Boost to Gallery Project from Adelaide

The turnouts being loaded at Adelaide Depot in Belfast

The turnouts being loaded at Adelaide Depot in Belfast

The DCDR has taken delivery of four turnouts (or switches or crossings) from the former freight yard at Adelaide, off the Boucher Road in Belfast, which is being redeveloped by NIR to stable and service their new trains currently being built.

As part of the new Gallery project, we need to lay three sidings into the new building, but hadn’t enough parts in storage to complete this.

Work began in Adelaide to remove the turnouts on Thursday 7th April, with DCDR people joining the Grahams people on site to provide advice and assistance on dismantling (rather than cutting). Dismantling was complete within a week, and transport was organised with Thomas Herron & Sons to organise three loads over Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd April to lift the turnouts.

The first two loads consisted of two crossing frogs, checkrails, and the longest crossing timbers. The third load then loaded with the four sets of switchblades – all still attached to their sleepers! This prospect had seemed daunting at planning stage, but with our new equipment, we were able to tackle lifts that would have been impossible only a few years ago. Two buffer stops were also loaded, plus loose items such as fishplates and railbolts. One more turnout should become available at the end of the construction work, as it is being retained for temporary trackworks.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who has supported us in this project – Michael Graham, Executive Chairman of Grahams, Clive Bradberry, Infrastructure Executive of Translink and their staff – we can now have the materials we need to get items in to the gallery!

Gallery Project Progresses on Schedule

The interior of the new Gallery takes shape

The interior of the new Gallery takes shape

For any readers who have been folloing the rapid progress of the Carriage Gallery’s construction on our Facebook page, you will know how remarkable progress has been since the last update here.

In short, the small loco shed is now structurally complete and weather-tight. The electricians have taken over and power will be installed very shortly

We are also investigating the idea to concrete and roof-over the convenient area between the new shed and the existing Maghera shed to provide useful garage area for small vehicles such as our newly acquired road/rail dumper.

Now for the big story: Our new Gallery has suddenly appeared! It is now structurally complete with cladding and roofing erected. The comment which is most common is “I didn’t realise it was going to be THAT big.”

Structural steel work being erected recently

Structural steel work being erected recently

Next week the Main Contractor will start the Gallery interior masonry work, and also prepare for the construction of the platforms of our “station” (the entrance is to be designed to resemble a city station with overall-roof. At that stage we as a Society have the responsibility to lay the track inside the Gallery, and also reconnect to the adjacent brown shed.

Accordingly we will assist the main contractor, who will provide plant and labour, with us giving direction and of course supply of the necessary materials.

Up to today, we are on time and within budget, which is the way we intend to continue.

The main contractor informs us that a finish and handover is scheduled for July 2011.