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Looking over the plans again, i can see them plumping for Option 1; it looks by far the easiest to deliver while avoiding any disruption to services. Option 2 would probably be the worst in that regard- they would need to be building a longer road bridge for a start.
 

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Personally I would hope for Option 3 followed by Option 1, then Option 2.

...though Option 1 does appear to lean away from the city centre. And though there is redevelopment planned, walking to the station for the last train may feel like walking through an urban desert.

Aside from this I'm excited by this development. But will this mean improved service? Later trains? The Belfast - Londonderry line has the largest catchment area, yet the worst service. Great if you live in Bangor or Portadown but if you live in Antrim or Ballymena(Equally as far)?

Also noticed that the parking area for buses not in service is almost non existence. Does this mean that buses will be parked at Laganside with the laganside station being made redundant?
 

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Will this hub have the potential to create a strong rail link with Belfast International Airport? 'Aldergrove Express' ideally should be an express service between airport and hub... but is it even worth it given that the rail line runs south before turning north towards airport?
 

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Will this hub have the potential to create a strong rail link with Belfast International Airport? 'Aldergrove Express' ideally should be an express service between airport and hub... but is it even worth it given that the rail line runs south before turning north towards airport?
Yes. I think though there could be a loop Belfast, Lisburn, Airport, Antrim, Belfast with trains in both directions each 40 minutes, so that there's a train at the Airport going to Belfast (in alternating directions) each 20 minutes. This also allows people to change at Lisburn and Antrim Bus-Rail stations (coming from south and north) for the airport.

This is a reason to allow room for platform expansion: one would want a dedicated Aldergrove platform.
 

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Dublin route will be shorter by 10 mins by arriving into Europa instead of Central Station.

And I would hope that a train service from Belfast City - Europa - Aldergrove could be run every 30 mins. Though additional track would need to be layed as the original Aldergrove train station is about 1.5 miles from the terminal.

A new terminal would really need to be built. Something like Dublin Terminal 2. Train could arrive directly under the terminal.



But would there be the passengers numbers to justify a train service over a bus? At present - NO.

A better train service between Belfast and Dublin may encourage more people to travel north to fly, but this feels like 20 years away.
 

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But would there be the passengers numbers to justify a train service over a bus? At present - NO
That's the sticking point. Belfast International does not currently have the passenger numbers to justify the expense of a rail link.

Both Belfast airports combined serve a small population and for the size of population they do serve the route choice isn't too bad. There's direct flights to two of the largest hubs in the world (Heathrow and Amsterdam) and a decent selection of other destinations.

The crux of the argument in regard to routes is will they pay for the airline. You could have the newest and most shiny airport in the world, that alone does not attract routes and airlines, you need a business case for those routes and passengers to fill the planes.

The comparisons with Dublin airport are highly flawed for many reasons. Dublin serves a purpose and I use it a lot, but I also use the Belfast airports a lot. It's not a case of one or the other.

We also have to remember that Dublin Airport is publicly owned and benefited from billions of taxpayer funds to upgrade facilities, both Belfast airports are privately owned and need income in order to justify investment.
 

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That's the sticking point. Belfast International does not currently have the passenger numbers to justify the expense of a rail link.

Both Belfast airports combined serve a small population and for the size of population they do serve the route choice isn't too bad. There's direct flights to two of the largest hubs in the world (Heathrow and Amsterdam) and a decent selection of other destinations.

The crux of the argument in regard to routes is will they pay for the airline. You could have the newest and most shiny airport in the world, that alone does not attract routes and airlines, you need a business case for those routes and passengers to fill the planes.

The comparisons with Dublin airport are highly flawed for many reasons. Dublin serves a purpose and I use it a lot, but I also use the Belfast airports a lot. It's not a case of one or the other.

We also have to remember that Dublin Airport is publicly owned and benefited from billions of taxpayer funds to upgrade facilities, both Belfast airports are privately owned and need income in order to justify investment.
Its the case though that there is already a railway running by the station so all the investment that's needed is a "spur" into the terminal. As far as running costs are concerned, a circular Belfast-Lisburn-Antrim-Belfast service running both ways each 40 minutes can stop at these other sizeable places to justify its running costs. There are a lot more users on the railway generally these days.
 

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Would there even be the capacity to retain the current 2tph to Portadown, and a semi express train to the airport. And going via Lisburn & Crumlin could be a lengthy detour compared to a bus on the M2.
That's an interesting point. Might need passing loops built.
 

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Not another f#*King shuttle bus. Cheap is cheap. Just build a line. Otherwise might as well get the airbus.
I agree. Build another terminal should be long term aim but in the interim of that build a rail shuttle system for the airport like the one at Gatwick airport which would be used to allow passengers to move between terminals. But this is probably not economically viable at this time.
 

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Does Portadown even need 2 trains an hour? Antrim to Londonderry only gets 1 for a larger catchment area.

Train line with largest catchment area has the worst service.
I would imagine that with the government's aim to expand our rail network, that they will dual the line between Mossley West and London derry before a rail link to Aldergrove.

Both could be constructed at the same time as each other but that would obviouslt require major major investment but would create a soaring number of jobs across Northern Ireland.
 

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At Belfast City Council's 3rd December 2015 City Growth & Regeneration Committee meeting a presentation from Translink representatives confirmed that the new Hub would double the number of rail platforms, increase the number of bus stands, allow for the relocation of the Enterprise service from Belfast Central, integrate with Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT), and involve a wider mixed use regeneration scheme. The presentation also outlined a number of layout and design options based on the project brief and site constraints and opportunities. An indicative project timeline suggests an initial planning application could be submitted during 2016 and subject to funding, planning and other necessary approvals, construction could commence by 2018.

As part of the Transport Hub enabling works, John Tinnelly and Sons Ltd commenced demolition of vacant warehouse buildings at Grosvenor Road in March 2016.







 

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I'm assuming those renders are of the first option. Looks underwhelming from the front, and the bus station part looks a little cramped. The train station looks quite interesting I suppose.

Does the publication of these renders suggest Translink are going with the first option then? I always suspected they would, given it will be the least disruptive to build.
 

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It looks a bit soulless to me. I guess all transport hubs are, but whats wrong with trying something different. Surely adding a bit of Irish Charm to the building wouldn't hurt. It looks like any other urban concrete bus/railway station in the world. How much extra would it cost to add features to make it more memorable.
 
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