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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Anna McAree

Councillor says success of special FAI Cup Final train proves viability of Derry rail expansion

The recent FAI Cup final win for Derry City was not only a huge sporting win, but also opened doors for the viability of the city's public transport.

Translink arranged a special Derry to Dublin train for fans, which proved incredibly popular as fans rushed for tickets.

This being the second Derry to Dublin train to be arranged successfully for sporting events, campaigners see it an as opportunity to expand Derry's rail connections.

Read more: Derry MLA shares story of how photo of late sister came back to him

People Before Profit Councillor and Into The West campaigner Maeve O' Neill spoke about how the FAI Cup final has proven the viability of Derry's rail expansion.

She said: " The success of the special train to Sunday’s cup-final shows that a much-expanded rail service for Derry is a perfectly viable and popular proposition. We must ensure that the authorities North and South take note and commit now to the re-establishment of the line.

"Apart from pride at winning the cup, the most common feeling on the journey home was satisfaction at so many fans being able to travel together. It made going to the final a communal event which all fans on board will remember together.

"On the way back, there was no room for doubt that travelling by train can enhance any journey. Every seat in every carriage was occupied by a smile."

This special train making its way from Derry to Dublin coincided with the launch of Into The West's campaign to restore the North West rail corridor.

For campaigners, the FAI Cup final is proof that their goals can be achieved.

Maeve said: "Derry to Dublin can be done in three and a half hours. Given the option, who would choose to travel any other way?

"This is not to mention what could be achieved if our rail service was refurbished and expanded as part of an all-Ireland network with the opening of the North West Rail Corridor. This is the future. At the end of the week of the global environmental conference in Egypt, it is an imperative.

"Every fan who travelled by train will have left less of a carbon footprint than fans using any other mode of transport.

"Sunday clinched the argument. High praise is due to Into the West - Rail Campaign."


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