Enterprise upgrade and new buses

Group Chief Executive's Weekly Message

" Last year there were almost 840,000 journeys on the Enterprise - this refurbishment will attract even more customers"
14th November 2014

Work has started on the £12m refurbishment programme of the Enterprise train sets. To facilitate the work, the timetable and service will change from this Sunday, 16th November. The refurbishment represents the first major upgrade of the Enterprise rolling stock since it was introduced in 1997 and when finished passengers will enjoy a completely new modern and attractive interior, new livery and electronic passenger reservation and information systems. A mechanical systems overhaul is also being carried out as part of the works.

We will be carrying out work on the train carriages on a 'rolling' basis which will require the substitution of an Enterprise train with an Irish Rail 'Rotem' train until project completion. Our colleagues in Irish Rail will also be carrying out major engineering works on the Enterprise Locomotives as part of this project. This work is due to be complete by Autumn 2015 and has been financed through the European Union's INTERREG IVA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) with support from the Department for Regional Development. Last year (2013/14) there were almost 840,000 journeys on the Enterprise - this refurbishment will attract even more customers.

Meanwhile on the roads, 37 new buses have been purchased as part of a £5 million investment in our fleet. The buses, which include 10 new Metro single deck buses and 27 Metro & Ulsterbus midi buses will replace fleet used for Lisburn City Services and Coleraine Town Services. The remainder will be based in locations across Northern Ireland including Londonderry, Newtownabbey and Larne.

It is important we continue to invest in our fleet. We want to keep giving our customers a modern, attractive and comfortable choice - new vehicles are smoother, quieter, more fuel efficient and more environmentally-friendly. In fact, these new buses are amongst the first vehicles in Northern Ireland to meet the latest Euro VI emission standards driven by the European Commission making them some of the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly in the region.

Lastly, you may have seen coverage of the recent statement by the Minister for Regional Development in relation to 'Phase 2' of the work to relay the rail line between Coleraine and Londonderry. This week I attended the Committee for Regional Development to give some background. I reiterated our commitment to the Derry rail line – we want to see it fully relayed and modernised. We successfully completed the first phase of the relay on time and on budget and many thousands more passengers are travelling on the line. It is a real success story and our priority is to deliver an hourly train service.

David Strahan

Group Chief Executive