• The slow speed and limited frequency of rail services between Derry and Belfast
were amongst the issues highlighted in the 2021 Union Connectivity Review.
• The end-to-end journey time from Derry-Belfast by train is 2hrs 12mins. This is
significantly slower than by road
Derry also has the most isolated train station on the Northern Ireland Rail network and the second-most isolated on the island.
Frequency & Capacity
• The 34 miles of track west of Coleraine are single-width, with only one location where trains can pass each other (at Bellarena station).
• This severely limits capacity & frequency of service to/from Derry and the two other stations in the west.
• In contrast, the line east of Coleraine has passing loops approximately every 8-10 miles, so does not face these limitations. That section of the line is therefore enabled to have a rush-hour frequency of one train every 30mins from Belfast between 4-6pm on weekdays. These services can only travel as far as Coleraine, however, as they cannot be accommodated west of there.