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Rising Anger in West over ongoing Campaign to Sabotage Western Rail Corridor

Press Release - Oct 4th 2008 

As the first phase of the re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor nears completion (see attached photographs and footnote), there is rising anger in the West this weekend at what appears to be a carefully orchestrated negative publicity campaign being conducted through the media in an attempt to prevent the project from proceeding any further.

western rail corridor october 2008

A spokesman for West on Track said:

"This insidious campaign, coming from entirely outside of this region, has been under way since early this summer and has recently been renewed in the run-in to the budget. As we have previously pointed out, the campaign is being systematically conducted through articles in national and local newspapers and appearances by Dublin-based economists, "commentators" and former politicians on high-profile radio programmes and chat shows."

west on track october 2008

"While cloaking their real agenda under the cover of concerned commentary about the state of the national finances, these people are systematically disseminating disinformation and untruths about the WRC in an attempt to pressurise the Government into halting the remaining phases of the project as outlined in Transport 21."

"A typical example is the lumping together of the Western Rail Corridor (WRC), an existing piece of national infrastructure, with the proposed Metro North as if the two bear any resemblance to each other. The former, as outlined in Transport 21, and currently under construction, will deliver 76 miles of national primary railway infrastructure, including stations and signalling for just over euro200m while the proposed Metro is variously estimated at somewhere between 3,000 and 6,000 million Euro.

wrc - west of ireland

"These so-called "expert" commentators are wheeled out to create the impression that the WRC is a hugely expensive project on a par with the Metro, when mile for mile, it is almost certainly the best value for money in the entire Transport 21 portfolio, representing less than 0.5% of the expenditure planned under Transport 21."

"The question that people in the West are asking this weekend is, "Who is behind this insidious and profoundly undemocratic attempt to sabotage the ongoing development of the Western Rail Corridor? Who is briefing these people to attack the only significant public transport project given to the West of Ireland with their wildly inaccurate statements and generalisations, while at the same time a growing oil crisis points to the urgent necessity of developing just such public transport alternatives?"

"The Government of Ireland is to be commended for taking a NATIONAL view of the development of infrastructure and looking to the future in terms of planning for the WHOLE country. In spite of this sordid campaign of disinformation, we remain absolutely confident that it will proceed with the project which is now well ahead of schedule, that it will prove all the cynics wrong and that these insidious attempts to sabotage it will fail."


As part of Transport 21 the section of the Western Rail Corridor from Ennis to Claremorris is currently being rebuilt with the first phase, linking Galway and Limerick, the 3rd and 4th largest cities of the state, scheduled to become operational in April of next year. The cost which includes upgrades to the existing InterCity railway between Athenry and Galway City is euro106m. The shorter sections to Tuam and Claremorris will then be completed as outlined in the programme for Government at a similar cost, far from the euro350m figure quoted by "experts" from Dublin.








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