Last week’s announcement from CIE proved disappointing in terms of the closure of the rail link from Waterford to Rosslare, but it is not the end of the issue.
Given how Irish Rail had the train running at odd times, with little
promotion of the service, failure in terms of passenger numbers was inevitable.
We can recall using it with the boat train and compared to the trains in the UK it was a remarkable and beautiful journey. The tourist potential of this line has never been realised and now perhaps this can be possible.
A proper commuter service could also be considered with WIT and access to the city centre for workers being in demand. Workers now pay a lot for car-parking, and this cost could be reduced if people used the train.
In the UK and Germany people are allowed to bring bikes on trains meaning people can use a combination of cycling and rail for commuter or day-trip use.
Cycling is getting huge now, as witnessed by the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford which attracted nearly 4500 participants.
The rail support group are doing Trojan work and have secured some commitments from CIE. Maintaining the line is essential and prevent it from being taken up, as occurred with the Tramore railway in the early 1960s a week after CIE stopped using it, so that Government decisions could not be overturned.
Grant aid through Intereg funds could be possible with Wales in the loop. It is good to see UK rail entrepreneurs getting interested as their experience is worth gaining.
The South East Regional Authority and public representatives from all across the region must get on board this campaign. The success of the Suir Valley Railway in Kilmeaden points the way to how this South Wexford line can be kept open.
Volunteering has been a big part in this success of Suir Valley where prices are reasonable as well as good marketing. Their expertise would also be useful.