An Assembly member has described Northern Ireland Railways as a 'third world service' after it emerged part of the Belfast to Londonderry rail track buckled under the weekend's heat.
East Londonderry MLA John Dallat made the harsh comment after hundreds of train passengers were forced to board buses after a section of rail line near Culleybackey buckled in the high temperature on Saturday.
Services along the route were cancelled and the section remained closed all weekend.
And while the weekend's glorious weather may have been too hot for some, Mr Dallat said the 25C heat should not have caused the track to buckle and described the incident as a 'scandal'.
"This is a third world service," he said. "What this tells you is that the line has not been upgraded at all. We have been told that this section would be re-laid with a continuous line, but the department has failed to invest money into improving the service. In short, it is a scandal. "
A spokesperson from Translink confirmed the section of track had buckled under the hot weather.
"We can confirm that due to the effects of the extremely hot weather a section of the Londonderry line had to be closed over the weekend at Broughdone, while necessary repairs were carried out," the spokesperson said. "A bus substitution was operated to ensure passengers reached their destinations.
"NI Railways would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our passengers."
Mr Dallat said he would be calling for Translink and the Department for Regional Development to investigate seeking EU funding to upgrade the route and for making the upgrade of the long route a priority.
The line reopened as normal this morning.