Group campaign to improve local train services
A number of members from the North Tipperary Community Rail Partnership (NTCRP) met with Jim Meade, Irish Rail Chief Executive, on Tuesday of this week following the launch of the partnership's new campaign to improve train services along the Ballybrophy to Limerick line.
The lines serves stations at Roscrea, Cloughjordan, Nenagh and Birdhill in North Tipperary.
The group says it wants to see a regular, efficient, reliable local rail service in North Tipperary, and it intends to make this a reality through achievable, cost-effective and user-friendly alterations to how the service operates.
In a statement the partnership said as it went into Tuesday's meeting: "The community group will make a number of key points to the head of Irish Rail, with the intention of increasing rail speeds, reducing journey times, running additional services and ensuring that the local train is an attractive and reliable form of transport for the people of North Tipperary."
The main points that the group said it was bringing to Mr Meade’s attention were:
- To increase line speeds on sections of track recently developed into Continuous Welded Rail (CWR), so that journey times can be reduced to a consistent time;
- To review all existing speed restrictions to increase the line’s overall speed from 50mph to 60mph;
- To review the existing timetable to reflect shorter journey times and bring forward the 10.05 Ballybrophy to Limerick morning schedule to 09.05 and defer the departure of the 16.55 to at least 17.10, thus making the service more attractive for commuters;
- To introduce a middle of the day return service from Limerick to Ballybrophy;
- To align Limerick-Ballybrophy services to connect with Limerick-Limerick Junction service, opening up more journey possibilities via Limerick to Dublin and Cork;
- The reintroduction of a later-evening Nenagh commuter service, and
- The appointment of a dedicated regional rail manger, with responsibility for the delivery of upgrades and marketing and communications on the line.
The group comprises a number of people living locally in North Tipperary who are passionate about improving, promoting and increasing the rail service in the area, so that it is a more attractive, efficient and reliable form of transport for commuters going to work and college, or those who wish to use the service for leisure.
The group said the goals presented to the company were all attainable and realistic. "Most importantly, they are cost effective. These improvements will result in shorter travel times and more services that are tailored to suit the community. These changes have the support of the local community. Now, the group believes, it is time for Irish Rail to start implementing these much-needed, common-sense changes," the group concluded.