Railways in Northern England are a rare example of a country using state aid to make infrastructure investments.
But the region is facing a new, dire threat: the decline of its railway industry.
Last week the Northern Ireland Department of Transport (NIDOT) announced it would cut its operating budget by about 20% and the cost of its fleet of modern locomotives will fall by 70%.
The cuts are a blow to the region’s booming train industry, which employs hundreds of people and is vital to its economy.
The government says the rail industry, whose fortunes were boosted by the opening of the Belfast to the public in 2008, will be saved.
But, like many other countries across Europe, Northern Ireland has been forced to make painful cuts to its public services.
Many have seen their tax revenue fall by a third, while public spending has been slashed.
NIDOT has already warned that it will be difficult to provide services on time in the near future.
As well as the cuts, NIDOTS budget for public transport will also be cut by 10% next year.
The Northern Ireland government says that it has a “robust investment plan” in place to ensure it can maintain its rail industry and its infrastructure, including the Northern Line extension from Belfast to County Antrim.
But as the UK’s Northern powerhouse, the NIDots cuts could make the region more vulnerable to the downturn in global trade and financial markets.
And as we will see in a few months’ time, they are the main reason why many other European countries are experiencing similar financial difficulties.
The rail industry has been vital to the economy of Northern Ireland and it is the regions main mode of transport for people to work, study and live.
But its fortunes have been badly affected by a series of recent financial decisions.
In October 2008, the government agreed to a £1.2bn deal to open the Northern line, a project that will now see it open to the general public.
The deal was hailed as a major boost to the Northern economy, and the region was awarded a £500m public-private partnership (PPP) contract to construct the Northern Rail link.
But since that time, the region has seen its fortunes slump.
Last year the government cut its public transport budget by almost 40% and is expected to cut another 40% this year.
It has also cut the number of hours people can spend commuting on the Northern Railway from 24 hours a week to eight hours.
This year’s budget is expected also to see the cuts to the rail service.
And this month, the Northern Express train service between Belfast and County Antristown will be axed.
This is not only a blow for the region, but also for the wider UK economy.
It will mean that more people will be travelling on the train to and from work rather than using the local railway.
It is already a huge burden on local residents who cannot afford to pay for it, and this will only increase.
Northern Ireland’s transport problems are not limited to its rail infrastructure.
Last October, the UK Government agreed a £2bn agreement to open up Northern Ireland to the wider world.
The announcement was hailed by Northern Ireland as a huge step forward for the economy.
But this deal, which has been praised by international organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, has also led to significant financial problems for the state and its citizens.
In return for the Northern rail project, the British Government has pledged to provide financial support to the Republic.
However, this support has not yet been paid into the local economy and the economy is in deep trouble.
As we will soon see, this is the main cause of the economic crisis in Northern Europe.
The region has also been hit by a massive rise in house prices and a lack of investment in housing, as well as by a lacklustre economic recovery.
As the Northern Economy continues to experience rapid decline, many people are facing a bleak future.
The rise in property prices is the biggest driver for the economic woes in the region.
This has led to a sharp fall in household spending.
The situation is even worse for households with children, which are forced to borrow money to meet their basic needs.
The lack of job opportunities is also causing hardship for the elderly and those living in poverty.
The Government says it has saved £600m by closing down schools and hospitals and introducing tax credits for people who work in public service jobs.
But these measures have not brought back the lost jobs and incomes that have been lost in the financial crisis.
But they have brought back some of the jobs and income lost in recent years.
The collapse in Northern Irish GDP is also a major cause of a number of other problems.
As you may already know, the recession in the UK economy has hit the region hard.
Last September the Northern Irish economy shrank by almost 20% compared to the same period a year earlier.
This was largely due to a lack in