DERRY'S Victorian railway station is to be brought back into use as part of a new transport hub.
The £26m plan will see the old Waterside Railway Station redeveloped as a rail terminus alongside facilities to promote more sustainable transport such as bike hire and parking and changing facilities.
Deputy first minister Martin McGuinness said it was an important step in developing the transport infrastructure in the north west.
"This is an ambitious project on the old Waterside station which will balance preserving the historic building and also meet the transport needs of the future.”
Completed in 1875, the station on the banks of the Foyle served as the main link between Derry and Belfast until 1980 when it was replaced by a much smaller and more basic facility.
A public consultation in 2014 identified the building as the preferred site for a new transport hub in Derry.
When former transport minister Danny Kennedy unveiled plans, he did not confirm any rail provision at the building. However, infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard announced yesterday that the building would facilitate rail travel.
Derry chamber of commerce president Gavin Killeen said the “wonderful historic Waterside rail station” would be brought back into the use it was built for.
“It is a marvellous asset of the city which has not been used for the benefit of the city for several years,” he said.
Work on the new hub is expected to start in 2018 with the project due to be completed by 2020.