Ballina freight movement
to resume within two months
Western People - Wednesday
8th February 2006
FREIGHT traffic from Ballina is set to re-commence in
mid-April of this year, Dr Jerry Cowley, T.D. has been
advised by the Transport Minister Mr Martin Cullen.
Dr Cowley had raised the issue of freight movements from
Ballina in the Dáil on a number of occasions
following the withdrawal of the service in mid-2005.
He had been assured that the service was to resume under
new management in August last year and again in
He asked the Minister to state his own view on whether or
not the continued use of the rail line for freight services
was an essential element of the transport infrastructure for
Mr Cullen said he had been informed by Iarnród
Éireann that it was in negotiations with a shipping
company about the transport of full container trains between
Ballina and Waterford Port and subject to clarification on a
number of outstanding issues, the service was due to
commence in mid-April.
"It is my policy that Iarnród Éireann
should remain in the rail freight business. I am aware that
it has made great strides in restructuring this element of
its operations. To help to achieve the goal of returning the
freight business to profitability, Iarnród
Éireann withdrew from loss-making single container
movements on common user liner trains between Dublin and
provincial railheads on 29 July last year," he said.
He added that Iarnród Éireann remained keen
to provide economically viable container transport by rail
on the basis of full trainloads, point-to-point and
continued to pursue a policy of growing its rail freight
business where opportunities present.
Dr Cowley said he welcomed the news that the service
would re-start in April. However he would await developments
and was wary of any commitment by the Minister in view of
the failure on two occasions last year to re-commence the