Will there be reduced journey times from Nenagh to Limerick come this September's commuter service or will there only be an improvement after the 5 year track improvement scheme IE are on about?
Nenagh commuter rail link on track for September start
Saturday March 29 2008
Last week Deputy Lowry quizzed Transport Minister Noel Dempsey on progress on the Limerick-Ballybrophy line, and was given a commitment that by September 2008 effective morning and evening commuter services will be introduced between Nenagh and Limerick city.
The minister also told Deputy Lowry that Iarnród Éireann is currently engaged in a programme of track work to reduce the number of severely speed restricted sections of track along the line. At present there are significant portions of the track that are severely substandard and the present work is aimed at bringing these sections up to a standard that will allow for considerably reduced journey times between Nenagh and Limerick.
Deputy Lowry said he would continue to push the minister to ensure proper upgrading of the line.While I am delighted with the minister?s commitment, I will continue to be in contact with him and Iarnród Éireann with a view to ensuring that all commitments are implemented fully?, he stated. ?This line is an integral piece of infrastructure for North Tipperary, and it has long been neglected. I would like to commend all the parties involved in moving this initiative but it is vital that work continues to ensure that the improvements are replicated on the Nenagh to Dublin line?, Deputy Lowry said.Further services are needed to be put in stream to enable that North Tipperary towns such as Nenagh, Roscrea and Cloughjordan have the top of the range infrastructure that they require to attract industry and tourism to their areas.Effective levels connectivity to both the cities of Dublin and Limerick will enhance the attractiveness of these important towns?, Deputy Lowry concluded.
However Nenagh Rail Partnership Chairperson Cllr Virginia O?Dowd has this week taken issue with Deputy Lowry over his comments on the new commuter service from Nenagh to Limerick.Last week Deputy Lowry was telling the people of North Tipperary on Tipp FM that he had received word from the transport minister that the service was going ahead in September?, Cllr O?Dowd said.I don?t mean to steal Deputy Lowry?s thunder, but, I regret to tell him that he is months behind in announcing the new commuter service,? she said. ?In fact, I have a letter from Dick Fearn, chief executive, Irish Rail, dated May 2006, saying that Irish Rail was committed to a commuter service from Nenagh to Limerick.The partnership has worked with Irish Rail since it was set up, and following a survey that we carried out to demonstrate the need for a commuter service, Irish Rail changed the times of the trains to make the service more commuter-friendly,? she said. ?This change came about in December 2006. Irish Rail is 100 per cent behind the new commuter service.Dick Fearn met the partnership in October 2007 and told us then that the new commuter service would be going ahead from September 1, 2008. In fact, the service is already included in this year?s timetable, which was introduced last December.