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Minister welcomes rail forum in Donegal

13 October, 2008

Sinn Féin Minister for Regional Development, Conor Murphy MP, MLA today supported a rail forum in Lifford, Co Donegal. The forum considered the potential to establish new rail links to the North West of Ireland.

Although the Minister was unable to attend, he said:

"Today's event provides an opportunity to discuss ways of improving public transport in the North West. Given the funding available to me at present, my immediate priority is to improve and upgrade existing railway services. However, I very much welcome the debate surrounding the provision of rail links between Derry and Donegal and I am grateful to Donegal County Council for facilitating this forum."

Last year the Minister lifted restrictions on investment in the railway line between Ballymena and Derry and plans are now being prepared for a major relay of the section of the line between Coleraine and Derry. It is expected that work on this project will commence in 2011 and be completed by 2013. This will coincide with the deployment of two additional trains which will increase the frequency and capacity of train services between Belfast and Derry.

At the last Transport North South Ministerial Council Meeting with the Department of Environment and the Irish Department for Transport, DRD agreed to undertake a study to consider the long term social, physical and economic redevelopment of the railway throughout the North West.

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