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Boost for rail services

Upgrading our rail network has to be a priority for the authorities in all parts of Ireland, so there will be a strong welcome for the confirmation that hourly departures are to be introduced between Belfast and Derry later this year.

It remains uncertain how long the Stormont infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard will remain in office, together with the rest of his Executive colleagues, but he deserves credit for facilitating yesterday's announcement.

Reducing journey times between Belfast and not just Derry but also Dublin, and ensuring that fares are kept at competitive levels, has to be the next issue on the agenda.

There are huge advantages in encouraging the public to switch from private cars to trains and buses as long as the services are comfortable, reliable and provide good value for money.

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Leading article