Campaigners battling to safeguard the future of the Londonderry railway line were today celebrating a partial victory after the Regional Development Minister outlined plans for a £64m upgrade.
Into The West, which was set up amid fears that the line would be closed, were today preparing to meet Conor Murphy at Stormont, after he unveiled plans to upgrade the railway line to improve services which could see commuters being able to travel from the city to Belfast for 9am.
However the complete relaying of track between Derry and Coleraine will not take place for another four years.
Jim McBride, of Into The West, said the group was "grateful" the minister had taken the first step towards "a modern, first class railway ".
"While it is moving in the right direction, there will still be nothing on the ground for four years," said Mr McBride.
"This is the second city in Northern Ireland, and the improvement of the line should be made a priority."
The group are calling for funding for the project to be made available immediately.
"The money should be delivered now, perhaps in the December revised budget, so we can get the ball rolling," he said.
Mr Murphy said that he has lifted a restriction on investment in the Derry line north of Ballymena allowing for the preparation of a business case for a substantial upgrade of the line between Coleraine and Derry.