Reopening of rail link not
November 21st 2003
By Declan Tierney
The re-opening of the Sligo to Limerick rail line, which
would take in Tuam, will cost a staggering Euro300 million
less than envisaged in a review which took place a number of
A meeting, involving top CIE officials, Government
representatives and those who are campaigning for the
reopening of the western rail corridor, heard that the
project would not be as expensive as originally thought.
Iarnrod Eireann who are opposed to the reopening of the
rail corridor on economic grounds, have agreed that the
capital costs would not be the euro600million suggested by a
strategic rail review during the summer - but half that
Cllr. Michael Connolly, Chairman of the Galway County
Development Board, said that the meeting came as a result of
the intervention of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on
Transport which he described as an encouraging move.
He said that a major case was being made for the
reopening of the western rail corridor and the fact that it
now emerged that it didn't cost as much as originally
thought, was a positive step.
"This Oireachtas committee is a highly influential
advisory group to the Government and their attention to this
issue represents a major advancement in the progress being
made to date" said Cllr Connolly.
He said that if the western rail corridor was opened it
could result in commuter rail travel in the greater Galway
area as well as bringing passengers from Tuam and Oranmore
into the city.
Cllr. Connolly said that both Galway County Council and
Galway City Council has established integrated transport
co-ordinating groups but their function was diluted if not
given powers by the Department of Transport.
Meanwhile, the Fianna Fail councillor said that he
regretted an Iarnrod Eireann decision to pass up an
opportunity to introduce an early morning Midlands to Galway
city train service.
Instead the company introduced another midday service
which would primarily suit Dublin passengers.
"We cannot claim to have a comprehensive rail service
when the first train arriving in Galway city is at 10.15am -
Iarnrod Eireann are simply not putting in the effort as far
as the West of Ireland is concerned.