Sinn Féin MLA and Member of the Regional Development Committee Sean Lynch has welcomed the increase in passengers using the rail network but said the Minister Danny Kennedy could do more to create a modern rail service.
Mr Lynch said,
“I would call on the Minister to use these positive figure as a catalyst for greater investment to upgrade and expand the rail network in the North.
“The Minister needs to be innovative in claiming down funds including looking to access European funding such as Trans European Transport Network which has a budget of over £13.17 billion.
“These funds are available for all member states for investment in transport infrastructure and presents a perfect opportunity for the Minister to apply so that we can expand the rail network across the North.
“At present the network across the North is limited to two major lines that run between Derry – Belfast and Belfast – Dublin but there is an opportunity to open the North West region by adopting the Western Arc transport strategy that is looking to expand the network from Derry to Sligo.
“Not only would this allow a rail network to be reinstated into western counties of Fermanagh, Tyrone and Donegal but would be a connection into the southern rail network.”