Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has announced an hourly train service between Derry and Belfast will be introduced in 2017.
Chris Hazzard said: “With the substantive completion of the Derry Coleraine railway line improvements, the last obstacle to the introduction of a more frequent service has been removed and I have therefore asked Translink to bring an hourly service into operation by the summer. This will increase patronage on the railways, act as an incentive to encourage economic growth and tourism and provide enhanced choice for regular passengers.”
In addition, the Minister also announced two further initiatives to assess the viability of increased service provision on both the Derry to Belfast and Newry to Belfast routes.
The Minister continued: “I have asked Translink to undertake a feasibility study on the introduction of an express service between Derry and Belfast ensuring it complements and supports the existing very popular 212 Goldline service. I have also recognised concerns about the frequency of the Newry to Belfast service and have asked Translink to draw up plans for enhancing frequency for consideration when the budget is finalised.”
These measures will support the delivery of the draft Programme for Government.
Concluding, the Minister said: “Increasing use of public transport is a key objective in the Programme for Government. That means we need quality of service and the frequency on offer particularly between our major cities. The steps I have announced today will begin that process.”