Ending of Ballina – Dublin Port rail freight service aired in Dail

Irish Rail seeking restoration of the service

Sligo News File

Alan Dillon, TD, Fine Gael…Dail questions on cessation of Ballina -Dublin Port freight service

 

A Castlebar-based TD has questioned the ending of the Ballina-Dublin Port rail freight service in the Dail, stating that the decision was taken by Dublin Port without prior consultation with Irish Rail or its customers.

Alan Dillon said the service has not operated for more than a week.

Irish Rail, he said, “has confirmed it is seeking the restoration of these services and will continue to engage with Dublin Port to achieve this.

“There is increasing demand for rail freight services from Mayo and a new Ballina to Waterford rail service is set to commence next month. This should not happen at a time when climate action is seen as a key priority for society.

“We should be promoting more sustainable mobility and decarbonisation, not moving away from them. I urge the Government to remind Dublin Port of previous investment in rail. I recall that a new rail spur opened by the Tánaiste in 2011.

“It is foolish to reduce rail services for what appears to be operational convenience to free up parking spaces for HGVs.”

Tanaiste, Leo Varadkar said the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, was “very concerned that the question of continuation of rail services into Dublin Port should arise at a time when the focus is on ensuring that our transport modes are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

He said: “The ultimate aim is that rail freight continues to be facilitated by Dublin Port in line with Government policy, particularly having regard to the strategic review of rail freight under way at present.

“It is also acknowledged that freight by rail can make a significant contribution to climate action and in reducing road congestion in Dublin,” he added