Galway-Limerick rail times ‘a disgrace’ says MEP Higgins

Irish Rail’s announcement that it will reduce journey times between Galway and Dublin by 15/20 minutes is welcome but the Galway-Limerick rail times are still “a disgrace”.

This is the view of North West MEP Jim Higgins, who was speaking on the issue from the European Parliament in Strasbourg in eastern France.

The motorway has provided good competition for the rail service, and I am happy that this has shunted them into action,” said MEP Higgins. “I welcome the fact that the trains will now travel at 160 km/h following the investment in new rolling stock in recent years.”

Irish Rail will publish new journey time proposals for public consultation later this month, and the new timetables should come into effect in early 2013.

However MEP Higgins was less impressed with what he called “the lack of progress on reducing the journey times between Galway and Limerick”.

He pointed out that to drive between Galway city and Limerick takes one hour and 25 minutes, but on the train it takes two hours and 15 minutes. He also said commuters cannot book online for this service.

“I cannot understand how you can book most buses in the country online, but not the train,” he said. “If this was a train on the east coast a solution to the online booking problem would have been found by now.”

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