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Iarnrod Eireann given the green light on the Western Rail Corridor

Press Release 5th October 2006 


Chairman of Galway County Development Board Cllr. Colm Keaveney has welcomed the formal announcement that Iarnrod Eireann are to immediately commence works on reconstruction of the Western Rail Corridor. In a phased approach, first outlined last year in Transport 21, the Government has approved funding for Iarnrod Eireann to proceed with the development of the 35 mile Ennis to Athenry section, as well as funding for the development of the second 17 mile long section between Athenry and Tuam.

Cllr Keaveney said that he was confident that Iarnrod Eireann would now expedite the works and introduce new commuter and inter-regional services well ahead of the schedule outlined in Transport 21.

" This is a project which the City and County Development Boards from Donegal to Cork identified as critical to the social and Economic Development of the country in our Strategies adopted four years ago and we have worked relentlessly with the local authorities, communities, regional agencies and statutory bodies to secure Governments support since then.  The approval of works is a primary example of the success that can be achieved with an integrated approach." Cllr. Keaveney urged  the Department of Transport to now formally request Iarnrod Eireann  to  submit the business case to Government for the remaining 16 mile section between Tuam and Claremorris so as to programme  completion  of a most valuable passenger and freight  link between Mayo -Galway- Clare-Limerick - Waterford and Cork.

Speaking on the occasion of the announcement in Athenry on 26th September Mayor of County Galway and member of the Galway County Development Board Cllr. Michael Mullins congratulated Iarnrod Eireann for their skillfull and professional approach towards the reconstruction of the nations railway network in recent years He said he was delighted that such expertise led by staff members from the West of Ireland on works throughout the country  is  now to be directed at such a major infrastructural project in the West.

"I look forward to an ongoing close working relationship between Galway County Council and Iarnrod Eireann during this construction programme which will double the milage of railways in the County and lead to the development of 7 new railway stations and a range of new commuter and inter-city services. It is an historic occasion and the first committment to the revival of an inter-regional railway in the history of the state."

The Director of Galway County Development Board Mr. Frank Dawson represented City and County Development Boards on the Expert Working Group established by the Minister for Transport to assess the potential costs and benefits of the Western Rail Corridor.

Galway County Development Board and its members, which includes  the Community and Voluntary Forum will work closely with Iarnrod Eireann to ensure that this major committment to public transport will be a resounding commercial success.








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