Call for immediate continuation of Western Rail Corridor to Tuam and Claremorris
Press Release Thursday May 6th 2010
Railway can be built for the same cost as 250 metres of new underground DART
The next two sections of the Western Rail Corridor to Tuam and Claremorris can be built for the same cost as just 250 metres of the new underground DART, it has been revealed. Figures given by the Minister for Transport, Mr. Noel Dempsey show that the DART Underground is costing euro421m per mile. (7.6 km is 4.75 miles costing euro2,000m = euro421m per mile)
The DART at euro2,000m (2 billion) and the Metro euro4,000m (4 billion) are the two "main public transport priorities" for government Minister Dempsey told the Irish Times.
Commenting on the figures, a West on Track spokesman said:
“These figures are very interesting because at the same time Iarnród Éireann has announced that passenger demand on the first phase of the Western Rail Corridor, the new Galway-Limerick route, has exceeded all of the consultants’ expectations with over 30,000 through passengers in its first 28 days.
“In the light of these figures, we are now calling on the Government to authorize the immediate continuation of the project to Tuam and Claremorris in order to maximise its impact across the region. CSO and WDC figures have recently confirmed that commuter demand north of Galway is even higher than to the south.
The section to Tuam is scheduled for completion by the end of 2011 but will need to start this year in order to meet that target and to be in service in time for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2012, an event of enormous prestige and economic importance not only for the entire western region but for the whole country.
At a time of high unemployment in construction, the WRC offers a ready to go, labour intensive capital project, requiring no land acquisition, at a cost of less than euro2 million per mile.
It is understood that the Ennis-Athenry section of the WRC has come in well under budget at approximately euro70 million so the balance of the euro106 million allocated for Phase 1 can go a long way towards rebuilding to Tuam and Claremorris and connecting Galway to Ballina, Westport and Castlebar, as committed in Transport 21.
A glorious opportunity now exists to quickly build on the success of Phase 1. The next phases should now proceed without delay,” said the spokesman.