Barrow Bridge & Waterford-Rosslare Rail Line

Barrow Bridge & Waterford-Rosslare Rail Line

“Irish Rail’s Plans to repair and automate the Barrow Bridge brings the reopening of the Waterford-Rosslare line another step closer to realisation” according to Waterford TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh. Deputy Ó Cathasaigh was speaking after a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport session in which the Waterford Green Party TD questioned Jim Meade, the CEO of Irish Rail on the company’s plans around the damaged bridge and the reopening of the rail line.

“It’s quite some time since a passenger service ran between Waterford and Rosslare and the recent damage of The Barrow Bridge resulted in the line being unusable. I wanted to know if repairs were progressing on the bridge so we could get more information on a timeline for bringing the line back into use” said Deputy Ó Cathasaigh

“ The reopening of the Waterford-Rosslare line is something I have been working on with my colleague Minister Eamon Ryan since I was elected in 2020. It is one of the projects highlighted in the All Island Strategic Rail Review and I think that getting a passenger service up and running on that line again will bring immense benefit to Waterford but also the entire region. We will see it used by commuters, daytrippers and tourists alike. From an international tourism point of view, it also offers us a unique business and tourism opportunity to connect our city with the continent through ferry operators in Rosslare”

Rail campaigners have long called for the Barrow Bridge to be repaired after it was most recently struck by a vessel in February 2022. Repairs were expected to cost between €5million and €10 million but Irish Rail have been in contact with the insurance companies for the ships involved in two strikes.

“There’s no argument about liability because we have CCTV’ said Mr Meade in response to Deputy Ó Cathasaigh’s question about the bridge. “So, it’s very clear and both insurers are not just waiting for us to come back to them to say that’s the cost”. Irish Rail intends to enhance the bridge as part of repairing it by automating it so it can be controlled centrally rather than by personnel on the bridge. “We want to automate it in the process and bring it back to our national train control centre” added Mr Meade. “We have outlined a whole series of works some time back. We have been working through it and we are substantially complete. We have some residual GI survey works to do but nothing major in the grand scheme of things”. In relation to the reopening of the line, Mr Meade said that “There is a desire there as part of the Strategic Rail Review to reopen it”