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Irish Rail prepares planning application for major upgrade at Oranmore station

Irish Rail will lodge a planning application for a second platform and one kilometre ‘passing loop’ at Oranmore Railway Station in the coming weeks.

The company indicated to Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Councillor Liam Carroll (Ind) that the €12m project will be lodged with planners before the end of April.

He said the second platform and passing loop have been finalised by Irish Rail and National Transport Authority this week.

If granted planning, the passing loop will allow additional capacity on the Athenry to Galway commuter route and avoid delays to trains travelling on the Galway to Dublin Heuston services.

“I would be advocating for a speedy positive response from the Planning Department of Galway County Council to the planning application so that construction works could commence before the end of 2024,” said Councillor Carroll.

With a construction timescale of up to 15 months Cllr Carroll said, “the new platform and passing loop at Oranmore could dovetail nicely with the completion of the re-development of Ceannt Station in Galway city, targeted for the second half of 2026”.

Government funding was approved earlier this year for the project.

The investment of €12.28 million in Oranmore, including €9.28m in Urban Regeneration Development Funding (URDF) and €3m from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is expected to make it possible for trains to operate every 15-20 minutes on the route between Athenry, Oranmore and Galway city.

It should pave the way for a full double tracking of the route in the future, according to Cllr Carroll.

He previously submitted a proposal to the Galway County Development Plan 2022-2028 calling on the local authority to examine the feasibility of creating a pedestrian walkway and cycle path along the rail line to connect the rail station to the proposed IDA Business and Technology Park on the outskirts of Oranmore.

“A similar facility could be provided in the future for residents of the Roscam area, a proposal which I discussed recently with residents in both Oranmore and Roscam,” he said.

Separately, Irish Rail has confirmed to Cllr Carroll that it will be introducing an additional two carriages to the 5.20pm Galway to Heuston service.

“These are part of a consignment of forty-one additional railcars being introduced to the national rail infrastructure over the next couple of months as part of Irish Rails National Development Plan. The new carriages have a multi-purpose area which includes fold-up seats and extra bike spaces,” Cllr Carroll said.

Pictured: Oranmore station…massive upgrade moves closer to reality.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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