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Monday, March 8, 2010

End of the line for Rosslare Waterford Rail service

Cynics say that you know when a rail line is set for closure because the station gets a new lick of paint. Naturally my concerns grew when I went to Rosslare Strand to see the Waterford platform was painted and resurfaced that there was something a foot. The line serves Wellington Bridge and connects a rural hinterland to Waterford. Many of these small villages have lost their bus service last year and now will see their rail service go. As recently as 1995 there were 3 return trains to Waterford.
Fair play to Brendan Howlin, he flushed Irish Rail out. I’ve seen the correspondence from Irish Rail. They are seeking to put an alternative in placed for their passengers and are offering workers either a severance package or a transfer. The letter to Deputy Howlin is signed by a senior manager in Irish Rail. The fate of the line that links Wexford to Waterford, Cork, Limerick & Galway is sealed. After over 100 years the line will close.
I’ve blogged this matter before, I’ve explained how management blew €30K on taxi fares because they timetabled a Waterford crew to take the train to Rosslare after the last bus returned to Waterford. A Wexford crew was a possibility. I’ve also said how they never promoted the line despite fares being less than Bus Eireann. The timetable was altered making it awkward for passengers to sprint to Plunket Station for the train home.

I’ve written to the Transport Minister as well as the 2 greens who passed the book to Irish Rail. The greens are ostensibly a party of public transport and it is to their shame that they never lifted a finger to stop Irish Rail management. Not so much as a tweet out of Senator Dan Boyle. FF have no policy other than nationally saying one thing while Sean Connick TD touted by some as a possible Minister saying something else. If he’s appointed a Minister will he reverse this decision?

McCarthy called for the lines closure and now we’re starting to see McCarthy by stealth. Despite the fact that the train in to Waterford has a loyal passenger base each morning and is always at least half full and was reliable rail passengers from Wexford will now be faced with gridlock on the Ferrybank dual carriageway in order to get to work. I’ve travelled on that line twice in the 18 months. I’ve seen its potential. So too has RTE’s “Nationwide” which reported positively 4 weeks on the route. Run trains from Wexford to Limerick Junction. Allow connections to the Western Rail Corridor. Where’s the vision with Irish Rail?
Instead over time the line will deteriorate, sleepers will rot and ultimately it will be impossible to re-open a service along the line. Brendan Howlin will raise the matter on the adjournment on Tuesday night in Dail Eireann. Lets see what the Minister says in response.


Anonymous said...

It would be a shame to see the line close. I have good memories of traveling from Wellingtonbridge to Waterford and back each week as a student.


Unknown said...

I've campaigne dfor this lines retention becasue it has huge potential. Govt policy opposes rail closure however it seems that there is a clear attempt to shut the line now and it will be very difficult to stop management from where I am.
Of course if we had a Green Party in power as opposed to govt then it could be reversed! I'm very dispondent and can't see a way forward.

New Writers Club said...

What about starting a Facebook campaign to gain support. I know of one other person on Facebook who travelled on this line for our secondary school years, and we can probably find some more. Maybe the more we can inform people about this, the better we can fight it...

Unknown said...

Sean, You can join the facebook campaign, Save the Rosslare to Waterford rail line. Feel free to check out the page and write on the wall.

David said...

I am planning to travel to Ireland in a month or two and wanted to return via Rosslare, not least to take in that wonderfully scenic run from Waterford. If anyone has news of an impending closure, I should be grateful if they would leave a message here.

Unknown said...

Line is slated for Closure on the 21st of July.

Well done Irish Rail. Well done.

There goes my green vote to someone else, I'd never though I see a line closure in my lifetime, such a pity, Hopefully there is some fight left in the Southeast.



David said...

Did it close on 21 July? The route is still in the timetable.

Unknown said...

The line is still operating unless the National Tranpsort Authority decides in favour of the application by Irish Rail to close. Numbers using the line have increased in the last few months due to the publiciity and the threat.
The next meeting of the NTA is not until September and there is no guarantee that the company will be alowed close even then!