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Greenway and rail can co-exist – at a cost


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Greenway and rail can co-exist – at a cost Greenway and rail can co-exist – at a cost

The Minister for Transport has not ruled out running both a greenway and a functioning railway track side-by-side between Athenry and Claremorris and beyond – although it would come at a cost.

Minister Eamon Ryan told the Dáil that the two services could be provided if there is an economic case to be made for them.

He was responding to a query from Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) who had asked if the Minister could confirm that any planned greenway from Athenry northwards would not interfere with the closed Western Rail Corridor.

“Will there be an instruction given that the work (on the greenway) cannot be done at the risk of destroying existing infrastructure that could be used for rail in the future?” the Galway West TD asked.

Recently, it was announced that €300,000 would be provided for consultants to be appointed to progress the Athenry to Tuam and on to Milltown section of the greenway.

If the Western Rail Corridor was to be reopened in the future, it would also allow for the provision of a service to Northern Ireland.

Minister Ryan confirmed that there are two funded greenways being currently progressed between Athenry and Collooney.

But he stressed that they will have regard to the outcome of the strategic rail review, currently nearing completion, and any proposals for the reopening of the Western Rail Corridor.

“Publication of the final report will follow after it has been considered and approved at ministerial level here and in Northern Ireland.

“Any affected potential greenways will be given due consideration. It should be noted that in some instances it may be feasible to run a greenway alongside a rail line.

“Whilst this may be more costly, if an economic case is made it may allow for the provision of both services.

“To answer the Deputy’s question directly, nothing will be done which threatens or undermines the ability for us to reopen a rail line.

“We will look at a variety of different options, such as running alongside. Nothing will be done which would rule out the rail option in what we do on the greenway,” said the Minister.

In response, Deputy Ó Cuív said that parallel services of greenway and railway would be acceptable as long as one would not destroy the other.


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