View Single Post
Unread 28-04-2006, 05:45   #1
Navan Junction
Really Regular Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Navan
Posts: 305
Default [article] Iarnród Éireann initiate study on Shannon rail link

Iarnród Éireann initiate study on Shannon rail link
Gordon Deegan

The campaign for a €60 million rail link to Shannon from the Limerick to Ennis line received a boost yesterday when Iarnród Éireann appointed consultants to examine its feasibility.

MVA Consultants have been appointed to conduct the €240,000 study and it is expected to be completed late this year.

The Shannon Rail Partnership, which includes Clare County Council and Shannon Development, has already spent €200,000 on preparatory work on the proposed link, while a line has been preserved in the Southeast Clare Economic Plan to allow for its construction.

The proposed 10km link will form a spur off the Ennis-Limerick line which has enjoyed massive growth since Iarnród Éireann restored the line to mainline standard. Last year passenger numbers went up by some 24 per cent from 45,000 to 56,000.

Shannon Rail Partnership chairman Cllr Seán Hillery (FF) said yesterday: "Today's announcement is great news, and we are very confident that the result of the study will be positive and place Shannon airport as the fulcrum of economic development between Galway and Limerick."

He said a technical sub-group of the partnership has worked closely with Iarnród Éireann over recent months to finalise terms of reference for the study.

Mr Hillery said the costs of purchasing land to allow the project proceed would be lower than usual as half the lands were already in public ownership through Shannon Development, Clare County Council and the Shannon Airport Authority.

Limerick East deputy Jan O'Sullivan (Labour) said yesterday: "It is essential that Shannon is able to compete with Dublin and Cork. Therefore proper infrastructural access by road and rail is crucial in attracting both incoming tourists and Irish people travelling abroad. Many who currently see Dublin as their most convenient airport may choose Shannon if they can access an efficient rail link to Limerick or the west of Ireland.

"Like any other international airport it is imperative that there is an efficient public transport system in operation, linking the nearby industrial estate, the largest in the State outside Dublin, and also Limerick City."

© The Irish Times
Navan Junction is offline