Just as the train line between Londonderry and Coleraine is set to re-open on the 24th March, one week ahead of schedule, Mr Mal McGreevy updated Coleraine Borough Council on Translink’s recent achievements.
The Derry-Coleraine track has been closed for major engineering works since July 2012. Since then Mr McGreevy reported that services between Coleraine and Belfast have increased by 70% with a service running every hour since January 6th when the new timetables were introduced.
He said there has been, “tremendous growth in terms of people who are using the transport” with a 10-15% increase in the amount of people using the rail services. Mr McGreevy said he was “Grateful for the custom”.
On Translink’s website, Catherine Mason, Translink Group Chief Executive issued a statement saying, “We are delighted to be reopening this line in time for the Easter holiday period and hope many people will take the opportunity to travel on this very scenic part of our network.”
Mayor Samuel Cole, who described the train journey along the Derry line as “beautiful”, thanked and congratulated Translink on their achievements and welcomed the re-opening of the Derry-Coleraine line.
Councillor David McClarty said the service had been “totally resurrected… [I am] looking forward to the reopening of the line and everyone should be supporting Translink.”
The current cost of maintaining the service is £25-30 million per year. Mr McGreevy told the council there is the potential to expand the Belfast to Coleraine service. He said one way of doing this would be to possibly increase the amount of cars from the current 3-4 up to 6, which would be capable of carrying more people. The current 3 car trains have the capability to hold 216 passengers. Mr McGreevy rounded off his update by urging the council to encourage people to invest in Translink.