Rail Transport in Ireland - Northern Ireland Routes - G

Rail Transport in Ireland - G

Northern Ireland Routes

Services in Northern Ireland are sparse in comparison to the Republic or other countries. A large railway network was severely curtailed in the 1950s and 1960s (in particular by the Ulster Transport Authority). Routes now include suburban services to Larne, Newry and Bangor, as well as services to Derry. There is also a branch from Coleraine to Portrush. On Northern Ireland Railways distances are quoted in miles and metres.

Belfast Suburban

Three suburban routes run on 20-minute frequencies in and out of Belfast Great Victoria Street railway station, these routes then pass through Belfast Central railway station before continuing onto destinations at Bangor, Derry, Larne and Newry.

  • Belfast to Derry

Ireland Stations Served On This Line Are:

  • Great Victoria Street
  • City Hospital
  • Botanic
  • Belfast Lanyon Place
  • Yorkgate (partial service)
  • Whiteabbey (partial service)
  • Mossley West
  • Antrim
  • Ballymena
  • Cullybackey
  • Ballymoney
  • Coleraine
  • Castlerock
  • Bellarena
  • Londonderry

The service to Derry has suffered from a lack of funding over recent decades. The existing line is not continuously welded and has speed restrictions in parts. For some time the threat of closure hung over this route but a funding package of £20 million was confirmed in December 2005. The same month saw the introduction of the new CAF railcars on the line and despite the fact that the service remained slower than the Derry-Belfast Ulsterbus service, the improvements saw a rise in passenger numbers to over 1 million per annum.

However, these in 2007 when it was revealed that the £20 million earmarked had not been spent while there had been a £20 million overspend on the Belfast-Bangor line, and the "Into the West" rail lobby group had proposed extending the line cross border into County Donegal to Letterkenny and then on to Sligo, thus releasing EU funding.

Today the department has partly completed a plan in place for Regional Development, for relaying of the track between Derry and Coleraine by 2013, which includes a passing loop, and the introduction of two new train sets. The £86 million plan is expected to reduce the journey time between Belfast and Derry by 30 minutes and allow commuter trains to arrive in Derry before 0900 for the first time.

  • Coleraine to Portrush

Ireland Stations Served On This Line Are:

  • Coleraine
  • University
  • Dhu Varren
  • Portrush


  • Belfast to Larne Harbour

Ireland Stations Served On This Line Are:

  • Belfast Great Victoria Street
  • City Hospital
  • Botanic
  • Belfast Lanyon Place
  • Yorkgate
  • Whiteabbey
  • Jordanstown
  • Greenisland
  • Trooperslane
  • Clipperstown
  • Carrickfergus
  • Downshire
  • Whitehead
  • Ballycarry
  • Magheramorne
  • Glynn
  • Larne Town
  • Larne Harbour

Rail Transport in Ireland Operation

Ireland Major Operators: Iarnród Éireann & NIR
Ireland Ridership: 50 million (Republic of Ireland, 2019)
15 million (Northern Ireland, 2017)

Ireland System Length:
Ireland Total: 2,733 km (1,698 mi)
Ireland Electrified: 53 km (33 mi)
Ireland Freight Only: 362 km (225 mi)
Ireland Track Gauge:
Ireland Main: 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Ireland Electrification:
1500 V DC   DART in Dublin

Ireland No. Stations: 147


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