NI RAILWAYS will launch an improved service on the Larne Line from Sunday, January 6.
Following the introduction of 20 new Class 4000 trains into passenger service, Translink NI Railways has announced that a new, enhanced rail timetable will be introduced.
The new trains, Translink has said, have already started to deliver significant improvements in service reliability and accessibility and as well as increasing the number of services offered by the rail company.
There will now be over 20 per cent of additional seating capacity across the network, doubling many busy commuter trains from three carriages to six carriages.
There will be a huge number of benefits to passengers resulting from the new timetable, however, the most significant of these will be on the Larne and Londonderry lines, where there will be more frequent services between Belfast and Whitehead and an hourly service between Belfast and Coleraine.
In conjunction with this, Translink has also made some adjustments to the Goldline Coach service numbers 218 and 219 from Coleraine/Ballymena to Belfast in order to operate and combined half hourly rail and coach service between Belfast and north Antrim.
From January 6, there will also be more services on the Bangor line calling at the new Titanic Quarter train station, serving the surrounding businesses and Belfast Metropolitan College.
Mal McGreevy, general manager for rail services, Translink said: “We have steadily been making investments into our rail network, rolling stock and infrastructure and this autumn we launched free passenger WIFI on trains and most Goldline coach services, as well as ‘Journey Check’, a real-time train information system for NI Railways passengers.
“This new timetable is the next phase of improvements to make our services even more flexible, attractive and easy for customers to use.”
He added: “The proof of success is in the steadily growing numbers of passenger now choosing the train as their preferred way to travel. In 2011/2012, a record 10.7 million people used the train, which is a 70 per cent increase over the last decade and we are on target to exceed 11 million passenger journeys this year.
“With these new enhancements together with our range of great value tickets we look forward to welcoming many more new customers onboard in 2013.”
Printed versions of the timetable are already available at stations. Passengers can access up to date timetable information by using Translink’s online journey planner at www.translink.co.uk and new timetables are also available on line Passengers can also call the contact centre on 02890 666630.