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Railway Investment Welcomed

2 August, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the commitment from Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy to the Derry Belfast rail link.

Mr McCartney said,

"During a recent visit to Derry by Minister of Regional Development (DRD) I raised the issue of the future of the Derry Belfast rail link. I have received a reply from the Department of Regional Development that clearly states that the DRD and Translink are looking at a major project that will secure the line for the foreseeable future.

"If this project is approved then major works could start within the year to improve the existing line considerably. Modern railways are an alternative to motor transport and are more environmentally friendly and only with a huge investment will the Derry Belfast line offer a credible option to commuters and tourists.

"I also raised the issue of extending the rail network into the other areas of the North West such as Donegal and Sligo and have been assured that it will be raised at a Transport Ministerial meeting in September as part of the North South framework set up under the Good Friday Agreement.

"It is important that the North West region develops it infrastructure if it is to compete for inward investment and exploit the huge tourist potential on our doorstep. A proper railway network servicing the whole of the North West is essential if that is to be achieved." ENDS

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