Fears Waterford-Limerick rail service will be permanently closed
Waterford Green Party TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh has sought assurances from Irish Rail that the Waterford to Limerick Junction service, which has been suspended since the outbreak of Covid-19, will be brought back into operation “as soon as possible”.
Deputy Ó Cathasaigh said sources within Irish Rail confirmed to him that the line was temporarily closed as a “staff rationalisation measure” during the health crisis.
The Waterford TD said he fears this suspension may become a permanent closure unless closely monitored.
Deputy Ó Cathasaigh: “While I accept that there may be an argument to temporarily suspend this service in the context of the Covid epidemic. I would be concerned that it could become something more permanent if we take our eye off the ball. We have seen in the past that services, once lost, are difficult to get back, and I will be taking steps to ensure that’s not what happens here.”
He added: “I have highlighted on a number of occasions the potential this line has to provide a commuter service, both for workers in Waterford City and for students attending WIT, to the large population centres in South Tipperary and North County Waterford. A simple timetabling change could greatly increase passenger numbers and would help alleviate congestion in and around our city.
“In the longer term, I would like to see the Rosslare extension to the line re-opened, opening up access to Rosslare Europort for passengers and freight and providing a commuter option to people living in South County Wexford as well.
“I will be writing to both the Minister of Transport and the CEO of Irish Rail to express my concerns and will be seeking assurances that the service will be reopened fully as soon as possible.”