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West=On=Track - News

Day of Significant Progress on WRC Welcomed by West on Track

Press Release
Friday April 23rd 2004

Following a day of significant progress on the future of the Western Rail Corridor, the West on Track Community Campaign has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Transport Mr. Séamus Brennan T.D. that a Chairman has been selected for the Working Group on the re-opening of the WRC and that his name and those of the other members will be announced next week. It is understood that the first meeting of the Working Group will take place in the West shortly afterwards.

Speaking at the Iompair Conference on Transport in the Western Region, in Clarenbridge, Co. Galway, on Friday, Mr. Brennan also announced that he would be specifically instructing the Working Group to look at the Tuam-Athenry section of the WRC as the possible first section of the corridor to be re-opened.

In addition Mr. Brennan announced that the Department of Transport would fund the re-opening of Oranmore station and the double-tracking of that section into Galway city, as recommended in the West on Track Report published in January.

Later, Minister Eámon Ó Cuív told the conference that it was imperative that both the NRA and Iarnród Éireann recognise their obligation to comply with Government policy on balanced regional development and that the serious imbalance in infrastructure needed to be addressed.

Speaking at the same conference Mr. Dick Fearn, Chief Operating Officer of Iarnród Éireann, welcomed the establishment of the Working Group and stated that IÉ would be pleased to respond positively to whatever the Government asked them to do, and referred to the significant potential of the Ennis-Athenry section of the WRC. Later, accompanied by representatives of West on Track and Iarnród Éireann management from Galway, Mr Fearn visited four stations on the WRC: Craughwell, Athenry, Ballyglunin and Tuam, where he had tea in the Railway Station restaurant. Mr. Fearn will be visiting other stations on the WRC, including Claremorris and Kiltimagh, in the coming weeks.

A spokeswoman for West on Track stated that it had been a day "of very great significance for the WRC" and reiterated that West on Track was looking forward to participating in the Working Group on the understanding that its agenda would be fully consistent with the re-opening of the entire Western Rail corridor in stages.








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