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Dickson Looks Forward to a Cross-Border Study on Decarbonising the Rail Network

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has written to the Minister for Infrastructure asking whether any studies have ever been completed to electrify any part of the Northern Ireland Rail Network.

The Minister for Infrastructure replied saying she has great ambitions for the NI rail network and is keen to do all she can to explore how rail improvements can be enhanced. However, a comprehensive study on the electrification of the railway has not yet been completed.

Mr Dickson said: “Our rail network deserves a little more attention from the Department for Infrastructure, especially as stay-at-home messaging lifts, and travel restrictions slacken. We have a golden opportunity to rethink a lot of our old ways, and to build back better and greener after the worst of the pandemic.

“The Alliance Party has recently published our Green New Deal which provides a roadmap for how this can be achieved. We also brought a successful motion to the Assembly on Monday 24 May emphasising the opportunity for Northern Ireland to be at the cutting edge of the green economy, with the thousands of jobs, and better quality of life this will bring.”

Mr Dickson concluded by saying: “Whilst no electrification studies have been completed in Northern Ireland to date, I am encouraged by the Minister’s response that the All Island Strategic Rail Review is likely to examine all of these issues.”

The cross-border review will consider the feasibility of a high speed rail link between Derry/Londonderry, Belfast, Dublin and Cork, and focus on the different options for decarbonising the network.

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