I welcome moves by the Minister for Transport to clear the existing railway line between Athenry and Claremorris and rebuilding the Ballyglunin bridge in preparation for the opening of the rail line.

I welcome the announcement by Minister Eamon Ryan that Irish Rail have been instructed to clear the existing rail line between Athenry and Claremorris in preparation for the re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor Phase 2 & Phase 3. He has also confirmed that he contacted TII to commence the replacement bridge at Ballyglunin.

This development following on from the findings of the All-Ireland Rail Review is a statement of intent and will begin the process of restoring the line.

“This is a vital project in order to help develop our rail infrastructure in the Western Region.

I also welcome the appointment of the contractor for the re-development of Ceannt Station in Galway City.

Further works are approved to install a passing loop at Oranmore Station.

I also acknowledge that works are progressing with restoration of the rail line between Limerick and Foynes port which are progressing and will be complete in the next year.

All of this progress is necessary to meeting the growing demand for rail services both rail freight and commuter services.

Over the last number of months in excess of 12 major global companies located in the West have written to the Minister demanding a rail freight service to allow them to meet their carbon omission targets.

The success of the Galway Limerick commuter rail line incorporating Phase 1 of the Western Rail Corridor is clear evidence that rail as a mode of transport will be utilised when we provide a frequent, comfortable schedule.

I look forward to further investment in Athenry, Tuam, Claremorris and Castlebar stations to facilitate the loading and off-loading of rail freight.