Railways: All-island Network
Danny Kennedy (UUP)
I have not yet had any formal discussions with the Irish Government about a joint bid for EU funding to improve cross-border rail services. I did discuss potential service improvements to the Belfast to Dublin Enterprise service with the Irish Transport Minister in the margins of the European transport council meeting in Brussels in December. I am keen to see what can be done on the line north of Dublin to ensure that the Enterprise can arrive in Dublin before 9.00 am on weekdays.
At the North/South Ministerial Council meeting in transport sectoral format on 20 April 2012, Minister Varadkar and I noted that the reliability and punctuality of the Enterprise service had improved significantly in recent months. I welcome the new station that has been constructed at Newry and the work that has started on the redevelopment of Portadown station. I look forward to measures that will be completed this year to improve locomotive reliability on the Enterprise service and to equip the trains with Wi-Fi.
As regards longer-term improvements, Minister Varadkar and I agreed that investment possibilities to upgrade the Belfast to Dublin railway line could be considered within the context of forthcoming EU decisions on the next TEN-T programme. We await the outcome of those decisions.