Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill has called for improved services on Premier County rail line
Moves to improve services, including speed, along the Ballybrophy rail line which serves Nenagh, among other towns in North Tipperary was raised in the Dáil by Deputy Jackie Cahill.
Local campaigners feel that, with the Greens in Government, now is the time to improve the line to make it more user-friendly.
Deputy Cahill highlighted the fact that with a genuine effort, the quality of this service could be greatly improved.
In particular, he called on the Minister to have an Irish Rail engineer inspect the line to sign off on higher train speeds in areas of continuous welded rail track.
After meeting with the North Tipperary Community Rail Partnership, Deputy Cahill also called for an additional service to be run every day at midday and for a regional manager to be assigned to oversee the management, improvements and marketing of regional lines such as the Ballybrophy to Limerick connection
“Rural Ireland needs greater investment in public transport. The train line through North Tipperary needs to be run in such a way that it is an attractive service for commuters,” he said.
Deputy Cahill said that increasing speeds on the line where it was now safe and possible to do so was an obvious first step. Irish Rail had invested large sums of money in the line in recent times and it was only right that commuters saw return on this investment through faster speeds and reduced travel times.
“There is also scope to run an additional train service at midday each day. Currently, there are only morning and evening services, but running a train in the middle of the day would appeal to those who do not wish to wait all day for a return journey. The train is there, the staff is in place, and there would be very little additional costs in running this extra service,” said Deputy Cahill.
He also called for a regional train line manager to oversee the smaller lines such as the Ballybrophy to Limerick line.
He pointed out that there were four stops in Tipperary on this line, and having someone who was tasked with the responsibility of marketing, managing and maintaining lines such as these would mean that we could make them more efficient, reliable and attractive for commuters.
“Only by investing in our public transport will we see real returns. The cost of proposals put to me by the North Tipperary Community Rail Partnership and that I raised in the Dáil are minor and could have a significant impact on the attractiveness of this train service through Roscrea, Cloughjordan, Nenagh and Birdhill,” said Deputy Cahill.