Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the announcement by Chris Hazzard, Minister for Infrastructure that an hourly train service between Derry and Belfast will be introduced by the summer of 2017.
Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said
I welcome today’s announcement .In recent months Chris Hazzard, Minister for Infrastructure has made great strides moving forward key infrastructural projects including the A5 and A6,and the multimillion investment in a North-West Integrated Transport Hub at the old Waterside Railway station. Just this week we seen that take a major step forward with the purchase of the old station.
The hourly service from Belfast will vastly improve connection between both cities. It will make it easier for people carrying out business, attending hospitals, Universities and opening up the whole tourist product for the hinterlands of Derry and Donegal.
While our local economy remains under stress and most focus is on road infrastructure, it would be easy to fall into the trap of ignoring the essential contribution that a modern rail link can make to regeneration of Derry and the North West region.
Properly marketed, Rail can play a pivotal role, along with the exceptional scenery, in expanding our tourism offer and reducing congestion on the roads thereby assisting us to achieve our EU requirements on carbon emissions.