Calls to have the Knockmore railway line to be re-opened look finally set to be answered.
Local councillors were last week given assurances by Translink that it’s “in their vision” to re-open the rail line linking Antrim and Crumlin.
At a meeting with Antrim Council’s Public Services Committee on Thursday, Translink put forward their plans for the local area, and in addition to the re-opening of the Knockmore line, gave assurances to creating a railway halt at Ballymartin on the main Antrim to Belfast rail line.
Councillor Paul Michael, chair of the Public Services Committee, said the news was a “good day for local commuters” and said it had been a very positive meeting with Translink reps.
“This is something that they are looking at doing in the next four to five years or so,” Cllr. Michael said.
He added: “It’s very much in their vision, along with opening up a link at the Maze for the Balmoral Show.”
Cllr. Michael said the discussion also centred on the new 450 space park and ride facility at Ballymartin, which was announced last month.
“As well as the brilliant news about Knockmore and Crumlin, we also have the equally brilliant news about Ballymartin and the creation of a rail halt there,” Cllr. Michael said.
He added: “It’s quite clear at the end of the day that there should always have been a railway halt at Templepatrick.”
Cllr. Michael said that one of the options mooted by councillors to the re-opening the Knockmore line would be to create a rail link to Belfast International Airport.
“This issue has been raised many times of creating a railway link to the airport, but alas, it seems it’s not on Translink’s plans for the foreseeable future,” Cllr. Michael said.
He added: “From the discussion we had, it was very clear that that does not seem to be a viable option for Translink.
“And it seems the for the foreseeable future, the airport will continue to be served by the shuttle 300 bus service.”
The news about the re-opening of the Knockmore line was also welcomed by Councillor Annemarie Logue, who said there is massive support to open the line.
“It won’t happen overnight but it’s in their strategic plan,” Cllr. Logue said.
She added: “The good news is that the Knockmore line is seen as a priority and is part of the major railway strategic plan.”