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West=On=Track - News

Section of West rail link to get green light

Western People - 16th February 2005

THE report of the working group into the reopening of the Western Rail Corridor, due to be given to government in the next few weeks, will recommend the reopening of the section of the line between Charlestown and Athenry, the Western People has learned.

The reopening of the section will be the first step in a process to connect Sligo to Ennis. Already the Ennis-Limerick section has been reopened and has been an outstanding success with over 125,000 passengers in its first year.

The campaign for the opening of the corridor received two major boosts with the decision by the West Regional Authority to include the reopening of the link between Charlestown and Athenry as part of their strategic planning guidelines for the region. And, in a separate development, a team of independent rail experts, have produced a set of figures for re-opening the line from Sligo to Ennis at a cost of about 300m. This compares favourably with the estimate produced by the West on Track campaign and in considerably less than the 572 million in the Booz, Allen, Hamilton report.

Mr Colmán O'Raghallaigh, of the West of Track campaign said yesterday he was not in a position to confirm that any recommendation was to be made to reopen a section of the line. However he accepted that "the report of the working group will be positive."

He welcomed the recent moves to build a rail link between Dunboyne and Dublin. "That is positive as far as we are concerned as it underpins our argument that rail travel is the way of the future.

"I agree that the people of Dunboyne may be fortunate to get a train service without having to undertake the campaign that people in the west had to take but we don‚t begrudge them their good fortune."








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