NW line will see most significant benefit of new rail timetable

THE general manager of NI rail services says the most significant of a huge humber of benefits to passengers resulting from a new timetable will be on the Londonderry and Larne lines.

Mal McGreevy made the claim as Translink announced a new, enhanced rail timetable will be introduced on January 6, 2013 following the introduction of 20 new Class 4000 trains into passenger service.

The new trains have already started to deliver significant improvements in service reliability and accessibility and as well as increasing the number of services offered by Translink, there will now be over 20 per cent of additional seating capacity across the network, doubling many busy commuter trains from three carriages to six carriages.

According to Translink there will be a huge number of benefits to passengers resulting from the new timetable, however the most significant of these will be on the Larne and Londonderry lines, where there will be more frequent services between Belfast and Whitehead and an hourly service between Belfast and Coleraine.

In conjunction with this, Translink has also made some adjustments to Goldline Coach services 218 and 219 from Coleraine/Ballymena to Belfast in order to operate and combined half hourly rail and coach service between Belfast and North Antrim.

Mr McGreevy, Translink General Manager Rail Services, said: “We have steadily been making investments into our rail network, rolling stock and infrastructure and this autumn we launched free passenger WIFI on trains and most Goldline coach services, as well as ‘Journey Check’, a real-time train information system for NI Railways passengers.”

“This new timetable is the next phase of improvements to make our services even more flexible, attractive and easy for customers to use.”

He said the numbers of passenger now choosing the train as their preferred way to travel is goring steadily.

“In 2011/2012, a record 10.7 million people used the train, which is a 70 per cent increase over the last decade and we are on target to exceed 11 million passenger journeys this year.

“With these new enhancements together with our range of great value tickets we look forward to welcoming many more new customers onboard in 2013.”

Passengers can access up to date timetable information by using Translink’s online journey planner at www.translink.co.uk and new timetables are also available on line Passengers can also call the contact centre on 02890 666630.