Northern Ireland news

Improvements to Derry-Belfast rail line could be back on track

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon says she's committed to third phase of an upgrade of the Derry to Coleraine railway line. PICTURE: Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

PLANS for faster and more frequent trains between Derry and Belfast could be back on track.

Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said infrastructure minister and SDLP colleague Nichola Mallon is committed to delivering phase three of a planned upgrade to the line between Derry and Coleraine.

This includes a new track from Eglinton to Castlerock, including a passing loop at Eglinton.

It would result in the removal of speed restrictions, enabling a quicker and more frequent service with trains possibly operating every half hour.

Mr Durkan said it was positive news after the Department for Infrastructure had cast doubt over the project last year.

Campaigners were angered when it said there were no plans to take forward phase three "as the track condition is performing well".

Mr Durkan said: “Derry's perpetually postponed railway development must be prioritised and whilst I acknowledge the department has inherited massive budgetary constraints, the minister has assured me that she is currently working to find solutions that will deliver for our communities."

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