ANOTHER major increase in passenger numbers on the Galway to Limerick rail route – totalling nearly 353,000 last year – has clearly shown the viability of such a service in the western region, it was claimed this week.
Cllr Michael Connolly, Chairman of the Western Intercounty Rail Committee, told the Connacht Tribune that the business case projection for the restored Galway to Limerick line back in 2010, was for 200,000 passengers to use the service.
“Passenger numbers on the Galway to Limerick route have exceeded all expectations and clearly show that the demand is there for rail travel.
“One of the trends that has emerged along this route is the number of young people who are availing of the service and everything points to further growth over the coming years,” said Cllr Connolly.
According to the figures supplied by the Western Intercounty Rail Committee (WIRC), the Galway-Limerick rail service carried 352,706 passengers in 2017 – back in 2010, that figure stood at 182,254.
WIRC also state that the increase in passenger numbers using the Athenry-Ennis service has been even more dramatic – up from 28,473 in 2013 to almost 100,000 (99,374) in 2017.
They also maintain that if the present passenger growth rate is maintained, the Galway-Limerick rail passenger figure could reach the half-million mark by 2019-2020, with the Ennis-Athenry figure projected to reach 220,000 over the same timeframe.
■ For more on this story, see the print edition of the Connacht Tribune.
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