Public invited to rail ambition event
28 February 2022
The future of rail in the North West will be explored at an upcoming event featuring contributions from Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon MLA and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD.
Members of the public are invited to sign up for the Rail Ambition webinar on Monday March 7, which will see Derry City and Strabane District Council, Government and transport representatives and local campaigners discuss how to transform rail connectivity.
The Council-organised webinar comes following a public consultation into developing the rail network across Ireland, as part of Ministers Mallon and Ryan’s All-Island Strategic Rail Review.
The free online event will also explore how improved rail provision can boost employment, the economy and environmental sustainability.
Ministers Ryan and Mallon will appear by video message to share the latest on the Strategic Rail Review. Other speakers will include the Mayor, Alderman Graham Warke and representatives from Translink, the Department for Infrastructure, Into the West campaign group and Donegal Railway Heritage Centre.
Attendees will also hear a case study from Scotland’s Borders Railway, which successfully reopened after almost 50 years of closure. In addition, there will be opportunities for audience questions.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said: "Improvements to rail connectivity through enhancements to existing services and infrastructure and additional direct connections will have a catalytic impact on the growth of our region. As a Council we are committed to being at the forefront of lobbying for upgrades to rail and other public transport services because we recognise the importance of enhanced regional accessibility to ensure that we achieve our targets and ambitions set out in our City Deal and the Strategic Growth Plan. I am looking forward to hearing from our Ministers and Statutory Transport Authorities and discussing the many ways we can develop our network at the Rail Ambition webinar which comes at an opportune time following our robust Council's response to the All Island Strategic Rail Review last month."
Earlier this month (Feb), members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Governance and Strategic Planning Committee endorsed Council's official response to the Strategic Rail Review.
The response was set out in a vision document calling for faster and more frequent rail services to and from Derry to Belfast, seamless onward connections to and from Dublin on the existing line, and a future direct connection to Dublin via Strabane and Omagh.
Other proposals included rail connections from Derry to Letterkenny and onwards to Sligo and the Galway Atlantic Corridor, and a suburban rail service serving Derry and the wider North West City Region, with halts at Eglinton and at the City of Derry Airport.