New halts and half hourly Derry rail service on table with feasibility, topographical and pilot studies in train, says Nichola Mallon

Studies exploring the potential for half-hourly trains from Derry to Belfast stopping at at Strathfoyle, City of Derry Airport and Ballykelly are progressing.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 12:34 pm

That’s according to the rail minister Nichola Mallon who says such a service could help unlock the potential of rail.

Foyle MLA Karen Mullan asked the minister for an update on progress on a feasibility study on Phase 3 of the railway line from Derry to Coleraine.

She replied: “Rail has huge untapped potential to deliver multiple benefits across our island. I am committed to addressing regional imbalance by improving connectivity to the north-west area. In line with that, I have commissioned a feasibility study to get phase 3 of the Coleraine to Derry project back on track.”

She said a series of new halts are under consideration and that she is serious about rail development.

“I have also commissioned additional studies to explore the possibility of a half-hourly service from Derry to Belfast as well as providing additional halts at Ballykelly, Strathfoyle and City of Derry Airport. Work on the phase 3 feasibility study is ongoing, with a number of topographical and pilot studies under way. I continue to work with the campaign group Into the West as we advance that work and keep it moving forward. Rail is key to the future of travel on our island. I will continue to do all that I can to enhance opportunities, particularly for communities that have been left behind for too long.”