Limerick/Ballybrophy rail service should be more user friendly 

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Ballybrophy railway station

THE Limerick to Ballybrophy rail line is under-used and has the potential, not just to increase connectivity but also to boost economic activity in the entire Mid West region. 

That’s the view of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications which, in a submission to the All Ireland Strategic Rail Review, cited the route as one of many which needs to be made more user friendly.

The Committee said that the line has potential both as a commuter service and as a route for freight from Shannon Foynes Port.

“The committee recommends that the Department reassess the demand for services on this line,” the submission said.

The submission also recommended reviewing the existing timetables and “investing in the necessary upgrades to tracks, speed limits, level crossings and potential new stops in order to make the route attractive to commuters travelling from Tipperary into Limerick City.”

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The committee also said that the cost of rail travel, particularly for families, should be reviewed as it currently can cost more than travel by car or bus.

Services later into the night would also encourage people to choose the greener option of rail travel.

“Rail travel needs to be affordable, convenient and safe,” the submission added.

It called for more regular services, more affordable pricing and more routes, particularly in areas of larger population and locations where  more houses could be built.

The All Ireland Review consultation process, which is now ended, received more than 7,000 responses.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said it was “a very large response by comparison with responses to similar public engagements.”