Increase in Athlone-Galway rail services expected after new funding - Naughten

Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the allocation of €3m to provide a passing loop at Oranmore Railway Station, which he said would allow for additional morning and evening rail services on the route from Athlone to Galway city.

"Over the last number of years, I have engaged with Irish Rail on the need to increase commuter rail services into Galway City due to the huge demand for the service along this route," said Denis Naughten.

"I have travelled on the commuter service and on occasion it is more akin to the Indian rail service rather than Ireland with the scale over overcrowding on some trains.

"While the primary goal must be to see the rail line doubled between Athenry and Galway City this investment of €3m under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund is a positive and significant first step in improving local rail services.

"There is no reason why we should not have a dedicated commuter service between Athlone and Galway City every morning and evening, particularly in light of the fact that Ceannt Rail Station in Galway is the most suitable commuter rail station in the country, situated in the very middle of the city centre."

As one of the authors of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund established by the last Government, Denis Naughten pointed out: "While Government funding under this round will also facilitate the development of enhanced parking facilities at the station, we need to see the development of a park and ride facility in Athenry close to the motorway to fully utilise enhanced rail services into Galway City."

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