Infrastructure and transport report

Belfast Grand Central Station on track for autumn operational opening

Belfast Grand Central Station, on track for operational opening this autumn, will be the largest integrated transport hub on the island of Ireland.

This hugely important Northern Ireland Executive Flagship project, funded by the Department for Infrastructure, will bring about a step change in public transport.

It will be the main transport gateway to Belfast, enhancing local and international connectivity with rail, bus and coach connections across Northern Ireland and beyond.

The impressive high-quality Belfast Grand Central Station will offer an enhanced user experience for around 20 million customer journeys every year.

There will be double the number of rail platforms currently available from four to eight and a total of 26 bus stands, significantly increasing current capacity.

Playing a central role in a greener city and a shift in people’s travelling habits from cars to public transport, Belfast Grand Central Station will integrate cycle provision as part of the scheme and enhance pedestrian access. This transformation will help encourage more people to choose more sustainable travel choices, tackling the climate emergency and creating a cleaner, healthier region for everyone.

With a clear focus on active travel, the streets adjoining the station will include allocation of road space to pedestrians and cyclists including the provision of more than 200 spaces for cycle parking. Translink has included provision for the Belfast Bike Scheme and is working alongside Belfast City Council to discuss the potential of including a new docking station in the Weavers Cross area.

Fully inclusive and accessible to all

Belfast Grand Central Station will be fully inclusive and accessible to all users with members of the public with challenges travelling and key organisations such as the Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee (IMTAC) closely involved in the design phase.

The new station will include features such as the inclusion of changing places toilets, provision of sensory space, innovative wayfinding systems, an assistance dog spending area and provision for wheelchair accessible vehicle parking.

The modern, spacious, transport facility with mezzanine level will also be a destination retail space. Outside there will be a new exciting public realm space – Saltwater Square with a strong emphasis on arts and culture which has potential to become a focal point for everyone to use and enjoy.

An important city regeneration project

Translink has partnered with MRP to deliver Belfast’s transformational Weavers Cross – the new city neighbourhood surrounding Belfast Grand Central Station with the potential for 1.3 million square feet of mixed-use office, life sciences, residential, student housing, hotels, and retail/leisure space.

Belfast Grand Central Station at the heart of Weavers Cross, will be a catalyst for the regeneration of this area.

The wider Weavers Cross development is a transport led regeneration project supporting the Belfast City Council’s Belfast Agenda – a new vision for Belfast in 2035 which aims to attract 50,000 new jobs and £1 billion investment for regeneration projects in the city.

This presents a unique opportunity to transform and regenerate a current brownfield site and create a new destination in the heart of the city.

Belfast Grand Central Station’s transformation will encourage more sustainable travel choices.

Welcomed by stakeholders

Translink is working with a range of organisations to advance the transformation of transport and help encourage more sustainable travel for a better connected city and help Northern Ireland reach its climate goals.

There is widespread support for the scheme and the long-term benefits it will bring to the city and region as a whole with recognition that taking forward a world-class project of this scale will inevitably bring some disruption during construction.

The Consumer Council, Visit Belfast, Belfast City Council, Belfast Chamber of Commerce, Belfast City Climate Commissioner, Climate NI, the Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee and Sustrans, are among key stakeholders who have welcomed Belfast Grand Central Station as providing social, economic and environmental benefits to Belfast and the entire region.

“A game changer, not only for Belfast but all of Northern Ireland.”Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Claire Pollock, Head of Sustrans Northern Ireland said: “The development of the new Belfast Grand Central Station presents an opportunity for people to rethink how they travel and to choose sustainable modes. Active and sustainable travel has so many benefits to health, household budgets, wellbeing and the climate, we would encourage everyone to build active travel into their daily travel routine.”

Noyona Chundur, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland says: “Belfast Grand Central Station is an excellent project that will bring many socio-economic benefits to consumers in Northern Ireland. It is an ambitious plan which will strengthen connectivity across all parts of Belfast and beyond, improve the customer experience and offer greater choice for passengers.”

Similarly, Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) has called the new Belfast Grand Central Station “a game changer, not only for Belfast but all of Northern Ireland”. 

She adds: “For anyone who has had a glimpse of the scale of the development underway, they will have a sense of this. But we have no doubt that, when the station opens the people of Northern Ireland, businesses and tourists alike will be wowed by its quality and the part it will play in regenerating the surrounding areas – improving passenger experiences, numbers and services such as the planned improvements to the Belfast-Dublin service and attracting more investment.”

“An excellent project that will bring many socio-economic benefits.” Noyona Chundur, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

The Enterprise cross border train service

The Enterprise will relocate from Lanyon Place to the brand-new Belfast Grand Central Station when it opens moving this key service closer to the city centre and delivering more connectivity with other bus, coach and train services across Northern Ireland and beyond.
In February 2024, the Irish Government announced €25 million in funding to provide for an hourly Enterprise train service under the Shared Island initiative which will double current frequency and significantly enhance sustainable transport connectivity between the two largest cities on the island of Ireland.

The flagship Enterprise service represents a tremendous opportunity for growth with some 3.3 million people living within a 40-mile commute distance from the Belfast to Dublin railway corridor. This is projected to grow to over four million by 2030 representing around half of the island’s entire population.

Anyone who wants to follow progress on Belfast Grand Central Station including proposed timeline of key activity and milestones for the project should visit:

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