New video animations bring ‘North West Rail Corridor’ for Derry, Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh to life
In November the group launched a major campaign to have the former Derry-Portadown and Derry-Letterkenny rail lines restored – two routes which together form the ‘North West Rail Corridor’.
The restored route will start at Letterkenny and run through Derry, Strabane, Omagh and Dungannon to Portadown – from where trains would continue on directly towards Dublin or Belfast. Once reopened, the Corridor will return rail to Donegal and Tyrone for the first time in 60 years and help to close the huge gap in the island’s rail network.
In addition, it will also provide the foundation stone for three further rail reopenings in the future - extending the proposed Western Rail Corridor north from Sligo through Donegal to Letterkenny; extending rail from Omagh down to Enniskillen and Sligo; and creating a Mid-Ulster loop from Dungannon to Cookstown, Magherafelt, Randalstown and Antrim.
To help explain the rationale, route and benefits of the restored North West Rail Corridor, Into The West have worked with an animation company who specialise in producing campaign videos for Non-Governmental Organisations (Sketchpad Studios).
Their impressive roster of clients has included Friends of the Earth International, CAFOD, Cycling UK and the Child Poverty Action Group.
Into The West worked with Sketchpad to create a series of three animations, which run for between one and two minutes each. The first animation focuses on the North West Rail Corridor – outlining when the route was closed, the impact that closure had, why the line should reopen again and where it will run.
The second animation outlines the ‘Seven Benefits of Rail’ - explaining why rail is about so much more than just getting from A to B. The final animation focuses on the ‘Heart of Ulster’ line – which is the idea for a new loop of rail around 5 of NI’s 6 counties, that the reopened Derry-Portadown line would enable.
The first two animations have just been released by Into The West, with the ‘Heart of Ulster’ video due to launch on Valentine’s Day to mark the anniversary of the 1965 closure of the Derry-Portadown route.
The animated videos have been funded thanks to a Derry-based company that recently made a large donation to support Into The West’s campaigning work.
Chair of Into The West, Steve Bradley, said: “These animated videos will really help decision-makers and members of the public see and understand what the North West Rail Corridor is all about, and why it must be reopened. At only one or two minutes long, the videos are easy to digest and perfect for sharing on social media channels. We would encourage people to visit our website or YouTube channel to watch them, and to help spread the message by sharing them widely.
"Most importantly, we would also ask anyone who wants to see the North West Rail Corridor become a reality to sign the petition on our website - and to also consider becoming a member of Into The West to help support our work. Let’s all make 2023 the year that the decision is made to put Donegal and Tyrone back on the rail map, and to re-connect Derry directly to Dublin.”
The videos can be watched on Into The West’s website (www.IntoTheWest.org) as well as on its new YouTube channel (@IntoTheWestRail). Their petition calling for the restoration of the North West Rail Corridor can be read and signed here = https://www.change.org/NorthWestRailCorridor