Will Ennis to Athenry inevitably be closed?
The new motorway in the same area as the Ennis to Athenry line is highly likely to cause the amount of journeys made on it to drop, but I am wondering if this drop in patronage will be significant or not.
This is because the new M18, combined with the M6, is longer than the old N18, so although you can drive much faster on the motorway than you can on the old road, the journey time from Gort to Galway by road isn't shortened by much.
Another reason why I'm wondering about this is that express buses which begin operating when motorways are built often make patronage on the parallel railway go down, but Bus Eireann and Citylink had been operating express buses for some time before this new motorway was opened.
This is one thing likely to cause a drop in railway patronage that has already happened here.
On the other hand, the fact that there is now a motorway going all the way from Limerick to Galway might make journeys by road seem better, and cause some people to stop travelling by train.
I am not an expert in this field, so does anyone know what to expect?