Capital Rail Projects and Improved Services in the South East

Capital Rail Projects and Improved Services in the South East

Press Release, May 23rd 2024

Marc Ó Cathasaigh, Green Party T.D. for Waterford met with the CEO of Irish Rail, Jim Meade and Minister Eamon Ryan this week to discuss rail capital investment in the South East.

The reopening of the Barrow Bridge was a particular focus of discussion with Dep. Ó Cathasaigh requesting that the Department of Transport provide the upfront costs for the repair and reopening of the bridge with a view to recouping the costs when the insurance claim is paid out to Irish Rail by the insurance companies involved in the ship strikes which damaged the bridge. Capital repair costs to the bridget are estimated at €5-6m.

Repeating his calls for a late service to Waterford from Dublin – essentially extending the last train from Dublin to Carlow to serve both Kilkenny and Waterford – Ó Cathasaigh emphasised the need for good connectivity within the region, particularly joining up the campuses for SETU students and providing a vital service for commuters to Dublin who are living in the South East.

Speaking today Marc Ó Cathasaigh said “Connectivity within the region is vital, but so too is inter-regional connectivity and in particular the connection between Waterford and Limerick. Improvements in the frequency of service and speed of service would open up the two regions to students and employees, and indeed tourists. Connections between Limerick and Waterford cities would help both to thrive and is a potentially significant link in the rail network. I have no doubt that providing a much better service on this route would see passengers packing out trains all along this route.”

“I had a fruitful discussion with Mr. Jim Meade, CEO of Irish Rail, and discuss EU assessment and funding for our rail network large scale projects, reopening of the Barrow Bridge, better timetables and connectivity for the South East particularly a later train from Dublin to Waterford, and the need for bike carriages on routes in the South East, especially as our Greenways and cycling tourism offering grows. We know that the numbers of those travelling by rail is growing, there is an appetite for more services and more routes. As new carriages enter the entire network, we will see more and more capacity being added across the network. We need to make sure that Waterford and the South East is seeing those improved services.”