IRISH Rail is to target householders along the Ballybrophy line with special offers to entice more people to use the local train service. The offer was revealed at this Monday’s Nenagh Town Council meeting by Cllr Virginia O’Dowd, a member of the Nenagh Rail Partnership that has been pushing for more promotion on the line for almost a decade
“The marketing executive, Paul O’Kelly, and a member of his staff, Cathal Lyons, have been travelling to Nenagh and Cloughjordan to discuss how to promote the line, and the fact that they were willing to come here instead of us having to go to Dublin shows they are serious in trying to attract new business on the service,” she told councillors.
Up to 6,000 homes along the line can expect to receive a letter in the post over the coming week giving a 50 per cent reduction on family fares to Dublin.
This means a fare of E33 for two adults and up to four children. The letter will also highlight the offer of E6 return fares to Limerick, with a E3 fare for children.
“This is about getting bums on seats and I appeal to people not to just bin the letters,” said Cllr O’Dowd, who hoped householders wouldn’t confuse the offers with their Property Tax demands.
She acknowledged that commuter traffic alone was not going to keep the line open, and, pointing to the success of the trains to Croke Park in the past two years, appealed to groups and organisations to either talk to Nenagh Rail Partnership or Irish Rail about special offers.
“For instance, it might have been possible to organise a special train to the Ireland- Austria match if around 200 people were interested in travelling. But the regular service can also be used for special occasions,” she said.
Mayor Lalor McGee pointed out that Nenagh railway station was celebrating its 150th anniversary this October and Cllr O’Dowd urged the council help NRP with its plan to restore one of the old water pumps at the station in time for the celebrations. Irish Rail’s heritage officer had urged them to seek Lottery funding for the project.
Cllr Seamus Morris described the offer as a “super deal. Iarnrod Eireann has bought into it and it should be supported.” Cllr Conor Delaney warned people to “use it or lose it,” saying: “You won’t know what you have until it is gone.”