A light rail system for Waterford city, which would see the Red Iron Railway Bridge restored to its former glory, has been envisaged as part of a plan to save the Waterford-Rosslare railway line.
This potential three-phase development could also pave the way for the rejuvenation of the Tramore-New Ross line via Waterford through a restored interconnecting route.
In a document obtained by The Munster Express, a British-based operator (which is opting for anonymity at this time) has outlined its ambitions for a line which Iarnród Éireann has applied to withdraw its existing service from.
And while legislation to permit the lease or sale of a State-run line to a private operator would be required, the proposal makes for intriguing reading.
The ‘future extensions’ element of the proposal is likely to prove of particular interest to city residents, politicians and tourist operators alike.
The British operator aims to create a circular light rail loop around the city centre which would service Waterford Regional Hospital, Waterford Institute of Technology and the city’s industrial estates.
“Access across the River Suir from the Railway Station will be by means of the disused Railway Bridge to the North West of the city centre (at Grannagh). A North-South interconnecting service is planned from New Ross to Tramore, utilising the disused rail routes.”
The first phase of the proposal would focus solely on the existing Waterford-Rosslare route, with services running hourly in each direction between 6am and 10pm.
“Safety procedures will be implemented for the safe interaction of the light rail vehicles with the existing heavy rail services,” the proposal reads.
“The trams would in fact be operated in Tram/Train mode as determined by the current trials in the UK.”
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