Translink U-turn over public talks on rail timetable
Translink has done a U-turn and will now meet the public in Londonderry to discuss the proposed options for the new railway timetable.
Lobbyists in the city stressed it is vital for people to attend in numbers to make their views known on the two options under consideration.
Initially just one meeting was planned for Coleraine, but after an approach to Translink a meeting will now take place at Foyle Street Bus Station at 10am on Monday.
Among Translink’s proposals is a two hourly train service between Belfast and Derry. Under this, the first of eight daily services from Belfast will not arrive in Derry until 9.25am. It is also considering a service which will see the first train leave Belfast at 6.05am for Coleraine, operating on to Derry for a 8.25am arrival.
Translink spokesman Ciaran Rogan said: “When the line reopens we will be putting eight journeys a day between Derry and Coleraine and what we are now doing is asking people what their views are in terms of the service patterns in relation to the early morning train.”
However, Mark Lusby from Into The West railway lobby group said Translink makes no provision for people from Derry who need to be in Belfast to start work at 9am.
Regarding commuters who need to be in Belfast before 9am, a Translink spokeswoman said: “Regardless of which option is chosen by the public, there will be a service departing Londonderry at 6.05am arriving into Great Victoria Street at 8.25am.”
- Option 1: Monday to Friday services: All-day hourly service operated between Belfast and Coleraine with an onward coach connection to Derry. Depart: Belfast 6.05am. Passengers arrive at Foyle Street at 8.45am. A two-hourly service operated between Belfast and Derry with the first train service in at 9.25am. Last departure from Derry at 7.33pm.
- Option 2: The first train from Belfast to Coleraine could be operated through to Derry arriving at 8.25am and will depart Belfast at 6.05am. Last departure from Derry is 9.33pm.