PQQ Description Vegetation Management Project (Bangor Line)
The Belfast to Bangor Railway Line is a 12 ½ miles long twin track route. This is a commuter route. Between Belfast and Bangor the railway line passes through a series of wooded cuttings between Marino and Seahill and through further mature wooded areas between Helen’s Bay and Carnalea. From Hollywood Station to Seahill Station is all on a steep up-hill grade when travelling in the Down direction and conversely from Seahill Station to Hollywood is all on a steep downhill grade when travelling in the Up Direction.
The railway line passes through suburban areas on that route. The suburban areas are concentrated around the various railway halts and so the Railway Company has close neighbours at many of these halts. Many of these neighbouring properties have mature gardens and some of the vegetation growing in these gardens are potential sources of leaf fall. Some of these gardens contain trees that have the potential to be a hazard to the safe operation of the railway line should they fall towards or onto the railway line.
The last time that large scale vegetation clearance was carried out on the Belfast to Bangor Railway Line was during the summer months of the year 2000. Since then the vegetation works on the line has almost solely been limited to weed spraying on the track and in the cess areas.
Train services on the Belfast to Bangor Railway Line have suffered delays in recent years due to low adhesion between the rails and the trains’ wheels and also due to fallen trees or fallen limbs of trees fouling the railway tracks.
Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) now plans to remove trees from the cuttings slopes on the Belfast to Bangor Railway Line to try and address both of theses causes of disruption. It is planned by NIR that Vegetation Management works will commence in January 2011 and that these will complete in April 2011. The works will take place during a combination of day shift and nigh