12/10/2011

Call For Waterside Train Station Revamp

A call has been made for the reconstruction of Waterside Train Station to be included in the budget for the upgrading of the Derry-Coleraine rail route.

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark Durkan (pictured) has asked the NI Regional Development Minister, Ulster Unionist, Danny Kennedy to consider upgrading the station from its "dilapidated state" using some of the funding that has now been allocated to the Londonderry - Coleraine rail link.

Mr Durkan said: "I welcome the Minister's announcement on the upgrade of our rail route. However, built into his budget, should be the cost of the renovation, reconstruction or relocation of Waterside Train Station.

"This station is in a dilapidated state and must be made fit for purpose. It is vital that work is done to make it more accessible and welcoming for customers in order to maximise the potential of our train service for people in the north-west and tourists to our city.
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"As the second largest city in the North, Derry needs a proper station to meet the needs of our people particularly if there is going to be increased usage. European funding must be pursued and accessed in order to complete this scheme in its entirety earlier than the projected 2021 date."

This follows the executive transferring £27m of funds from the budget allocated to the A5 Derry to Dublin road in order complete the rail upgrade earlier than expected.

The project will now begin in July 2012, rather than in 2014 - the first stages of new improved service are predicted to be up and running by April 2013.

According to a report by the BBC the upgrade will be completed in three phases.

Starting with track relay and essential bridge works, then followed by the signalling work and the final phase will complete the passing loop and remaining bridge works.

The scheme was originally halted due to budget pressures.

(LB/BMcC)

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