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Announcement on Derry Coleraine Rail Line Upgrade welcomed‏

20 November, 2007

Following a meeting today of the Regional Development Committee in Stormont to discuss the Derry Belfast railway line Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the announcement from the Minister that the Belfast - Colraine will be completely relaid.

Mr McCartney said:

"At today's meeting Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy announced that work to upgrade the line between Derry and Coleraine would begin by 2011 and would include the complete relaying of the line.

"He explained that the reason for delay was that restrictions had been placed by British Direct Rule Ministers and the previous Executive on the line north of Ballymena. Now that he has managed to have these restrictions lifted we can proceed to developing the railway line to bring it up to standard for the 21st century.

"The lifting of the restriction will also allow for the accessing of funding for the line through the EU which could not have been availed of previously due the lack of a capitol works project. This announcement today will fulfil all the criteria needed to apply to the EU for grants to develop this line

"I welcome this announcement as it important that we improve the quality of the railway network in the North West as a means of attracting inward investment to the region. It is also in stark contrast to the rantings of SDLP MLA John Dallat who less than a fortnight ago told us that the committee had 'unanimously agreed' to reject proposals for work on the Derry - Coleraine railway when in fact that committee did no such thing." ENDS

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