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!