Line clearance on Foynes branch well underway

Hassard Stacpoole reports in the Facebook group Irish Trains Past & Present that line clearance is well underway on the Foynes branch. This is to enable a line survey, partly funded by the Shannon Foynes Port Company, to be undertaken to assess the best way to reopen the line for freight. Pictures are by kind…

West on Track announce new freight initiative at Claremorris

Representatives of Iarnród Éireann, West on Track and the Irish Exporters Association gave evidence at the Joint Oireachtas Transport and Communications committee meeting on Wednesday, March 4th. Frank Dawson of West on Track stated that “the true potential of rail freight in Ireland is untapped” and noted that it would cost €25-30m to reinstate the railway…

Movement on Foynes and Velorail for Mayo

Vegetation clearance has begun on the Foynes branch. This is to enable Shannon Foynes Port Co. to undertake a detailed study of the condition of the line, so that a decision can be made whether to run freight trains on the branch. There is no guaranteed outcome to the study, but the signs are hopeful…

Future NI rail developments

The NI Government’s recently published Railway Investment Strategy attracted a lot of publicity due to the inclusion of potential extensions to the NI Railways network. More of those later. What got my attention was the less publicised parts of the strategy. These areas address many of the issues with the railway as it currently operates…

Connolly signalling improvements flagged up in NTA plan

The National Transport Authority’s Integrated Implementation Plan published yesterday provides for the long-awaited improvements to the rail traffic bottleneck at Connolly Station. Getting these improvements in place allows for scheduled passenger trains to travel through the Phoenix Park tunnel outside of Heuston Station direct to Connolly. The Phoenix Park tunnel, which despite some media reports has…

Greenway campaigners successfully block Busway on route

After the Ulster Transport Authority closed the former Belfast & County Down Railway mainline from Belfast to Newcastle via Comber in 1950, the old double trackbed from Belfast to Comber was left in place by the Northern Ireland government. Unlike many other closed railways the line ran through mostly urban and suburban areas, so rather…

Varakar supportive of Foynes rail freight

In response to a question from Deputy Patrick O’Donovan ( FG, Limerick) Transport minister Leo Varadkar stated in the Dáil that: “I see the potential for enormous growth in Shannon Foynes in the coming years. It is a deep-water and bulk port, meaning it can carry much cargo. However, it will need the existing road…