CAMPAIGNERS for a re-opening of the rail connection between Londonderry and Donegal can forget about it until 2030 at least, according to Rail Minister Danny Kennedy.
Asked about the feasibility of developing a Sligo to Londonderry route, Mr Kennedy said a Donegal connection had been considered in 2011 by the Irish authorities but was ruled out as unaffordable.
Mr Kennedy explained: “The exploration and securing of European funding opportunities remain an ongoing priority for my Department, and we are continuing our efforts to seek further funding for upgrading of the Belfast to Dublin Enterprise service in this context.
“Irish Rail’s Rail Strategy Network Review, published in 2011, considered the proposal to create a new rail connection from Londonderry into Donegal and beyond; the conclusion of which was that it would not be economically viable to do so in the period up to 2030.”
Mr Kennedy has previously stated that if a western cross-border link was proposed by Dublin in future it may be considered by Belfast in forthcoming investment frameworks. This could then be built into the Regional Transportation Strategy.