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 permission of Hassard Stacpoole.
Here we see an Atlas Road-Rail Vehicle (RRV) parked on the line at Kilnockin Gates. This is at MP12, one mile from Adare station, looking east towards Limerick.
The clearance works have been welcomed by Cllr Emmett O’Brien (IND), who represents the Adare-Rathkeale municipal district of Limerick County Council. The Limerick Post reports that Cllr O’Brien says the works must be a “first step” and not the last in the reinstatement of the Limerick to Foynes railway for freight and possible tourist initiatives.
Cllr O’Brien is pushing for Transport Minister Paschal Donohue to provide funds to reinstate the line to full operation. According to the Limerick Post: “Rail access will not only strengthen Foynes ability to capitalise on the unrivalled deep waters of the estuary but the tourism potential of this line could be explored with the possibility of steam train tourism linking Adare to Askeaton and Foynes.”