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Support West=on=Track reopening of from Sligo-Galway-Limerick railway line

  • 25-12-2003 10:01pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 18 ✭✭✭ ruchna


    Press release from West=on=track



    Western Rail Corridor Re-Open

    Corridor is key element of balanced development

    Fine Gael Transport spokesperson Denis Naughten TD today (Monday) called on the Government to re-open the Western Rail Corridor because it is essential for balanced regional development and the National Spatial Strategy.

    Speaking in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, Deputy Naughten said 'getting this Line re-opened in the immediate future is a priority for Fine Gael in Government, and in the interim we intend to pursue Transport Minister Seamus Brennan on this key infrastructural development'.

    Deputy Naughten was visiting a section of the Western Rail Corridor with Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny TD and Mayo Senator Jim Higgins.

    "The EU's recent announcement that it wants to prioritise a 'Motorway of the Sea' in order to increase maritime freight traffic between the Irish Sea and the Iberian Peninsula strengthens the case for supporting rail freight and reopening the Western Rail Corridor.

    "The Western Rail Corridor has the potential to connect the cities, towns and many rural communities along its route to international markets by using ports such as Rosslare and Waterford, in line with the EU proposal. These ports are currently serviced by substandard roads.

    "If the Western Rail Corridor was up and running, job creation and population growth in rural areas would be much more feasible. The existing line could be re-opened relatively easily if the Government took the initiative and entered into a Public Private Partnership to develop commuter services for towns and cities along the route. It is then quite feasible to introduce other services along the rest of the corridor.

    "This would be a cost-effective investment because thousands of miles of rail are currently lying unused around the country. Instead of being allowed to rust away, this rail could be used to reopen the Western Rail Corridor. Much of the jointed rail left behind after upgrading the Intercity lines could be laid on the Western Rail Corridor, thereby upgrading the line at a fraction of the current proposed cost.

    "In tandem, Iarnrod Éireann could introduce an efficient rail service along the length of the line by leasing rail carriages (such as diesel multiple units) rather than purchasing them, in order to provide Intercity and commuter services.

    "The Government should also immediately prioritise rail investment to the ports of Rosslare, Waterford and Foynes, as well as providing a subvention for rail freight.

    "Fine Gael also believes that the development of key infrastructure like the Western Rail Corridor should not have to depend on having an existing population along the route. Instead, the Western Rail Corridor would do a great deal to improve balanced regional development by improving access between rural areas, towns and cities along the Western Seaboard. If the rail system was properly managed, it would boost economic growth in rural Ireland, and help alleviate the pressures on our capital.

    "The Western Rail Corridor should be used to stimulate development in this area, rather than follow development into the area. But the typical Government response is to wait until development nodes and growth areas along the Western Corridor have become established before it will even consider the rail link.

    "If Transport Minister Seamus Brennan is serious about decentralisation and balanced regional development as outlined in the Spatial Strategy, he must kick-start the process by providing the investment.

    "The key steps, which must be immediately taken by the Minister for Transport, are:

    Invest in the western rail line to make the line viable (a key objective of EU transport policy)
    Develop commuter services to Sligo, Galway and Limerick and the Mayo Link between Ballina, Castlebar and Westport
    Expand the network to include Knock and Shannon Airports, ensuring their future viability following the Government's decision to abandon the Shannon stopover
    Immediately introduce Arrow type railcars (diesel multiple units) on to the Western Rail Corridor
    Use tax credits to encourage commuters to use the public transport system
    Provide timetables that will allow an interconnector service in the region
    Provide a bus shuttle service at all depots to take passengers to and from railway stations
    Introduce a structured subsidy to encourage the use of rail freight, which will ease the pressure on the region's sub-standard road network
    "A vibrant region in the modern age needs a proper road and rail infrastructure to attract and compete at the top level, and to encourage employment and investment to its area. A trade-off of one in favour of the other is not an option, even in this time of economic uncertainty."


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18 ✭✭✭ ruchna


    train02.gif

    West on Track welcomes decentralisation and calls for logical next step
    Press Release
    December 3rd 2003

    The West on Track community campaign has welcomed the announcement of the decentralisation of sections of 2 Government Departments to Claremorris and Knock Airport. A spokesman said that this initiative indicates that the message is getting through at last, that the West has a central role to play in relieving the pressure on Dublin.

    The inescapable logic of this very welcome announcement is that these centres, Claremorris and Knock Airport (via Charlestown), must be provided with proper transport infrastructure linking them to Sligo, Galway and Limerick. The Western Rail Corridor offers an immediate and economical opportunity to do just that. Civil servants coming West will rightly expect, as indeed do all our citizens, that modern rail and transport services will allow them easy access to the main cities, hospitals and centres of education in the West.

    We look forward now to the logical next step which is the public commitment by the Government to the re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor and the announcement of the phased plan for its renewal.

    In this context, we are pleased to announce that West on Track will shortly publish a detailed line survey and costed business plan, prepared by experts, which will make an irrefutable case for the viability of the West's most important piece of unused infrastructure.

    imagebut037.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18 ✭✭✭ ruchna


    train02.gif

    West on Track welcomes decentralisation and calls for logical next step
    Press Release
    December 3rd 2003

    The West on Track community campaign has welcomed the announcement of the decentralisation of sections of 2 Government Departments to Claremorris and Knock Airport. A spokesman said that this initiative indicates that the message is getting through at last, that the West has a central role to play in relieving the pressure on Dublin.

    The inescapable logic of this very welcome announcement is that these centres, Claremorris and Knock Airport (via Charlestown), must be provided with proper transport infrastructure linking them to Sligo, Galway and Limerick. The Western Rail Corridor offers an immediate and economical opportunity to do just that. Civil servants coming West will rightly expect, as indeed do all our citizens, that modern rail and transport services will allow them easy access to the main cities, hospitals and centres of education in the West.

    We look forward now to the logical next step which is the public commitment by the Government to the re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor and the announcement of the phased plan for its renewal.

    In this context, we are pleased to announce that West on Track will shortly publish a detailed line survey and costed business plan, prepared by experts, which will make an irrefutable case for the viability of the West's most important piece of unused infrastructure.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,399 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Thanx 4 The Fish


    Why did you post that twice there ?

    Anyway, I think it would certainly be a great idea and it is only a shame that it hasn't happened already.


  • Registered Users Posts: 509 ✭✭✭ capistrano


    Would a Sligo-Galway-Limerick railway be viable in any way? Who will use it? Right now the roads between Sligo and Limerick are pretty good and getting better. Most poeple will choose to use their cars for these types of journeys. Trains are good where traffic congestion on the roads is so bad that people are much better off using the train. This will not be the case on these routes.

    A simple example, CityLink started a direct bus service recently between Galway and Shannon Airport (amazingly there was no direct service before this). However, after just a couple of months they have now suspended the service due to lack of business. They hope ot restart the service in the peak tourist season.

    So, if it is not viable to run a simple couch service between Galway and Shannon then what makes people think that running a very expensive train service down the western seaboard will prove successful.

    And I am speaking as a Galwegian, now living in Dubvlin but planning to return to live in Galway at some point


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,419 ✭✭✭ Blackjack


    Would a Sligo-Galway-Limerick railway be viable in any way? Who will use it? Right now the roads between Sligo and Limerick are pretty good and getting better. Most poeple will choose to use their cars for these types of journeys.

    Probably not hugely viable, but would likely attract some investment to the region.
    If you ever had the misfortune of having to travel from Sligo to Cork (about 8 hours) by bus then you'd definetly think that a train would be a better idea!!.
    Also, not everyone has cars, and for Tourism in the region it would be a boost. At the moment the rail system is centralised around Dublin, which limits it's use to people who want to travel around the country.
    It would also provide a welcome boost to the region, where Shannon could provide an effective access point for US tourists to the western region. Like it or not, they are by far the biggest spenders when they come to this country, so by giving an option other than having to rent a car or arrive in Dublin to reach another part of the country would surely be beneficial.
    I am sure that there are also a large number of Students who would avail of such a facility to go home if they are from the region and studying somewhere along the western corridor.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 509 ✭✭✭ capistrano


    A few points
    1. Would a student spend €50 or more for a train for Sligo-Cork or suffer the 8hr bus for a fraction of the price?
    2. The rail line goes nowhere near the tourist areas on the west coast (West Clare, Connemara, Aran Islands, etc.)
    3. With all due respect to the towns on the line, Claremorris, Tuam etc. They are not exactly major tourish destinations.
    4. The train line doesn't even go into Galway City. You would have to change at Athenry.

    If we could get someone else to pay for it then it would be nice to have, but unfortunately the days of the gool old germans paying for all our infrastructure are over.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,419 ✭✭✭ Blackjack


    Not sure if the student fare would be that much, but believe me 8 hours on a bus and anyone would reconsider.
    As regards the rail line not going near the Tourist areas, the trains could be run to connect and make it easier to transfer at Athenry.
    Claremorris and Tuam are not Tourist destinations, but Sligo is, and by having a facility that allows people to travel is or commute (to other areas in the region) can't be a bad thing.
    It is quite possible that the line could be used for Freight, although I heard somewhere that this is probably not profitable.
    I would love to see it, and would probably use it every now and again if it ever came to pass. Doubt if it would be economically viable though, and as such I can't see it get very far.


  • Registered Users Posts: 509 ✭✭✭ capistrano


    I'd love to see it too. But it definitely is not economically viable and the bottom line is I am not prepared to subsidise it with my tax money.

    Today tains only work in two scenarios:
    1. Very long distance with fast trains, e.g. TGV, Bullet, ICE etc.
    2. Commutter travel aroung large metropolitan areas

    Unfortunately the western rail corridor comes nowhere near either of these. It's a pipe dream.


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