Big increase in rail passengers on local lines

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The numbers using local trains are dramatically on the increase, the Minister for Regional Development, Mark H Durkan has told the Assembly.

In a reply to a written question from North Antrim UUP MLA Robin Swann, for his assessment of the public usage on the Coleraine to Belfast rail corridor, Mr Durkan said that passenger growth on the route “is very positive, with increases in passenger numbers of about a third between 2011/12 and 2013/14.”

The Minister added: “This equates to an increase of over 400,000 passengersjourneys inthree years, taking passenger numbers from over 1.2 million in 2011/12 to over 1.6 millionin 2013/14.

“There has also been passenger growth on the Londonderry to Coleraine stretch of the railway network, and the completion of Phase 1 of the track relay on this stretch has played a key role in this.

“The introduction of a new rail timetable targeted at the Coleraine to Belfast service, introduction of new trains and continued investment in infrastructurehas clearly helped to generate this growth. “

It is

important that we continue to invest in our rail in