Translink intends to introduce an hourly train service between Londonderry and Belfast by the summer.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard announced the initiative as an upgrade on the route nears conclusion.
Mr Hazzard said that given substantive completion of the improvements “the last obstacle to the introduction of a more frequent service has been removed and I have therefore asked Translink to bring an hourly service into operation by the summer”.
He added: “This will increase patronage on the railways, act as an incentive to encourage economic growth and tourism and provide enhanced choice for regular passengers.”
In addition, the minister has asked Translink to undertake a feasibility study on the introduction of an express service between the city and Belfast to complement the existing 212 Goldline bus service.
The minister said: “Increasing use of public transport is a key objective in the Programme for Government. That means we need quality of service and the frequency on offer particularly between our major cities. The steps I have announced today will begin that process.”
“The major engineering and signalling works on the Derry~Londonderry to Coleraine line will be substantially complete this month.
Chris Conway,Translink Group chief executive confirmed the major engineering and signalling works on the line will be substantially complete this month.
He continued: “We welcome the minister’s announcement today (Friday) regarding the introduction of an hourly service between Derry~Londonderry and Belfast and it is our intention to introduce the enhanced timetable this summer.
“We are committed to making public transport Your First Choice for Travel in Northern Ireland and this major project, along with our plans to build a new multimodal transport hub with park and ride facilities and active travel options, alongside continued investment in new bus and coach fleet for the city demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing high quality public transport services and facilities in the North West.”