THE IMPORTANCE of converting planned freight trains into passenger carriages in time for the Adare Ryder Cup in 2027 has been flagged by elected representatives.

Limerick councillors outlined to National Transport Authority (NTA) officials their concerns in providing efficient transport for rail passengers in five years’ time.

In an official presentation delivered by the NTA at a Travel and Transport Special Policy Committee (SPC) meeting, queries around Limerick’s new planned rail network were raised.

Officials outlined that the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transportation Strategy (LSMATS) will provide for the reinstatement of a “freight only” line from Limerick to Foynes.

Cllr Fergus Kilcoyne said: “Going from Colbert Station to Foynes, you pass through Patrickswell and Adare. We need to get this thing right from day one.”

The Independent Limerick City West councillor suggested that a mixture of “freight” and “passenger” trains be put in place in order to mitigate a traffic bottleneck in Adare.

“If we have this up and running for 2027, we would be able to get people out by train to the Ryder Cup. Not just for this, it needs to happen anyway,” Cllr Kilcoyne added.

He also said to NTA officials that a conversion to passenger trains would accommodate people coming in on luxury cruise ships for the Ryder Cup, saying that hotels “won’t be able to cope.”

In response, Hugh Cregan, Director of Public Transport Services with the NTA reiterated that the LSMATS states that the line be initially developed as a freight line.

From:The Limerick Leader

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