“We are happy with the withdrawal of services,” said Save The Rail (STR) campaigner Tanya Fenelon after the National Transport Authority (NTA) approved Iarnród Éireann’s (IE) request to terminate its Waterford-Rosslare service.
“We’ve gotten rid of that shower who don’t want to run the line and we’re working on getting a company in who is interested in making the business work.”
In a statement reflecting on its ruling, the NTA declared that IE’s withdrawal is “subject to a number of significant conditions”.
The most significant of these, from STR’s perspective, is the 18-page NTA report’s final sentence in which the authority declares its support for “any initiatives to develop a Community Rail Partnership”.
Given that a Government appointed body was never like to rule against a request from the Government-controlled rail operator, this was probably as good as it was ever going to get for the line’s advocates.
And while some online comment has suggested that this publicly stated support will amount to nothing in the long term, it’s clear that pursuing a new operator for the route will be vigorously addressed.