Derry MLA Mark H. Durkan says £60m investment in new trains will aid green recovery

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark Durkan has welcomed the delivery of 21 new train carriages as part of a £60million investment by the Department of Infrastructure.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 10:37 am
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway

The delivery of the new carriages made by Spanish train manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) marks a major step in the development of the local rail network, supporting the green recovery.

The project which also includes changes to depot infrastructure represents a total investment of over £60million from the Department for Infrastructure.

Mr. Durkan said: “I am delighted that 21 new train carriages arrived in Northern Ireland and will add capacity to our existing rail network. These will also mean train journeys are more accessible and comfortable for passengers.”

The 21 new carriages will be used to convert the capacity of seven existing Class 4000 three car trains to six car sets.

“The delivery today represents the beginning of a £60m investment in our rail network by SDLP Minister, Nichola Mallon. As a former Environment Minister, I am heartened that my colleague Minister Mallon shares my view that investing in sustainable public infrastructure is key in tackling the climate emergency and promoting a cleaner, greener recovery.”

“This is good news today and I am looking forward to the new trains coming into use later this year.”

The 21 new carriages will be used to convert the capacity of seven existing Class 4000 three car trains to six car sets. The existing trains are currently undergoing major refurbishments. The result will feel like completely new trains throughout, with the first one due to enter passenger service this autumn following intensive testing and commissioning.

Ms. Mallon said: “My priority as Minister is to work on transport infrastructure that improves people’s lives, connects communities and tackles the climate emergency through prioritising active and sustainable transport options.

“I believe that rail has huge untapped potential to deliver multiple benefits across our island. It is therefore vital that we continue to invest in and modernise our rail network as we work to build back greener and more responsibly from Covid-19.

“This significant investment of over £60million by my Department in new rail carriages and depot infrastructure will ensure we can offer attractive rail travel for future generations, encourage more people to use public transport and in doing so tackle the climate crisis.

“So I am delighted to be here today to see the arrival of the first three new carriages which will come into service later this year providing passengers on some of our busiest routes with more capacity, space and comfort on their journeys.”

Chris Conway, Group Chief Executive, Translink said: “Translink is leading a transport transformation and this latest major milestone is further good news for our customers. When all the new carriages are in operation it will mean around 1600 more train seats available on our network.

“This development is crucial as we emerge from the pandemic re-building and growing public transport use which had reached record levels pre-Covid.

“The new carriages will also be more energy efficient as we aim to tackle the climate emergency and air pollution levels alongside increasing sustainable transport use while also supporting key outcomes in the draft Programme for Government.

“We’d like to thank CAF for their ongoing hard work to deliver these trains on schedule and the Department for Infrastructure for essential project funding. We look forward to keeping our customers informed as the carriage rollout progresses.”

The ‘walk-through’ 6-car train roll-out will be phased with all 21 of the new carriages due to enter passenger service by summer 2022.