THE NEED to improve train services between Dublin and Limerick, with trains having to travel at 20mph on some rail stretches, has been highlighted in the Dail.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan outlined how a €6m upgrade of the rail line is underway and, once completed, would help to improve the speed limits imposed on trains travelling on the line.
He was responding to issues raised by Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara highlighted the need to improve services on the line.
Addressing Minister Ryan, Deputy McNamara said a significant improvement in rail services is required if the Government wants to get people out of cars and on to trains.
He said, “For people who lived in or near the towns on the old Limerick-Dublin road, the M7 was a godsend – towns like Nenagh, Roscrea, Cloughjordan, Birdhill, Castleconnell, O’Briensbridge and Killaloe. They can now commute up and down to Dublin in a reasonable period of time. But we want to move people off the motorway and on to the trains.
“The direct line to Limerick where all direct trains to Limerick went through previously is now barely served and is impacted by 20mph speed limits in parts,” added Deputy McNamara. “At the moment, all trains go through Limerick Junction and there are vast swathes of the country that are just not served by a train service?”
Minister Ryan “We have just spent €6m in upgrading the track which is the first thing you do to be able to get the speeds up.
“I think Limerick can thrive on the rail lines that lead into it. I think that Ballybrophy line can be a commuting line into Limerick or a shopping line.”