Castlebar Railway Station.

Mayo site identified for strategic rail freight hub

The development of a strategic rail freight hub to serve the needs of Mayo’s multinational firms is in the pipeline.

Glen Carr, a director of commercial business for Irish Rail whose role includes overall responsibility for Rosslare Europort, has confirmed Castlebar as the preferred location for the facility.

He revealed: “We have identified Castlebar and we are working on a design. There are major multinationals which employ many people (in Mayo).

“Their performance is being measured not just on the basis of their output but also on that of their carbon footprint.

“These industries need to come up with an alternative supply chain option instead of using road transport.

“We are actively getting on with implementing our rail freight strategy and we hope to place an order shortly for a considerable amount of new rail fleet.”

Irish Rail has been involved in detailed consultations with Mayo industrialists seeking a shift from road to rail as part of its carbon commitments.

“We are working with a project team, consultants and industry to implement this strategy.

“A key part of that is connecting to seaports as well as to strategic hubs placed around the country that have a multi-modal offer, in that they can provide warehousing and access to rail and road.

“The heavy trucking will be done by rail for industries and into the ports.

“We are just a part of a supply chain. Often our exporters are going around the world.

“Now we are seeing some of the trailers going on rail across Europe.

“We want to connect Rosslare Europort by creating an arc that goes from Rosslare, Waterford, Cork, Shannon-Foynes, right up to the west.

“We know there is a cluster of industries there and if we put in the right facilities, they will use them.

“There has never been a better chance and a better time to do it as part of decarbonising the transport system across the nation.”