FOLLOWING the introduction of 20 new Class 4000 trains into passenger service, Translink NI Railways has announced that a new, enhanced rail timetable will be introduced on January 6.
The new trains have already started to deliver significant improvements in service reliability and accessibility and as well as increasing the number of services offered by Translink, there will now be over 20% of additional seating capacity across the network, doubling many busy commuter trains from three carriages to six carriages.
There will be a huge number of benefits to passengers resulting from the new timetable; however the most significant of these will be on the Londonderry and Larne lines, where there will be an hourly service between Belfast and Coleraine and more frequent services between Belfast and Whitehead.
In conjunction with these changes to the rail timetable, Translink has also made some adjustments to Goldline Coach services 218 and 219 from Coleraine/Ballymena to Belfast in order to operate a combined half hourly rail and coach service between Belfast and North Antrim.
The new train timetable will also deliver an hourly frequency between Portrush and Coleraine with onward connections available to Belfast.
From January 6, there will also be more services on the Bangor line calling at the new Titanic Quarter train station, serving the surrounding businesses and Belfast Metropolitan College.
Mal McGreevy, General Manager Rail Services with Translink, said: “ We have steadily been making investments into our rail network, rolling stock and infrastructure and this autumn we launched free passenger WIFI on trains and most Goldline coach services, as well as ‘Journey Check’, a real-time train information system for NI Railways passengers.
“This new timetable is the next phase of improvements to make our services even more flexible, attractive and easy for customers to use.
“The proof of success is in the steadily growing numbers of passenger now choosing the train as their preferred way to travel. In 2011/2012, a record 10.7 million people used the train, which is a 70% increase over the last decade and we are on target to exceed 11 million passenger journeys this year.
“With these new enhancements together with our range of great value tickets we look forward to welcoming many more new customers onboard in 2013.”
Passengers can access up to date timetable information by using Translink’s online journey planner at www.translink.co.uk and new timetables are also available on line Passengers can also call the contact centre on 02890 666630.
Printed timetables are also available from stations.