Translink responds to calls for Derry-Dublin rail service

The Derry train.
The Derry train.

Translink has said there are already frequent bus services and trail connections linking Derry and Dublin following calls for a dedicated Derry to Dublin rail service.

In answer to calls from Foyle MP, Elisha McCallion, for feasibility studies for a Derry to Dublin train service, a Translink spokesperson said they run hourly train services from Derry to Belfast, “from where our customers can board the Enterprise to Dublin.”

She added: “Translink and Iarnród Éireann have published a strategic development plan for the Belfast to Dublin corridor.

“This requires an investment in fleet (€50m) and infrastructure (€220m) to deliver an hourly service and a journey time of less than two hours.

“Once delivered this will enable an improved connection between the Derry~Londonderry to Belfast line and the Belfast to Dublin line.

“Last year we carried almost one million passenger journeys on the Enterprise; this investment is required as a priority to enhance the cross-border service.”

She added that there were eight direct Goldline return coach services each day between Derry and Dublin.

Sinn Fein Foyle MP Mrs McCallion had said: “A rail link between Derry to Dublin rail link would be beneficial in order to unlock the economic potential of the North West.

“A direct train left Derry on Sunday morning for the Pope’s visit and took 3 hours 55 minutes, I have no doubt, with improvements to the connections, this could be reduced further.

“There is no reason why a direct service to Dublin cannot be a regular thing, complemented by an express service to Belfast.

“For this project to be successful, we must reject the Tory Brexit agenda by achieving Special Status for the north within the EU in order to receive EU Ten-T Infrastructure funding for this project.

“I have opened discussions with the head of Translink about this and I have asked that Translink explore a feasibility study on the service.”