Magherafelt SHAC - STATION HOUSE ACTION CAMPAIGN - Refurbish and Restore Railway Station
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Magherafelt Railway Station has been out of use since the last train exited the station in the 1950s. Before then the railway line went all the way to Belfast, local people found employment at the station and Station Road was a hub of activity. Now sixty years later, the local population have started a conversation about the possibility of Magherafelt having trains once more either locally and/or whether the old route to Belfast might be re-opened. This is the long term aim.
In the meantime, the Campaign group (SHAC) aims to investigate the development potential of the current old Station House and site for community benefit. This seems opportune as plans are already underway for a road to join Castledawson Road and Station Road (just opposite the Station site) which will bring more traffic to the lower Station Road area. For many years the people who live and work near the station have been ill served by being deprived of any form of community meeting place which the site might provide, as well as the inhabitants of the town and beyond.
Whether the station becomes part of a viable rail network again and/or a hub for community connection and involvement which restores part of Magherafelt’s history for modern usage, remains up for discussion. However, there is increasing support for some level of attention to the site which currently is derelict and therefore of no value to the community.
Impacts (depending upon success of the SHAC Campaign) are likely to include positive impacts on the environment, psychosocial and health benefits, a common purpose to enhance local social networks and support, aid community cohesion and respect, increased interest in local history and its preservation etc. All ages, classes and backgrounds will benefit from both the process of affecting positive change in their locality, as well as impacted by the Campaign’s successful outcomes.
Already within 30 hours well over 300 people have expressed support for the Campaign via Magherafelt (Three Spires) Discussion Group.
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