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Imminent development of the Limerick Foynes rail line

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Limerick Foynes rail line – Diverging tracks where the Foynes and Mungret lines separate, near the Crescent Shopping Centre (May 2021). 

With works expected to take approximately 18 months, the reopening of the Limerick to Foynes line could happen in 2024

Iarnród Éireann has published a tender for reconstruction work on the Limerick Foynes line on the Irish Government e-tenders site. The overall objective of the Limerick to Foynes Line Track and Civils Project is to renew and/or rehabilitate the existing track and civil engineering infrastructure on the 42km Limerick to Foynes line. The proposed construction contract will include the installation of sleepers and rail, and also the maintenance of bridges, culverts and the road infrastructure at public road level crossings.  

This pre-qualification questionnaire tender closes on September 2. The invitation to tender to shortlisted applicants is expected to be issued by mid-September. Irish Rail expects to award the tender by mid-November. With the works expected to take approximately 18 months, the Limerick to Foynes line reopening could happen in 2024. 

Limerick City TD Brian Leddin said, “I am thrilled to see the Limerick to Foynes line project get going. It is something I have been working on for a long time, as have many before me. It is the start of a major expansion of rail services and infrastructure in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary in the coming years.”

Rail can drive development within our cities and regions. In Limerick, there are many dormant lines and there is a vast opportunity to reopen those lines. The news of the Irish Rail tender being published signals the increased emphasis and investment of this government into the rail infrastructure. These are the first steps to reinstate the line to Foynes and will enable the ambitious plans for expanding the port to drive the offshore renewable energy revolution in the Midwest.

The Draft Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy supports the reinstatement of the Limerick to Foynes rail line to provide a freight service. However, if this is to be done, it makes sense to develop the line to passenger standard, given the large number of settlements along the route, namely Raheen, Patrickswell, Adare, Rathkeale, Askeaton and Foynes. 

Two more critical projects are the rail link to Shannon Industrial Estate and the Airport, the twin tracking of Limerick to Limerick Junction and various new stations around Limerick City, starting with Moyross, Ballysimon, Parkway and Raheen Industrial Estate.

Mr Leddin concluded, “We have a better urban rail network than Cork, Galway or Waterford, but we need to have a strategy to get the maximum benefit from bringing this infrastructure back into use. That means we need to focus on residential and commercial development in line with this rail potential. This will put Limerick in a place to be the primary growth location in the country for the next decade and beyond.

“These are a lot more than just rail projects. They are the critical elements of our vision to grow Limerick and the Midwest region in a quick and sustainable way, so that we compete with Dublin and European city-regions. New development must be focused around this sustainable infrastructure.

For more information on the Limerick Foynes rail line tender, go HERE

For more stories about Foynes, go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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