Better marketing of rail options needed


Rail routes such as the Galway to Limerick line, including the Athenry to Galway line require much better marketing, according to East Galway TD Paul Connaughton.
Deputy Connaughton has welcomed the current review of the railway network which is underway and Minister Paschal Donohoe’s statement that the aim of the review is not to identify lines for closure but to see where improvements can be made that will encourage greater use of the network and boost passenger numbers.
‘The rail network is a crucial piece of infrastructure in the west of Ireland and must be continually upgraded to make the west a more viable place to live, work and do business.
‘I welcome Minister Donohoe’s stated intention to keep open all rail lines in use at the moment and I agree that better communication is needed with the general public in terms of rail transport as an option, which will encourage more people to use the lines.
‘Figures recently released by Iarnród Éireann show that the number of people using the Athenry to Ennis route increased by 72.5 percent in 2014, and passenger numbers on the Galway to Limerick line are now over 220,000 per annum, which is most encouraging.
‘The increase of 72.5 percent on the Athenry to Ennis route is particularly welcome, as this came in a year when the route was closed for a number of months due to flooding. I believe that promotional fares also helped boost bookings, as did the availability of online booking.
‘However, I believe that there is much greater potential in this line. Many people in East Galway and beyond are not aware of the availability of a rail link to Limerick and it is only with significant marketing of this route that passenger numbers will continue to grow.
‘I would urge Iarnród Éireann to invest greater resources in the marketing of this important route, both to people travelling to and from Limerick and to visitors to Ireland wishing to travel the west of Ireland.’