Moate Railway Station Restoration Group held their inaugural meeting last Wednesday night, with the objective of exploring ways of restoring the station to its former glory, building on plans for the station in relation to the Athlone-Mullingar cycleway.
The group of over 40 people is made up primarily of residents from the Station Road area and is open to anyone with an interest in restoring the station.
Local Independent Cllr Michael O’Brien, who lives beside the station, facilitated the meeting. Westmeath County Council project engineer for the cycleway, Michael Kelly, outlined the progress made to date and plans for the station in the context of the rollout of the new cycleway.
The group learned that €140,000 will be spent on the station in preparing for the cycleway. Part of the money will be used to upgrade four of the station’s buildings, protecting and enhancing the integrity of the structures. The cycleway is on target to be opened for July 2015.
Cllr O’Brien said the cycleway would mean a massive tourism and economic boost for Moate, with over 100,000 people coming into Moate every year.
“I mooted the idea of restoring the station on social media in February of this year and the response was very positive and encouraging,” said Cllr O’Brien.
“We’ve set up a strong local working group tonight, who have one vision; this group will work with the community, community groups, the council, and the various authorities in striving to make this exciting project a reality. A public meeting will be held in the new year to invite people to bring forward their views in relation to the project.”