Louis O'Donoghue and Mary Rose Murphy could hardly be happier that Ireland's newest railway station has opened at Pelletstown, Co Dublin.
Located on the westward Dublin to Maynooth line, between the Ashtown and Broombridge stations, the station "will give great access for walks in the Dublin mountains, for instance", said Mr O'Donoghue, "and to Howth. Mary Rose likes to go swimming in Howth on Sundays."
A Tipperary man, he is partial to Dublin’s southside. “We can [now] get out to Bride’s Glen with just one switch on the line,” he said. Both Mr O’Donoghue and Ms Murphy are members of the Irish Ramblers Club, and the new station will make it “much easier to access the Dublin mountains, than by car or bus”, he said.
On Sunday afternoon the two took the train “from Pelletstown to Broombridge and walked back by the canal. It’s a great facility,” Mr O’Donoghue said.
Undoubtedly, such enthusiasm is sweet music to the ears of the politicians present for the opening of the Pelletstown station on Sunday.
The station would "greatly benefit the communities of Ashington and Royal Canal Park by providing much-needed public transport options as well as cutting journey times in and out of the city. Making it easier for people to choose public transport and combine their cycling, walking and rail journeys will help us reach our climate goals," said Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan at the opening.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he was "really pleased" at this newest railway station in his constituency, noting that it was "the second new station in Dublin West in the past 10 years". He said that "the next step is the electrification of the rail line, which will mean more frequent services for residents and fewer emissions, under the Dart West project".
Also present were Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman and Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers, who both represent the local area, as well as Irish Rail chief executive Jim Meade and National Transport Authority (NTA) chief executive Anne Graham.
The 145th station on Irish Rail's network, Pelletstown was built following an investment of €10.5 million by the NTA and Dublin City Council. It serves communities in Ashington and Royal Canal Park, with journey times of as little as 12 minutes from Dublin city centre, and is served by 94 trains daily on weekdays.
Pelletstown is the first new railway station to open since the unveiling of a station in Oranmore, Co Galway, in 2013.