New report finds strong business case for restoration of Galway to Mayo rail link

A major report published today by economist Dr. John Bradley has found that there is a strong business case for the reopening of the railway from Galway to Mayo as part of the wider Atlantic Railway Corridor at a cost of €154 million.

The 210 page report, entitled The Atlantic Railway Corridor – The Galway-Mayo Rail Link: An Appraisal was welcomed today by a spokesman for West on Track who said that it “proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is a viable and urgently needed project for the economic development of the West of Ireland.”

The spokesman continued: “Dr. Bradley and his team have done a great service to our entire region and the government should now move to include this important infrastructure in the forthcoming National Development Plan.

"As the report shows this important project can be delivered by 2025 at a cost of €154m which represents exceptional value for money for 50km of prime infrastructure.

"There is strong cross-party political support across the entire western region for the restoration of this key piece of infrastructure which has lain idle for too long, but we cannot continue to exist on fine words – we now need to see delivery.

"In particular, we are calling on Minister Eamonn Ryan to prioritize this project as he promised to do in September of last year.

"As the Minister said in the Dáil on Thursday last this project will deliver his strategic objective of connecting the ports of Waterford and Foynes to Ballina at the same time.

"For that reason the Foynes project and the Galway-Mayo link should commence without delay as both are shovel-ready projects.

“A government commitment to commence the restoration of the Galway-Mayo section of the WRC, is all the more relevant due to vulnerabilities in Ireland’s international supply chains as a result of BREXIT.

"Such vulnerabilities require improved connectivity and direct access to the south-eastern and southern ports of Foynes, Cork and Waterford.

"The current rail freight issues in Ballina serve to illustrate the urgent necessity of having an alternative route for Mayo industries to the southern ports.

"From later this month there will be at least five trains per week from Mayo to Waterford and it is clear that the logical solution to the current problems at Dublin Port is to urgently develop that alternative,” he added.