Rail lobbyists will push for more express trains

The Larne Town train station. INLT 31-431-PR

The Larne Town train station. INLT 31-431-PR

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LARNE Line Passenger Group has pledged to continue lobbying for additional express services between Larne and Belfast.

The campaigners – whose Use It Or Lose It petition recently persuaded Translink to maintain the level of service on the Larne-Whitehead in the hope that more people will be tempted to board new trains – were pleased to receive a letter of commendation from the company’s chief executive, Mal McGreevy.

“Mr McGreevy congratulated the work of LLPG and in particular the public meeting held in Larne on March 6. He confirms his willingness to continue working with the LLPG and in maximising the number of trains which can be run on the Larne Line in the next timetable,” revealed LLPG secretary Elena Aceves-Cully.

However, Mr McGreevy was non-committal on increasing express trains, adding that constraints including single-track sections of the network would make it difficult to achieve.

Mrs Aceves-Cully said: “On the whole, we find this letter very positive and we hope that our petition will have the effect that, in the short or longer term, a new express service will be introduced on the Larne Line. We will be intensifying the lobbying for the widening of Dargan Bridge and other bottlenecks.

“We are aware that widening works on the A8 (Belfast to Larne) are to start soon and we feel this will prove an invaluable opportunity for Translink to significantly increase its patronage on the Larne Line.

“We also look forward to working with Translink to improve passenger numbers and in particular attract more commuters to use the train.

“We look forward to continuing promotions and incentives on this line,” she added.