‘Have your say on All-Ireland Rail Strategy’ - Into The West urges Derry, Tyrone & Donegal people

Local rail campaigners ‘Into The West’ are calling on anyone who wants better infrastructure to participate in a public consultation on the new All-Ireland Rail Review Strategy.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 9:04 am

The All-Ireland Rail Review Strategy is a north-south initiative that was launched earlier this year by NI Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and ROI Transport Minister Eamon Ryan.

The review is designed to consider how and where rail should be improved on the island to boost sustainable connectivity and address regional imbalance - with a specific focus on the north west, where Into The West said rail links are largely absent. The process has now reached the consultation stage, with members of the public being asked to submit their thoughts.

Into The West is urging local people to take part, and has created a list of seven key improvements it’s calling on people to request when doing so.

A map of the improvements that Into the West are requesting.

Chair Steve Bradley said: “The All-Ireland Rail Review is an important project - taking for the first time a view of rail and required improvements across the island as a whole. We’ve all seen the map of the rail network in Ireland with that massive gap in the North-west corner, and public opinion is increasingly viewing the situation as no longer acceptable. The strategy that comes out of this All-Ireland Review will hopefully identify ways in which that gap should be addressed. There will be a lot of voices contributing to this consultation and calling for improved rail in other parts of the island too. That’s why it’s essential that as many people as possible from the North West have their say. We want this to be the largest public consultation ever held in Ireland, leaving Stormont and Dublin in no doubt that the public demands better rail.”

The seven improvements that Into The West are suggesting people ask for are: 1) Faster and more frequent trains between Derry and Belfast (including departures every half hour, and a 90min express service); 2) Reopen the Derry-Portadown rail line (via Newbuildings, Strabane, Sion Mills, Newtownstewart, Omagh, and Dungannon); 3) Reopen the Derry-Letterkenny rail route; 4) Reconnect Limavady to the rail network; 5) Complete the Limerick to Sligo ‘Western Rail Corridor’ (and continue it on north through Donegal to Derry); 6) Reconnect Enniskillen to the rail network (Both north to Omagh and south to Sligo); 7) Connect NI’s 3 airports to the rail network (Includes City of Derry Airport).

Information on the All-Ireland Rail Review and details on how to submit a response can be found at www.strategicrailreview.com

The deadline for responses is Friday January 21, 2022.

Steve Bradley concluded : “The deadline for responses to the consultation is January 21, 2022, but please don’t leave it until then to take part. It’s essential that as many people as possible here contribute to ensure there is a strong voice demanding better rail for the North-West. So please take the short time required to take part in this consultation today. And please ensure you request the seven improvements outlined above in your response”.