Passenger Numbers on Phase 1 of Western Rail Corridor in line with Iarnród Éireann forecasts
Press Release Thursday March 3rd 2011
The publication in two of today’s national newspapers of figures purporting to show that passenger numbers on Phase 1 of the Western Rail Corridor are lower than predicted has been challenged by the West on Track campaign.
In actual fact the figures for the line as a whole are in line with predictions made by IE last March. The following are the facts:
The business case prediction made almost 5 years ago was based on the following premise:
- 7 services per day in each direction between Galway and Limerick. Only 5 per day were granted i.e. 4 services less per day.
- A major commuter station sited in Oranmore. Construction is only beginning this summer on Oranmore station which is expected to be one of the busiest on the route.
- Continued growth in the economy. A major decline has been experienced in the economy since the original forecasts.
In addition, by quoting a figure for part of the line only, a completely erroneous impression is conveyed as the figure does not include passengers travelling on the new services outside of the Ennis-Athenry section. For example, since these services began last March, there has been a major increase in passengers travelling between Athenry and Galway. These passengers, among others, are not included in the numbers quoted, nor are passengers with passes e.g. OAPs and Social Welfare recipients.
Contrary to the impression conveyed in today’s reports Iarnród Éireann is confident that the line will continue to develop as evidenced by a number of further developments which will take effect in May. These include:
- Two new additional services per day, including a later evening commuter service ex-Galway, expected to generate a large number of new commuters from stations further south.
- Services to Dublin from the WRC with the introduction of connectivity for 3 trains in each direction.
- Commencement of construction of new stations at Oranmore and Crusheen
Although both Iarnród Éireann and West on Track made all of this information available to the journalist researching the story it did not appear in the versions printed.