Signaling upgrades can be done relatively easily. Looks like Waterford West is for the chop which helps on the costs. The automation of Limerick Junction last year again saves more. There is still a budget for more level crossing automation and Limerick - Waterford is on the list
Numbers will never be amazing on the route but there is scope relatively easily to improve matters, direct services to Limerick clearly ranks as the simplest and cheapest alternative.
The tall ships visit has done wonders for local perceptions of the service.