Boost for Mayo as rail line gains approval for EU funding consideration

The Cabinet has granted approval for the inclusion of the Claremorris to Athenry rail route in the national segment of the Trans-European Transport (Ten-T) comprehensive network.

This decision, integral to the wider strategic rail review across the island, aims to revive the Western Rail Corridor from Athenry to Claremorris via Tuam by 2030, with an estimated project cost ranging from €400 million to €600 million.

Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers welcomed the Cabinet's nod, underscoring the strategic significance of resurrecting the Western Rail Corridor for the broader western region.

The addition of the Claremorris-Athenry rail route to Ireland's Ten-T allocation is deemed a pivotal development, especially considering ongoing delays in the all-island strategic rail review, particularly in Northern Ireland.

Senator Chambers stressed the potential role of EU funding in realising the revival of the Western Rail Corridor. While inclusion in the Ten-T network opens avenues for EU funding, it is crucial to note that this inclusion does not automatically guarantee entitlement to funding. Instead, projects must vie in highly competitive calls, where co-funding is allocated based on merit to projects spanning the EU.

Recent accomplishments in securing EU funding for Irish projects, such as the City Centre Resignalling Project in Dublin and feasibility studies related to Dart+ South West, highlights the governments adeptness at attracting financial support for pivotal transportation initiatives.

The line will prove vital for exporting goods and is not expected to run frequently as a passenger route in comparison to other railway lines.