Rail Users Ireland Welcomes the Re-opening of the Rail Line from Limerick to Galway
March 28th 2010
Rail Users Ireland (RUI) is pleased to welcome the re-opening of the Limerick to Galway rail service, but serious concerns arise. Despite the many promises made to this point, the service which will be provided is not adequate, will not meet passenger needs and expectations and finally will not utilise the potential of the line to its utmost.
In that light, the redeployment of scarce resources from the engineering works on the Nenagh line which were postponed resulting in extended journey times and the consequent threatened withdrawal of compromised commuter services, of delayed signalling works on the Cork-Cobh line and finally the proposed closure of the Waterford Rosslare line to plug the financial hole of the €2.4 million per annum subsidy needed to keep the Western Rail Corridor (WRC) afloat is regrettable in the extreme.
Mark Gleeson, spokesperson, Rail Users Ireland said, "Once again passengers are faced with a substandard service as Irish Rail has failed to deliver on promises. The promised station at Oranmore is not even at planning stage. Irish Rail continue to timetable each line as if it was totally independent of all others instead of following industry best practice of building a network of connections to enable journeys." The lack of a second track between Galway and Athenry prevents connections between Limerick Galway services and Galway Dublin services at Athenry and precludes the possibility of a proper commuter service between Galway, Oranmore and Athenry.
The failure to provide a through service from Galway to Limerick Junction to enable Galway-Cork journeys, a key journey axis identified by the Strategic Rail Review significantly undermines the route. The timetabling, as is nearly always the case with Irish Rail is eccentric, with journey times of up to 2 hours 25 minutes between Limerick and Galway, poor connections and little thought as to how the WRC might form part of a greater network. If the WRC is to have any long term chance of survival, and if it is to be a beacon of hope for the re-energising of the West then these vital issues must be addressed..
RUI Calls for direct through services every two hours from Galway to Rosslare, which would form a strong link between Galway, Limerick and Waterford providing excellent connections with rail services to Dublin and Cork. Passengers need an efficient integrated rail service which takes them where they need to go at the times they need to travel for a reasonable price. Irish Rail has yet again missed a golden opportunity to implement a fully integrated regional rail network.