Local TD Denis Naughten is calling on the Minister for Transport to ensure new rail carriages are allocated to the Athlone-Galway rail line to enhance services from Athlone, Ballinasloe, Woodlawn, Attymon, Athenry and Oranmore into and out of Galway City.
He has called on the Minister to ensure that some of the 41 new rail carriages to be delivered to Irish Rail this year are allocated to this route.
“Last year the Government allocated €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 local commuters,” explained Denis Naughten. “But without additional trains and carriages this investment under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund will be pointless.
“I have now received confirmation that Irish Rail will start to take delivery this summer of the first of 41 new rail carriages currently under construction and it is imperative that western commuters can benefit from this investment.
“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 witnessed with the scale over overcrowding on some trains.
“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.
“Proper investment in rail services from towns in County Galway 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.