Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the allocation of €3m to provide a passing loop at Oranmore Railway Station that will allow for additional morning and evening rail services on the route from Athlone to Galway City, directly benefiting Ballinasloe commuters.
“Over the last number of years, I have engaged with Irish Rail on the need to increase rail services from Ballinasloe, in particular into Galway City due to the huge demand for the service along this route through County Galway.
“I have travelled on the commuter service and on occasion it is more akin to the Indian rail service rather than Ireland with the scale over overcrowding on some trains.
“While the primary goal must be to see the rail line doubled between Athenry and Galway City, this investment of €3m under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund is a positive and significant first step in improving local rail services.
“There is no reason why we should not have a dedicated commuter service between Athlone and Galway City every morning and evening, particularly in light of the fact that Ceannt Rail Station in Galway is the most suitable commuter rail station in the country situated in the very middle of the city centre.”
As one of the authors of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund established by the last Government, Denis Naughten pointed out: “While Government funding under this round will also facilitate the development of enhanced parking facilities at the station, we need to see the development of park and ride facilities in Athenry close to the motorway to fully utilise enhanced rail services into Galway City.
“This €3m investment, which will facilitate more trains from Ballinasloe, will complement the investment works at Ballinasloe train station with improved and updated facilities particularly for people with mobility issues.
“This investment can also facilitate an increase in the frequency of services from Limerick into Galway City.
“Proper investment in rail services from towns in County Galway into the city has the potential to have a big impact on alleviating traffic flowing into the city centre thus further reducing traffic congestion on the road network on the eastern side of the city,” concluded Denis Naughten.