New Galway – Limerick Rail Service a Boost to Regional Development and Tourism – WDC

– WDC figures show strong demand for rail services to continue to Tuam and Claremorris

The Western Development Commission (WDC) has described this month’s new rail service connecting Galway and Limerick as an important step towards balanced regional development. The new service, serving Limerick, Sixmilebridge, Ennis, Gort, Ardrahan, Craughwell, Athenry and Galway will help develop and promote economic development. It will also be a welcome boost to the tourism sector for towns along the route and the surrounding areas following a very difficult year for tourism in 2009.

Speaking about the new service Lisa McAllister Chief Executive at the WDC said; “The WDC would like to congratulate Iarnród Éireann and the many stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to reinstate the line and introduce the new services. The new route follows the rebuilding of the Ennis to Athenry line after a gap of over 30 years since the last scheduled services. This type of infrastructural development is exactly what the National Spatial Strategy (NSS) envisaged in terms of sustainable public transport linking key centres so that they can further develop economically.”

Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst at the WDC said: “We welcome this new service and hope that the next phase from Athenry to Tuam and on to Claremorris will not be mothballed despite the current economic difficulties. The 2009 WDC report, ‘Travel to Work and Labour Catchments in the Western Region’, identified important transport patterns which show strong demand for rail services north of Galway city. This supports the case for the Western Rail Corridor (WRC) to be continued on to Tuam and Claremorris as soon as possible, as the report found that the number of people commuting to Galway city from the north of the county, for example from the Tuam labour catchment, is actually greater than the number commuting to Galway city from the south; the Gort labour catchment. This shows that there will be significant demand for public transport services into the city from the north of the county and, in our opinion, strengthens the case for the next stage of the Western Rail Corridor from Athenry to Tuam and on to Claremorris considerably.”

The Galway – Limerick service will commence with five services each way daily (Monday to Saturday), and four services each way on Sundays. The WDC believes that the new service will see strong passenger take-up that will reduce many car based journeys.

“We are also confident that Iarnród Éireann will promote both commuter and intercity services and we would hope that new rolling stock will be ordered to serve the intercity services on the line. The new service opens up the rail network in the West and South of the country, linking Galway and Limerick, and towns along the route, with Cork and Waterford as well as Mallow, Tralee and Killarney,” Ms Frost added,

The new service will be officially launched on Monday 29th March and will commence services to the public on Tuesday 30th March.

On rail freight, the WDC believes that the expansion of rail freight services from Mayo, with new services introduced in 2009 from Ballina, also strengthens the case for the extension of the WRC northwards to Tuam and Claremorris and onwards to Sligo. “We believe that this will open up new rail freight routes southwards via Ennis and Limerick to ports in Waterford and Rosslare and will enable freight users to avoid the increasingly congested rail network around Dublin,” Ms Frost concluded.

Spreagfaidh an tSeirbhís nua Iarnróid idir Gaillimh agus Luimneach Forbairt Réigiúnach agus Turasóireacht – WDC

 – Léiríonn figiúirí an WDC go bhfuil éileamh mór ar sheirbhísí iarnróid go Tuaim agus go Clár Chlainne Mhuiris

 De réir Choimisiún Forbartha an Iarthair (WDC), is céim thábhachtach chun cinn maidir le forbairt chothrom réigiúnach a bhaint amach í an tseirbhís nua iarnróid a osclófar an mhí seo, agus a nascfaidh Gaillimh le Luimneach. Freastalóidh an tseirbhís nua ar Luimneach, Droichead Abhann Ó gCearnaigh, Inis, an Gort, Ard Raithin, Creachmhaoil, Baile Átha an Rí agus Gaillimh, agus cabhróidh sí le forbairt eacnamaíoch a fhorbairt agus a chur chun cinn. Spreagfaidh sí turasóireacht sna bailte ar feadh an bhealaigh agus sna ceantair mórthimpeall orthu freisin, rud a bheidh ina chabhair mhór i ndiaidh 2009, bliain dheacair don earnáil turasóireachta.

 Agus í ag labhairt faoin tseirbhís nua, dúirt Lisa McAllister, Príomhfheidhmeannach an WDC, “Ba bhreá leis an WDC comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le hIarnród Éireann agus leis na páirtithe leasmhara uile a d’oibrigh go díograiseach chun an líne iarnróid a athbhunú agus na seirbhísí nua a chur ar fáil. Is féidir an tseirbhís nua a sholáthar a bhuíochas le hatógáil na líne ó Inis go Baile Átha an Rí, breis agus 30 bliain ó cuireadh na seirbhísí sceidealta deireanacha ar fáil. Téann an cineál seo d’fhorbairt bonneagair leis an méid a bhí beartaithe sa Straitéis Spáis Náisiúnta (SSN) maidir le hiompar poiblí inbhuanaithe a chur ar fáil a nascfadh lárionaid phríomhúla chun cur ar a gcumas forbairt eacnamaíoch bhreise a dhéanamh.”

 Dúirt Deirdre Frost, Anailísí Beartais leis an WDC: “Cuirimid fáilte roimh an tseirbhís nua seo, agus tá súil againn nach gcuirfear an chéad chéim eile, ó Bhaile Átha an Rí agus ar aghaidh go Clár Chlainne Mhuiris, ar athlá mar thoradh ar dheacrachtaí geilleagracha reatha. I dtuarascáil an WDC ó 2009, ‘Travel to Work and Labour Catchments in the Western Region’, aithníodh patrúin thábhachtacha iompair a léiríonn éileamh mór ar sheirbhísí iarnróid ó thuaidh ó chathair na Gaillimhe. Léiríonn sé sin gur chóir Conair Iarnróid an Iarthair (CII) a leathnú go Tuaim agus go Clár Chlainne Mhuiris a luaithe agus is féidir, mar de réir na tuarascála, déanann níos mó daoine comaitéireacht go cathair na Gaillimhe ó thuaisceart an chontae, mar shampla ó cheantar saothair Thuama, ná mar a dhéanann comaitéireacht go cathair na Gaillimhe ón deisceart, is é sin, ó cheantar saothair an Ghoirt. Mar sin, is léir go mbeidh éileamh mór ar sheirbhísí iompair poiblí go dtí an chathair ó thuaisceart an chontae, agus inár dtuairim, taispeánann sé sin go soiléir gur chóir an chéad chéim eile de Chonair Iarnróid an Iarthair, ó Bhaile Átha an Rí go Tuaim agus ar aghaidh go Clár Chlainne Mhuiris, a thógáil.”

 Ar dtús, cuirfear cúig sheirbhís i ngach treo idir Gaillimh agus Luimneach ar fáil in aghaidh an lae (Luan go Satharn), le ceithre sheirbhís i ngach treo ar fáil ar an Domhnach. Creideann an WDC go mbainfidh líon mór paisinéirí úsáid as an tseirbhís agus go laghdófar ar líon na dturasanna i ngluaisteáin dá bharr.

 “Táimid sásta freisin go ndéanfaidh Iarnród Éireann seirbhísí comaitéireachta agus idirchathrach araon a chur chun cinn agus tá súil againn go n-ordófar traenacha nua le haghaidh na seirbhísí idirchathrach ar an líne. Le bunú na seirbhíse nua, tá an gréasán iarnróid in Iarthar agus i nDeisceart na tíre oscailte, mar anois tá Gaillimh agus Luimneach, agus bailte ar bhealach na líne iarnróid, nasctha le Corcaigh agus le Port Láirge, i dteannta Mala, Trá Lí agus Cill Airne,” a dúirt an tUasal Frost freisin.

 Seolfar an tseirbhís nua go hoifigiúil Dé Luain, an 29 Márta, agus cuirfear seirbhísí ar fáil don phobal ó Dé Máirt, an 30 Márta.

 Maidir le lasta iarnróid, creideann an WDC go dtreisíonn leathnú na seirbhísí lasta iarnróid ó Mhaigh Eo, le seirbhísí nua ó Bhéal an Átha ó 2009 i leith, an cás atá ann do leathnú an CII ó thuaidh go Tuaim agus go Clár Chlainne Mhuiris, agus ar aghaidh go Sligeach. “Creidimid go n osclódh sé seo bealaí lasta iarnróid nua ó dheas trí Inis agus trí Luimneach go calafoirt i bPort Láirge agus i Ros Láir, agus go gcuirfeadh sé ar chumas úsáideoirí seirbhísí lasta an gréasán iarnróid timpeall ar Bhaile Átha Cliath, atá thar a bheith plódaithe, a sheachaint,” a dúirt an tUasal Frost mar fhocal scoir.