Could trains be set to run from Ballymena to Belfast every half hour?

Ballymena Rail Centre

INFRASTRUCTURE Minister Nichola Mallon has commissioned a feasibility study to consider the introduction of half-hourly train services on the Derry/Londonderry – Belfast railway line which takes in Ballymena.

Trains currently leave Ballymena every hour for both Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.

The study will also examine the viability of establishing additional halts along with Park & Ride facilities at Strathfoyle, Eglington/City of Derry Airport and Ballykelly.

Minister Mallon said: “Since coming into office, I have been clear that my priority is addressing regional imbalance, better connecting communities and, importantly, ensuring that we shape our places around our people, for our people and with our people.

“Improving rail services to the North-West is a key part of this and I have already taken a number of important steps to achieve this.

“Earlier this year I committed to a new feasibility study to get phase 3 of the Derry to Coleraine rail line back on track, and I have ring-fenced funding for that work to be done at pace.

“I have also now commissioned a separate study to explore the options of new halts and associated park-and-ride facilities at Strathfoyle, Eglinton/City of Derry Airport and Ballykelly.

“This new study will also examine the possibility of introducing half-hourly services on the Derry to Belfast line.

“It is envisaged that this project could be delivered in conjunction with Coleraine to Derry Renewals Phase 3. Investing in rail connectivity is key to delivering greener and cleaner transport but it also opens up opportunities for connectivity and economic growth.

“The North-West needs to benefit from our green recovery and I’ve made it clear that I am determined to deliver lasting change and economic equality for our citizens across the North.”

The Minister also outlined her commitment to improving rail connectivity across the island of Ireland.

Continuing, Minister Mallon said: “All-island connectivity should excite us all, not least because it better connects our communities in a more sustainable, cleaner and greener way, but also because it opens up huge potential for our economy.

“I have been working closely with the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D and was pleased to recently announce with him that Derry will be included in the all-island high-speed rail feasibility study.

“This will ensure that opportunities that better connect our island, drive economic growth, investment and allow for greener, cleaner travel are inclusive and extended to the North-West.”

 

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