There are fears that some train services in Limerick may be cut
SINN Fein and Fianna Fáil are calling on the Minister for Transport to step in and safeguard routes that have come under threat from Iarnród Éireann.
Irish Rail is warning that some rail services may have to be cut if a funding shortfall of €100 million per year is not addressed.
In a submission to the Labour Court, Irish Rail has identified a number of cuts that could be made if the funding gap is not bridged.
It stated that the Limerick to Ballybrophy rail route requires a subvention of €761.60 per passenger, compared to 70c per passenger for the Dart.
The other lines mentioned were the Ennis to Athenry line, the Gorey to Rosslare line and the Limerick Junction to Waterford section.
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada said threats to routes such as Limerick to Ballybrophy, Ennis to Athenry, Gorey to Rosslare and Limerick Junction to Waterford are “another example of government showing its disinterest in the development of areas outside of the capital.”
Fianna Fail deputy Willie O'Dea has also expressed concerns that Irish Rail is considering closing rail lines servicing Castleconnell and Galway.
Deputy O’Dea said Irish Rail should be focusing on growing rail services, and that closing rail lines may offer a temporary reprieve to funding issues.
He said this would only hollow out the company in the long run and exacerbate the funding crisis.