Call for high speed rail link upgrade and new halt in Craigavon

Portadown train station
Portadown train station

Calls for a high speed rail link between Portadown and Belfast and Dublin - as well as a satellite link to Craigavon have been made.

Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd MLA has asked the Minister of the Economy to explore the potential benefits of an upgrade of the rail line to a high speed connection.

He has also asked the Infrastructure Minister to explore building a rail halt in Central Craigavon.

Mr O’Dowd said: “I have asked the Minister of the Economy, Diane Dodds, if she will undertake to explore how the proposed high speed rail link between Belfast and Dublin mentioned in the ‘New Decade New Approach’ document could be used to improve economic opportunities for towns along the route such as Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown.

“The “New Decade New Approach” document published by the two governments led to the restoration of the Assembly with commitments from both Governments - including investment in infrastructure.

“With an existing rail stop in Portadown for the Belfast to Dublin train there is huge potential for investment in this region.

“We should not be simply transporting people and business out of the area to Belfast and Dublin but rather bringing people and business into the area form Belfast and Dublin.

“With regular trains from Portadown to Lurgan both towns could and should benefit from a high speed rail link in the area.

“To further expand the economic potential, I have also asked the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to explore the potential for a rail stop in central Craigavon.

Mr O’Dowd said: “ I hope both Ministers explore my request seriously and recognise the huge economic potential of integrating our local towns into a high speed rail network between Belfast and Dublin.”