Opening Date for Rail Corridor
Irish Times, Feb 9th 2010
INTERCITY PASSENGER rail services are to recommence between Limerick and Galway for the first time in 30 years next month.
Iarnród Éireann yesterday confirmed that services on the euro106.5 million first phase of the Western Rail Corridor would be officially launched on March 30th.
The new service will provide five services each way from Monday to Saturday between the two cities and four services each way on a Sunday.
The restoration of services follows a long campaign by West on Track, and yesterday its spokesman, Colman Ó Raghallaigh, said: "We are very pleased with the news, but work on the second phase from Athenry to Tuam must start this year."
He said the estimated euro35 million spend on the 17-mile stretch of track from Athenry to Tuam represented "great value for money".
The Limerick to Galway service will serve stations at Ennis and Athenry, and new stations at Sixmilebridge, Gort, Ardrahan and Craughwell. It involves the renewal of 36 miles of track.
The new service will be just under two hours between Limerick and Galway. Yesterday a member of Clare County Council, Cllr Brian Meaney (Green Party), said: "The AA route planner gives a one hour and 27 minutes journey time between Limerick and Galway by road. Given that there are stops on the line, but I would hope that speeds will improve."
Mr Ó Raghallaigh said: "With the train service you are guaranteed that you will be in Limerick or Galway in under two hours, whereas by road you are at the mercy of the vagaries of traffic and may spend 45 minutes on the outskirts of Galway in traffic."
He added: "I would hope, however, that Irish Rail will improve their travel times on the route."