A new review into improving the connectivity of the rail network across the island of Ireland has been launched by the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.
The SDLP leader said the review would tackle improving “sustainable connectivity” between major cities across the island. The review is also intended to consider whether a high-speed network is suitable.
The review into the rail network was a commitment in the New Decade, New Approach deal which restored Stormont power sharing in January last year.
Launching the review, Nichola Mallon said: “Travel by rail is an issue I am very passionate about and I believe it has massive untapped potential to deliver multiple benefits across our island.
“Since coming into office, I have been clear that it is my priority to address regional imbalance, tackle the climate crisis and better connect communities across Ireland.
“The all-island strategic rail review will allow us to consider our network across this island to view how we can improve it for everyone.
“Building on our commitments in New Decade New Approach to progress a spine of connectivity, this ambitious review, in partnership, will look at opportunities to enhance rail across our island.
“This is an ambitious piece of work that will help inform our decision making and investment in our rail network for years to come. It’s an exciting start of a journey, many have been waiting for.”
Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson has welcomed the launch of an all-island review of rail announced by ministers north and south.
“We know that our rail network can be improved by cutting journey times and increasing services," said the Foyle representative.
“This could have major benefits for the north west and part of this work should include a feasibility study on extending the Derry line into Letterkenny and beyond."
She added: "It’s vital that on the back of this review, we see real delivery on improving our rail line and creating connecting our island through our trains.”