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Irish Rail proposes new stations along the Ennis to Limerick railway line

IRISH Rail is proposing to open a number of new stations along the Ennis to Limerick railway line, including stops close to the Limerick Institute of Technology and University of Limerick which would improve access for Clare students, and a park-and-ride facility at Cratloe.
Chief Executive of Irish Rail Jim Meade outlined the plans for Clare at an Oireachtas Committee on Transport this week following a number of questions by Clare Senator Timmy Dooley.
Mr Meade also told the meeting that a technically viable drainage scheme which would prevent the “long running saga” of recurring flooding at Ballycar has been submitted for government approval and funding. And he indicated that Irish Rail would support moves to open a station at Crusheen.
Speaking to the Clare Champion following the meeting, Senator Dooley said it is “clear” that Irish Rail is in touch with the issues in Clare. “I am very pleased that Irish Rail are committed to increasing capacity and increasing services in County Clare. In line with commitments to be decarbonisation Irish Rail are very well attuned with upgrading their infrastructure and their services to meet the expected increase in demand for public transport.”
He added that the proposals for additional rail stations would be particularly beneficial to Clare students studying in Limerick. At the meeting, Senator Dooley had stated that the Ennis to Limerick railway line is currently “underutilised” making the case for additional stops.
Mr Meade confirmed that Irish Rail have made a “comprehensive” submission to the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Study including proposals for several stations between Ennis and Limerick. He said, “I am sure they will be taken into consideration by the NTA and subject to final decision we will be very happy to deliver those projects.”
Addressing the possibility of a station at Crusheen he recalled that this had been planned before the last financial crash however it never came to fruition. “We would state quite clearly that responsibility for developing a transport strategy still remains with the local authority as part of the county development plans and its policy. Subject to a positive outcome from any appraisal they may make we would in principle support the development of a station in Crusheen. But it will be necessary for the county council to arrange for the production of the required business case.”
Speaking on the ongoing flooding at Ballycar which has seen the railway line regularly closed in winter time he outlined that a ‘round table approach’ has been taken involving Irish Rail, Clare County Council, the OPW, the Geological Survey of Ireland and National Parks and Wildlife. Consulting engineers RPS were appointed to develop a solution and according to Mr Meade a scheme has been worked up and submitted to the department for consideration.

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