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Hourly trains to Belfast may not be affordable

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Minister for Regional Development Michelle Mcilveen has confirmed today that the rail network will be capable of operating hourly train services between Derry / Londonderry and Belfast by early 2017 but this does not mean such a service will operate.

SDLP MLA John Dallat raised the matter as the current upgrade to the rail line, which includes construction of a passing loop at Bellarena, is due to be completed later this year.

In response to Mr Dallat’s question, Minister McIlveen confirmed: “Translink has advised me that the rail network capability will exist to operate hourly services from early 2017. The financial implications associated with increasing the frequency to an hourly service from Belfast to Londonderry will have to be considered in the context of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) provision and the next Comprehensive Spending Review”

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