western rail corridor
rail links




West=On=Track - News

Ahern support for euro360m rail link to West

The Mayo News - 9th March 2005

There has been a warm welcome throughout Mayo for the Taoiseach's stated support for the development of the Western Rail Corridor, 26 years after it was first mooted.

Mr Ahern told the Dáil that "as much as we can, it makes sense to support and engage in what is viable, based on expert advice".

And then, significantly, he added "The finances for it are already with the Department (of Transport) and, from representations we have received, I know it will be part of the ten-year rail plan. Therefore, provision has already been made for it".

The full restoration of the line, from Collooney to Ennis, is expected to cost in the region of euro360 million if proceeded with. If the Government decides to go ahead with it, it may well happen in two phases.

Final Government approval will depend on a report prepared by an expert group, set up by former Transport Minister, Mr Séamus Brennan, to consider the viability of the project.

The chairman of the group is Mr Pat McCann, CEO of the Jurys Doyle Hotel Group and former manager of the Westport Ryan Hotel, now the Westport Woods.

Although the group's report will not be presented to current Minister for Transport, Mr Martin Cullen, until April, there is cautious optimism among the promoters of the project that it will recommend going ahead with it. The report will examine the full rail-linking of twelve to fifteen towns between Sligo and Ennis.

Fine Gael leader, Mayo TD, Enda Kenny, called on the Taoiseach to support the opening of the line from Sligo southwards and said engineers believed it could be completed within two years.

Sociologist Fr Micheál MacGréil, SJ, who has been a Western Rail Corridor campaigner for the past twenty-six years as secretary of the Western Inter-county Rail Committee, said the Taoiseach's statement represented a red-letter day for the West of Ireland and Mayo in particular.

"I am delighted with the Taoiseach's support and there's no going back now. I want to pay tribute to the County Councillors of the west region who never lost faith in the project and, especially to the founding chairman of the inter-county rail committee, former Mayo County Councillor, Martin J O'Toole."

Mr Martin J O'Toole, said he was delighted to have spearheaded a campaign that spanned a quarter of a century and he particularly welcomed the Taoiseach's unequivocal endorsement of the project, a view also expressed by the current chairman of the inter-county rail committee, Councillor Michael McGreal of Roscommon.

Claremorris-based Colman O'Raghallaigh of the West on Track Committee said he gave 'an unqualified welcome' to the Taoiseach's words of support for the project. While the report of the expert group had yet to go to Government, he remained hopeful that it would give a positive endorsement to the project.

Mayo County Council Chairman, Cllr Eddie Staunton, said everybody in Mayo would be thrilled if the green light was given to the project.

"I am also very proud of the fact that my own party, led by Mayo TD Enda Kenny, has supported the Western Rail Corridor project from day one," he said.

Deputy Beverley Flynn said she was confident the project would be given the green light at national level. The case for the re-opening of the line was irrefutable.








| Maps | About WOT | Latest News | Archive | History | Links |
| Photo Gallery| Burma Road Gallery 1981|
| Inspection of the Western Rail Corridor
Visit Our YouTube Channel
WOT facebook

Further Information Email rail @ westontrack.com

Website sponsored by Mayo Ireland Ltd

Visit the Mayo Ireland website for up to date information on County Mayo.