Foyle SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has welcomed news that major contracts for the upgrade of the Derry-Coleraine rail line have been signed.
Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has announced that separate contractors have been appointed to re-signal the Derry-Coleraine rail line and to construct a passing loop at Bellarena.
Both projects are key elements of Phase 2 of the track renewal project and it is anticipated that work will be completed by December 2016.
Mr Eastwood commented, “Upgrading the Derry-Coleraine rail line is a key infrastructure project for the North West which will drive economic growth in the region.
“The project is an important One Plan and Programme for Government commitment which was due for completion by 2015, but procurement and budgeting forecasting errors have contributed to delays in progress.
“Thankfully these issues have been addressed and funding in excess of £40m has been secured to finally deliver Phase 2 of this essential project.
“Once completed, the signalling works and passing loop will lead to a better rail service between Derry and Belfast with more frequent journeys and faster travel times.
“This increased connectivity will attract business and tourists which will boost economic growth.
“The final piece of our rail jigsaw is the provision of a modern train station and I would appeal to the Minister to secure funding to redevelop the Old Waterside Station without delay.”