Londonderry's old Waterside railway station bought by Translink

The old Waterside train station was originally built in the 1800s Image copyright Google
Image caption The old Waterside train station was originally built in the 1800s

Multi-million pound plans to redevelop Londonderry's old Waterside railway station have been boosted after the site was bought by Translink.

The Infrastructure Minister has also asked for an hourly train service to be introduced to Belfast by 2017.

The station was identified as the preferred site for a £26m transport hub after a public consultation.

It includes plans for park-and-ride facilities and improved public transport to the city centre.

Chris Hazzard has hailed the announcement as a "milestone".

"Investing in public transport is vital if we want to grow the economy, attract tourism, support local communities and reduce congestion on our roads," he said.

Image copyright Dept of Infrastructure
Image caption Martin McGuinness was present when the plans were unveiled last year

"The upgrade of the Coleraine to Derry railway line is substantially completed and today's announcement is another welcome boost for public transport in the area."

"This is an important milestone for this ambitious project which will consist of new train terminus accommodation, an enhanced park and ride scheme with approximately 100 spaces and additional facilities to promote sustainable and active travel options in the region."

The project, which involves Translink and Derry City and Strabane District Council, is currently at the design and planning stage.

Image caption The railway network in the area has received significant investment in recent years

Translink Chief Executive Chris Conway called it an exciting development.

"This major project, along with our recent progress on the Derry railway line upgrade and continued investment in new bus and coach fleet, demonstrate our ongoing commitment to transforming local public transport infrastructure," he said.

Work is due to begin at the old Waterside railway station site in about 18 months. It is hoped the project will be completed by 2020.

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