Proposed closure of rail lines

Sir, – I note that Irish Rail is contemplating the closure of four rail lines as a cost-cutting exercise to ensure the future viability of the company. The lines in question do provide vital transport links for commuters, but they have low footfall due to poor timetables and high fares. The speed limits on Gorey-Rosslare, Waterford-Limerick Junction, Ennis-Athenry and Limerick-Ballybrophy lines also are not helping them to compete with parallel bus services that can facilitate the journey more efficiently and at a lower cost.

Irish Rail reopened the Western Rail corridor from Ennis to Athenry some years ago, but then closed the Waterford to Rosslare line. This move made no sense as it was envisaged that there would be a rail link from the west of Ireland to Rosslare Port for both passengers and freight, and the West on Track people ultimately wanted to reopen the line from Athenry to Claremorris and Sligo to provide a direct link once again for passengers and freight without the need to travel via Dublin.

Irish Rail could consider selling these lines off to private operators that could ultimately provide better commuter services by introducing timetables that actually provide a means to get to urban centres, thus allowing people to get to work or college on time. – Yours, etc,



Wicklow Town.