SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat has said he hopes the future of the Derry-Coleraine railway will be part of the development of an upgraded inter-city link to the northwest.
Mr Dallat, who has extensively campaigned on the issue, was speaking after an announcement on the line from the Regional Development minister, Danny Kennedy on Monday.
Mr Dallat said: “At long last I believe we have got a commitment that this is the beginning of a new approach to developing a decent inter-city rail service to the North West.
“I asked for an assurance that this is the end of the piece-meal funding which has prevented a new vision for this wonderful railway which has defied the wishes of those who wanted to close it in the past.
“The minister, in his response, demonstrated that he understands the commitment that is needed to ensure a continuous improvement which will result in the Belfast-Derry line becoming part of a greater rail network covering the whole of the island.”