Londonderry-Belfast train barely quicker than in 1948

The journey time on the Londonderry to Belfast train has stayed almost the same for the past 67 years
The journey time on the Londonderry to Belfast train has stayed almost the same for the past 67 years

The train journey between Londonderry and Belfast is only slightly faster now than it was in the 1940s, the Transport Minister has confirmed.

In fact, in almost 70 years, just 14 minutes has been shaved from the journey times.

The Transport Minister, Danny Kennedy, made the shocking revelation in response to a query from East Londonderry MLA John Dallat, who is a member of Stormont’s transport committee.

Mr Dallat asked the minister to “detail the journey time by train between Derry and Belfast in 1955 and 2015”.

Mr Kennedy replied, however, to say that there are no timetables from 1955.

He said: “Translink has advised me that NI Railways do not have records of 1955 timetables. It does, however, have access to the 1948 and 1967 timetables.

“A direct comparison between those years and the present-day service is not possible as in both 1948 and 1967, Londonderry line trains terminated at, and started from, the old York Road station, whereas currently they terminate at and start from Great Victoria Street station and there are more intermediate stops on the current service.

“However, the equivalent running time for today’s train service from York Road station is two hours one minute, albeit with nine intermediate stops.

“This compares with 1948 when it was two hours 15 minutes, with only five intermediate stops, and two hours five minutes in 1967, with six intermediate stops.

“The current running time from Great Victoria Street station to Londonderry, with 12 intermediate stops, is two hours 15 minutes.”