Dallat: Anger over shelving of Belfast - Derry train line repair work

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SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat has described the decision to postpone upgrades on the Belfast-Derry railway line as another stab in the back for those committed to building a modern railway network embracing the island of Ireland.

John Dallat MLA, who is a long-time campaigner for the renaissance of the railway network in Ireland said: “History has a habit of repeating itself and once again the railways are the first victims of the savage economic cutbacks imposed by a budget which lacks imagination and shows little respect for the environment or the needs of people who are entitled to a modern rail system which is taken for granted in other European countries.

“It is incredible that as we build an all-island economy the money to maintain a modern inter-city rail service between Dublin and Belfast is not available. Instead there are speed limits because the track is considered unsafe for speeds above 60 miles per hour.

“The much promised upgrade of the railway between Coleraine and Derry comes as no surprise.

“Questions must be asked as to what the real intentions are in relation to restoring the rail infrastructure which was severely fractured at the time of partition.

“This may secretly be good news for the DUP who show no restraint in their distaste for anything that smacks of improving the links between North and South but for those who are capable of making their judgement on real issues like the environment, the need to improve the business and tourist links between North and South and the right of people to travel in comfort this is a big slap in the face.”