Belfast Telegraph

Closed rail line could be reopened

Two private firms are vying to run a new rail service between Waterford and Rosslare, it emerged after transport chiefs signed off on the closure of the line.

Iarnrod Eireann claimed the 104-year-old route was costing 1.9 million euro to keep open and pushed for the shutdown.

Campaigners from the Save the Rail Group said conditions attached to the closure order will clear the way for a community partnership to attract private investors to the route.

Tanya Fenelon, spokeswoman with the group which had been fighting to keep the line open and for services to be expanded, said she was delighted with the outcome.

"We are happy with the withdrawal of services," she said.

"We got rid of that shower who don't want to run the line and we're working on getting a company in who's interested in making the business work."

The Save the Rail Group claimed two firms have expressed an interest and it is also confident that funding can be secured from Europe. The group aims to use the example of local communities in Wales where similar rail partnerships have been put in place.

The last Iarnrod Eireann service is expected to run later this month.

The National Transport Authority approved the closure, claiming extra buses will significantly enhance public transport at a reduced cost to the state - about 250,000 euro a year.

It said more than 80 additional round trips will be provided.

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