March 11, 2010

First Belfast-Dublin rail seminar

A first North-South seminar to discuss the Belfast-Dublin rail line and the Enterprise service between Ireland’s two main cities was organised by the Centre in Belfast’s Hilton Hotel on 11 March. Around 25 people (most of them regular users of the line) attended from a range of organisations including the North South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat, the IBEC-CBI Joint Business Council, InterTradeIreland, Rail Users Ireland, Ulster Bank, NI Equality Authority and University of Ulster, as well as  the operating companies, Translink and Irish Rail. The speaker was Reg McCabe, Chief Executive of the IBEC-CBI Joint Business Council. There was a wide-ranging discussion about the line’s problems and shortcomings, and agreement that a second seminar (to be held in Dublin on 27 May) should focus on how the line might be developed and improved in the future.  The aim of these seminars is to draw up a short memo of proposals for improving the service which could be submitted to the Ministers responsible for transport at a forthcoming sectoral meeting of the North South Ministerial Council.