Work on Belfast’s Transport Hub has entered its final stage in the £200m project that Translink promises will revolutionise rail and bus services.
The five-year project has entered the final stage with the main building almost complete as the project now moves to engineering work for the new train platforms and bus stands.
The joint venture between Farrans and Madrid-based Sacyr is delivering the main woks alongside Grahams and Babcok on the work across the eight-hectare city centre site.
Translink said they project is on time and on budget for opening in October and November of 2025 for the 26 new bus stands and eight railway platforms, including the new Northern Ireland base for the cross-border Enterprise train. It is planned to increase the frequency of this service to meet ongoing demand. A new ticketing system is also set to be introduced.
Once opened it will be the largest integrated transport hub on the island.
Substantial work is underway in the laying of new railway tracks and supporting infrastructure, on the flagship project. At the same time work on the re-development of York Gate’s train station that will provide a hub for students at the Ulster University campus.
The Grand Central Station project is in line with the Climate Act and Translink’s own targets of a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and a net zero target for all buses, trains, and buildings. Translink’s own Metro fleet gradually introducing hydrogen and electric powered buses in multiple routes.
Grand Central Station is anticipated to have 20 million passenger journeys each year and is planned to integrate with new pedestrian and cycle routes around the city, as well as extensive on-site cycle parking and access for taxis.
The work will also include the creation of the Weavers Cross city neighbourhood, which will include retail, industrial, student housing and an open space for arts, community and performances, dubbed Saltwater Square. Translink said it has engaged with the local community throughout the project, and that it will continue in a commitment to have a positive impact beyond the completion date in 2025.
During the summer of net year, however, there will be disruption to train services as new tracks are laid and supporting rail infrastructure.
The main station building is being glazed at present and the internal fit out has started, the bus stands and train station platforms are being constructed and the first sections of track have been laid.
The Station construction is due to be completed before the end of this year, ready for operational opening, with full project completion including dedicated public realm space and upgrades following in 2025.