The ongoing £12.5m project to overhaul Ireland’s Londonderry rail line has moved a step further with the completion of renovation work on the Ballymena-Coleraine rail line.

The rail line, closed for 13 weeks to allow work, has now been opened for public use.

The work included removing nearly 6,000 wet spots (areas of weakness in the track) on the Broughdone-Derry line and excavating and relaying about 6,600m of the Ballymoney-Ballymena rail line. The Broughdone-Coleraine rail track has also been welded fully as part of the overhaul.

Trains can now reach a speed of 70mph. More work including the construction of passing loops and upgrading signalling equipment will allow Northern Ireland Railways to operate an hourly timetable.