IARNROD Eireann are to announce a new initiative in an attempt to improve passenger numbers on the Ballybrophy line, according to Deputy Noel Coonan.
The line serves Birdhill, Nenagh, Cloughjordan and Roscrea, with trains to and from Dublin and Limerick. It was earmarked to be closed under the McCarthy Report.
However, Deputy Coonan has welcomed Iarnrod Eireann’s proposal to the National Transport Authority to provide an early morning service from Limerick to Dublin via Nenagh and Roscrea.
Under the new spring / summer schedule, Iarnrod Eireann is planning to expand its service which, he said, “will be of very welcome news to those living in the environs of Roscrea and Nenagh. I have been informed that Iarnrod Eireann is proposing a number of additional services on the Nenagh / Roscrea rail line - one extra service in the morning and two in the evening, which will improve the number of services from four to seven.”
He revealed that the early morning service was timed to stop in Roscrea at 06.38 and arrive in Dublin at 08.20 without having to change trains at Ballybrophy.
“This should be a very appealing options to commuters in the North Tipperary and South Offaly area,” continued the TD.
“These route changes require the approval of the National Transport Authority, and I will be supporting Iarnrod Eireann’s proposal and calling on all public representatives and ministers to ensure this positive additional service will come to fruition. It will greatly improve commuter travel options for those living in Roscrea and Nenagh,” said Deputy Coonan.
Junior Minister for Public Transport Alan Kelly, whose remit includes train services, said: “While it would be premature to announce any changes for the line, I hope to be in a position to do so in a very positive way in the near future. I would like to thank all those public representatives who have been so supportive of my endeavours to date.”
He told the Tipperary Star that he was “working extremely hard with Irish Rail to improve the service on the Ballybrophy line, especially with regards to its services to Dublin”.
Deputy Kelly also congratulated Nenagh Rail Partnership on the way they had worked with Irish Rail and himself on this matter. The partnership, which is chaired by Nenagh’s Mayor Virginia O’Dowd, was set up almost eight years ago to lobby for extra services on the line and secured an early morning commuter service from Nenagh to Limerick in 2009. It also secured an extra train service from Limerick in the evenings.
A spokesperson for the partnership said: “Nenagh Rail Partnership has been working closely with Minister Alan Kelly, Junior Minister for Transport, and we would expect any official announcement to come through his office.”