the network every day – and help to encourage greater use of public transport as part of a shift to a cleaner, greener future.

This reflects a growth in passenger numbers in recent years and we anticipate that, as we build towards a greener future, more people will be willing to make the switch to public transport as Translink progresses towards our key ambition of a Net Zero public transport system by 2040.

The emergence from the pandemic offers an opportunity to harness a permanent modal shift towards greener, eco-friendly transport.  Offering increased capacity across the network and providing greater choice for passengers is a key part of that strategy.

What We’re Proposing

The platforms at Dhu Varren and University Train Platform are each currently long enough to accommodate three carriage trains only. To accommodate six carriage sets and increase capacity, they will each need to be around 150m in length.  Translink plans to extend both platforms to allow six carriage sets to call.

Planning approval has now been obtained from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council for the extensions of both platforms. It will see a platform extension at Dhu Varren and a completely new platform at University. These works will ensure that that both platforms meet all required standards, with enhanced accessibility providing opportunities for six carriage sets.  

As a vital public service, Translink is committed to delivering high quality, sustainable public transport that is crucial for the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of Northern Ireland. We help to keep people connected to employment, education, retail, social and leisure opportunities, as well as provide opportunities for visitors.

Both stations are busy and well used, particularly during the summer months and to provide access to the Ulster University campus at Coleraine.  There is a need to progress increased capacity at the stations to meet present and anticipated future demand.

Project Benefits

  • Train services with six carriages will be able stop at both Dhu Varren and University. 
  • Increased passenger capacity on the NI Railways network, helping more people get back to the workplace, education and retail, social and leisure opportunities.
  • Increased Translink investment in the public transport network to help drive a sustainable future.
  • New retaining wall and access ramp installed at Dhu Varren.
  • New acoustic barrier installed at University.

Indicative Project Timeline

  • December 2021: Planning application submitted to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
  • January 2023: Planning approval obtained from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
  • February 2023: Initial de-vegetation works carried out.
  • April 2023: Construction works, with site mobilisation commence at University and Dhu Varren.
  • May 2023: University and Dhu Varren Train platforms will shut for a period of 12 weeks to accommodate the works.
  • August 2023: Dhu Varren Construction works to complete with the platform reopening to passengers at the end of August.
  • September 2023: University Construction works to complete with the platform reopening to passengers at the beginning of September. 

During the closure of the Dhu Varren and University Platforms services will run as normal between Coleraine and Portrush but will not stop at the Dhu Varren or University Platform. A bus substitution service will be in place with communication to passengers provided well in advance.

Public Consultation

We will maintain contact with the local community as this project progresses, letting you know more about construction methods, timescales and exactly when we’ll be working. We will do this through a variety of means such as letter drops and online updates. Should you wish to speak with our Project Control Team regarding the works, you can contact them on 02890 394402.

We are also hosting three public information drop-in sessions, where members of the public can speak to the project team on the projects. These will be held in The Main Reception Building of the Ulster University, Coleraine Campus, Cromore Rd, Coleraine BT52 1SA on:

  • Tuesday 9th May, between 1-3pm and 4-7pm.
  • Tuesday 11th May, between 1-3pm and 4-7pm.
  • Monday 15th May, between 1-3pm and 4-7pm.

We are grateful for your support for our efforts to deliver a better rail service for everyone, helping make public transport everyone’s first choice for travel, today for tomorrow.

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