Economy Minister Diane Dodds has been asked to explore the potential benefits to Portadown, Craigavon and Lurgan of an upgrade of the Belfast to Dublin rail line to a high speed connection.
And Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has been asked to look at the possibility of building a rail halt in Central Craigavon.
The high speed connection between Belfast and Dublin is one of the many commitments mentioned in the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ document which all signed up to to get Stormont ‘back on track’ and which promises investment and improved infrastructure.
Now Upper Bann MLA John O’Dowd says the move should be used to improve economic opportunities for towns along the route such as Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown.
The Sinn Fein MLA said: “With an existing rail stop in Portadown for the Belfast to Dublin train there is huge potential for investment in this region.
“We should not be simply transporting people and business out of the area to Belfast and Dublin but rather bringing people and business into the area from Belfast and Dublin.
“With regular trains from Portadown to Lurgan both towns could and should benefit from a high speed rail link in the area.
“To further expand the economic potential, I have also asked the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to explore the potential for a rail stop in central Craigavon.
“I hope both Ministers explore my request seriously and recognise the huge economic potential of integrating our local towns into a high speed rail network between Belfast and Dublin.”