Monday 19 January 2009

Irish Rail expects delay in opening western line

A DELAY in the reopening of the €106 million Western Rail Corridor is being anticipated by Irish Rail in spite of a planning appeal being withdrawn against a new train station along the route.

Last year Coen Holdings Ltd lodged an appeal against the decision by Galway County Council to grant planning to Irish Rail to construct a new train station at Gort, with a decision not expected before January 24th.

The reopening of the rail line between Ennis, Co Clare, and Athenry, Co Galway, will allow for the restoration of intercity services between Galway and Limerick and Cork after a gap of 33 years, along with increased commuter services into Galway.

Originally due to be operational in 2008, and more recently to open in the spring, the spokesman said the retendering for the works due to the withdrawal of the planning objection was one of a number of factors leading to the delay in reopening the rail link.

“We are told that line is going to open in the summer, but at the moment we don’t know what part of summer that will be.”

The spokesman said Irish Rail would first see how the line performed before deciding on a proposal to construct a crossing point near the Co Clare village of Sixmilebridge, which would significantly increase capacity on the route.

Five stations, including Gort station, are to be upgraded.

Irish Times

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