Dillon highlights importance of Western Rail Corridor in Dáil

A Mayo TD has again discussed the importance of the Western Rail Corridor as a piece of infrastructure along the Atlantic Economic Corridor.

Deputy Alan Dillon expressed his concerns over the slow development of the project in Dáil Éireann this week.

Deputy Dillon, a member of the Committee on Transport and Communications, highlighted the benefits of the Western Rail Corridor before questioning An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, on why there has been such a delay in developments and when a decision could be expected.

Said Deputy Dillon: “A commitment on page 15 of the Programme for Government is to prioritise the report on the future of the Western Rail Corridor and take immediate action.

“I have repeatedly raised the project in this chamber and will continue to do so on behalf of the people of counties Mayo, Galway and Sligo. The Western Rail Corridor is a vital piece of infrastructure along the Atlantic Economic Corridor, yet its development has been frustratingly slow.”

He continued: “It is now an important component of the All-Ireland Strategic Rail Review, connecting Ballina and Rosslare and addressing regional imbalance in the west. The 52km line between Claremorris and Athenry is central to that and we also need to safeguard the rail infrastructure north of Claremorris.

“It is imperative this project is included in the revised National Development Plan, given the significant demand for rail freight.

“The west is desperately in need of this project. In light of its obvious benefits, why is there stalling on this issue? When can we anticipate a decision?”

The Taoiseach said he would discuss the matter with the Minister for Transport: “I will double-check with the Minister for Transport, but my understanding is the draft of the All-Ireland Rail Review has been published. It is now out to public consultation and a final draft will follow.”