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Northern Ireland Railways

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans Northern Ireland Railways has to use the locomotive hauled refurbished Gatwick carriages to provide an enhanced inter-city service between Belfast and Londonderry. (93291)

Northern Ireland Railways has no plans to use the locomotive hauled refurbished Gatwick carriages to provide an enhanced inter-city service between Belfast and Londonderry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the age is of the non-C3k Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) stock which is in regular use on NIR services. (93292)

Translink state that the age of the non-C3k NIR rolling stock which is in use on NIR services is:

Nine Class 450 units—between 19 and 21-years-old.

Six MKII coaches (Gatwick)—33-years-old.

Three Class 80 trains—between 28 and 32-years-old.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the planned budget is for (a) Northern Ireland Railways, (b) Ulsterbus, (c) Metro Services, (d) Road Infrastructure (capital) and (e) Road Infrastructure (maintenance) for 2007-08. (93295)

The planned indicative budget for Northern Ireland Railways, Translink bus services, Road Infrastructure (capital) and Road Infrastructure (maintenance) for 2007-08 is shown in the table.

Planned indicative budget (£ million)

Northern Ireland Railways

64.0

Translink Bus Services

52.7

Road Infrastructure (capital)

99.4

Road Infrastructure (maintenance)

84.2

The allocation of the bus services budget between Ulsterbus and Metro will not be determined until adoption of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company's Corporate Plan in March 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions Northern Ireland Railways has had with the relevant port authorities on the provision of rail access for freight to the ports at (a) Belfast, (b) Larne and (c) Lishally, Londonderry. (93296)

NIR has had no discussions with the relevant port authorities on the provision of rail access for freight to ports at Belfast, Larne and Lishally, Londonderry.

Rail freight is uncompetitive for short journeys and for this reason rail freight operations ceased in Northern Ireland in 2004. No case has been made to revive it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what tonnage of freight was carried on Northern Ireland Railways in 2005. (93324)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many weekday services on the Belfast to Larne rail route in the last (a) three and (b) six months have been provided by the new C3k trains. (93293)

Translink state that on the Belfast to Larne railway line new C3k trains operated 26 services in the last three months and 59 services in the last six months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average journey time is for trains travelling between Belfast and Londonderry; and what it was (a) five and (b) 10 years ago. (93294)

Translink state that the current average journey time for trains between Belfast and Londonderry is 126 minutes. In 2001 it was 121 minutes, and in 1996 it was 153 minutes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many new railway routes are planned to be opened in Northern Ireland in the next 10 years. (93323)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much will be allocated in 2007-08 for spending on the Northern Ireland rail network. (93325)

The indicative budget allocation of direct support for the Northern Ireland rail network in the financial year 2007-08 is £64 million.