Translink invests £60m in expanding NI train capacity

  • Translink has announced that it's received the first of 21 new train carriages that will increase NI train capacity as part of a major new investment.

    The transport sector ground to a halt last year when the first coronavirus lockdown was announced, with work commutes suspended across the board and the holiday season effectively cancelled. Things are expected to improve throughout the rest of this year as Northern Ireland continues to vaccinate its population and open up again.

    Translink is getting ready for the incoming surge of activity with an investment of £60m in Northern Ireland's train system from the Department for Infrastructure. The investment is being used to not only improve train depot infrastructure but also to add new carriages to increase capacity, and to refurbish existing trains.

    RELATED: Regular COVID-19 testing launched for Translink staff

    The first three of a total of 21 new carriages have now been delivered. These carriages will be used to convert seven three-car trains into full six-car sets. Following refurbishment and testing, the new trains will enter service this autumn, which is roughly when the post-pandemic surge in travel is expected.

    The investment comes at an opportune time, as Translink was in funding crisis this time last year. The Department for Infrastructure's latest annual report concluded that the annual shortfall in Translink's budget was placing its services at risk of failure, and Translink had burned through its reserve cash.

    RELATED: Translink's funding crisis could decimate NI public transport

    Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon commented: "I believe that rail has huge untapped potential to deliver multiple benefits across our island. It is therefore vital that we continue to invest in and modernise our rail network as we work to build back greener and more responsibly from Covid-19."

    "This significant investment of over £60million by my Department in new rail carriages and depot infrastructure will ensure we can offer attractive rail travel for future generations, encourage more people to use public transport and in doing so tackle the climate crisis."

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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