Longer passenger train enters service on the Northern Ireland rail network

Translink welcomed a new, longer train into passenger service on Wednesday as part of a £66million investment in Northern Ireland’s rail system.

he three new cars have been attached to an existing train and will allow passengers to walk the full length of the vehicle.

It also aims to increase the number of passengers that can be accommodated with 1,600 additional seats available each day.

The new train is the first of seven that will be converted to longer trains when the remaining carriages arrive.

The new cars are made by Spanish train builder Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and arrived in Belfast in March.

Translink said existing donor Class 4000 trains running on the network have also been refurbished, with improved air conditioning and USB charging points.

The introduction of the longer trains comes as work continues on a new £200million transport hub in Belfast at the Great Victoria Street site.

Chris Conway, chief executive of Translink, hopes the new trains will help support the climate by providing more incentive to use public transport.

“This exciting program heralds a new stage in the transformation of public transport here. Passengers will experience the latest standards in comfort, quality and accessibility with modern furnishings, in-seat USB chargers and improved air conditioning,” he said.

“With approximately 1,600 additional seats available each day, these new trains are also greener and more energy efficient.

“This investment will help inspire even more people to support NI’s low-carbon economy, protect the environment, and ensure a better, more inclusive, and resilient future for all.”

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said the new extended train will provide more capacity on some of Northern Ireland’s busiest routes.

“I believe rail has huge untapped potential to deliver multiple benefits across our island. It is therefore vital that we continue to invest in and upgrade our rail network as we strive to rebuild greener and more responsibly from Covid-19,” she added.

“I look forward to the delivery of the remaining cars over the next few months, which will bring further benefits to passengers and encourage more people to switch to public transport.”

Jose P. Rogers