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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Translink and Iarnród Éireann welcome €165 million to enhance cross border rail services

Cross border enterprise train Belfast dublin

Translink and Iarnród Éireann have welcomed €165 million in funding from The Special EU Programme Body, PEACEPLUS Programme to support a major transformation of their joint venture, cross-border Enterprise train service operating between Belfast and Dublin.


Under The Fleet Replacement Programme, the entire Enterprise fleet will be replaced with brand new trains by the end of this decade. Existing four train sets will be replaced with eight new, modern and sustainable train sets reducing journey time between the cities to under two hours, improving accessibility and passenger experience.


Designed to evolve as both jurisdictions move towards a fully electrified cross-border rail corridor over the coming decades, the new trains will support goals of net zero carbon emissions.


This follows the recent announcement from the Irish government of €25 million in funding to provide for an hourly Enterprise train service under the Shared Island Initiative which is set for launch later this year. 

Translink staff


Chris Conway, CEO, Translink said:


“The flagship Enterprise service represents a tremendous opportunity for growth. Approximately 3.3 million people live within a 40-mile commute distance from the Belfast – Dublin railway corridor. This is projected to grow to over 4 million by 2030 and represents around half of the island’s population.


“Development of the Enterprise service is key to building competitiveness and in the creation of close links and communications between the people and communities living and working in and between the two main cities on the corridor. We hope that this encourages more people to leave their cars at home and use public transport.”


Jim Meade CEO Iarnród Éireann, said:


Iarnród Éireann and Translink are hugely ambitious to grow and develop the Enterprise service.  That ambition is now supported by this significant investment from SEUPB to help deliver a transformative new fleet. This will enable more people than ever to travel sustainably along the Enterprise route and contribute to our economy, society and environment.”


The Enterprise train service which has provided a vital public transport link along the Belfast - Dublin economic corridor, facilitating cross-border mobility between cities, towns, people and businesses for more than 75 years, recorded record passenger journeys of over 1 million in 2022.


This €165m investment in cross-border rail services aligns closely to a key ambition of the PEACEPLUS Programme to support a sustainable and better-connected future. 


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