IWT freight trains from Ballina to increase by 30%

May 2, 2019

Multimodal News – April 30 2019

Dublin based logistics company International Warehousing and Transport (IWT) have announced that they are increasing rail services between Dublin Port and Ballina, Co. Mayo by 30% from mid-May

The trains are operated in conjunction with Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) and the increase brings the number operated up to nine per week in each direction. IWT commenced using rail for containers between Dublin Port and Ballina in August 2009 with just two services per week each way, mainly to serve the soft drinks factory located near Ballina. The supply of concentrate to the factory is still the mainstay of the operation. However, additional new business has been added from the medical, retail and brewing industries in the area. Irish Rail is now to spend €1m on upgrading the Ballina terminal.

IWT use the Ballina rail freight terminal as a railhead for the West and North West of Ireland and make regular deliveries to Westport, Letterkennny, Tuam and Castlebar from their adjacent storage yard. This is used to ‘buffer stock’ allowing their customers to store product close to production facilities, reducing lead time and eliminating storage charges at Dublin Port.

The increase in rail traffic is due to several reasons, primarily the steadily increasing costs of road haulage making rail more cost effective. The rising cost of fuel and HGV driver wages over the last 12 – 18 months have resulted in more freight being transferred to rail which has been less susceptible to the increases.  Additionally, increased shipping through Dublin Port has resulted in queues for terminals and increased congestion by HGVs. Transferring freight to rail is helping to alleviate the traffic congestion around the port and reducing the terminal queueing times.

Services operating from Dublin Port have experienced a 99% load factor whilst those from Ballina are also well loaded. Rail traffic carried by IWT has been increasing by 5% year on year. The lower carbon footprint of rail transport is also encouraging movement from the roads.

IWT was founded in 1981 and is a wholly Irish owned company with offices in Dublin and Rotterdam. In 2003 the then directors successfully launched a management buyout and have operated successfully since then.

Western Rail Corridor on course for over 420,000 journeys this year.

April 23, 2019

Iarnród Éireann said today that the Limerick to Galway line’s status as the fastest growing route on the network looks set to continue in 2019, as over 91,000 journeys were recorded on the line in the year to 24th March.

This compares with 74,000 journeys for the same period last year.  Allowing for seasonal factors, and the impact of flooding in Ballycar in early 2018, the company predicted that journeys on the line will reach 420,000 this year as a result.

This will continue the significant growth recorded in recent years.  As recently as 2014, full year journeys on the route totalled just over 225,000.   

2010 185,254
2011 224,166
2012 235,555
2013 219,209
2014 225,116
2015 278,532
2016 289,323
2017 352,706
2018 387,408
2019 (forecast) 420,000 (est)

A range of measures to boost demand included

–          Introduction of Intercity railcars on key services

–          Free car parking at WRC stations

–          Additional marketing of Taxsaver tickets and student travel

–          In 2013, Oranmore Station opened, and online ticket sales introduced for route, heavy discounts implemented

The growth is being experienced across the route, with city to city journeys surging, with a particularly strong student demand.  In addition, Athenry to Galway commuter services – incorporating Oranmore Station – and Limerick to Ennis have strong patronage.

Issued by:

Corporate Communications,

Iarnród Éireann,

Connolly Station,

Dublin 1.

Land of the GIANTS Duathlon 2018 Launched!

December 7, 2018

7th edition of Land of the Giants Christmas Duathlon to take place on 28th December 2018!

The Land of the Giants Duathlon is just around the corner. The first round of the Ireland West Duathlon series is sure to be another sell out event with participants from all over the country converge on Claremorris for the December 28th run bike run event. Whether it is to kick off the season or to burn off some of those Christmas calories, it’s promised to be a most enjoyable event and a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Past participants have often echoed that their run around Mc Mahon park and Clare lake goes like Fee-fi-fo-fum from the horrors of over indulging.

Event organiser, Padraig Marrey of Raceface Events has said numbers are increasing every year and even the cold weather of last year still doesn’t deter entrants. The event is sure to be a sell out with over 400 participants.

At McMahon Park Claremorris , was the launch of The Land of the Giants Duathlon which will take place in Claremorris on Fri Dec 28th. Pictured were Paul Dixon and Sean Dever of Dixon & Dever, Project Development Services Ltd. (Claremorris) who are main sponsors. Also pictured was Darragh Delaney(Annagh Wheelers).
Pic:Trish Forde.

Marrey puts the successful entry figures down to early promotion and great support from local traders, especially Claremorris Chamber of Commerce.

Dixon & Dever Quantity Surveyors and Project Management Services are the main sponsor. The Claremorris Company has been a key supporter of the event since its inception back in 2011.

“We are delighted to be main sponsor as it’s a great event for the town; I have taken part myself a few times and love the atmosphere it brings,” said Paul Dixon of Dixon & Dever.

Sean Dever said ” I am really looking forward to the relay section as I will partner my wife by doing the cycle leg, I ‘am sure we will have loads cheering us on around the course and especially at the finish line”

The event starts in the heart of Claremorris town with a 5k run that takes participants out to McMahon Park where they run around in the safe environment of the beautiful Land of the Giants Greenway.

Stage two is an 18k cycle taking on the undulating roads of Mayfields and Carramore, before returning via the Ballinrobe road.

The final stage is a 2k run around Clare Lake, then back to the finish line at the Square.

Sign on (number collection) is from the Mc William Park Hotel on Thursday, December 27 from 6pm to 8pm and Friday morning from 7:30am to 9:45am.

At McMahon Park Claremorris, the entrance to The land of the Giants Greenway, pictured at the launch of The Land of the Giants Duathlon to be held on Fri Dec 28th in Claremorris, were Sponsors with:Left to right: Sean Heneghan and Michael Brennan(Clare Lake Committee), Colm Byrne(Hegarty’s Centra Manager:Refreshments Sponsor), Paul Dixon and Sean Dever(Dixon & Dever: Project Development Ltd:Main Sponsors), Gemma Jordan(The McWilliam Park Hotel), Colette Jordan (Colette Jordan & Associates-Architectural Engineering and Energy), Colin Davitt(Bridge Signs), Padraig Marrey (Raceface :Organizer). Pic:Trish Forde.

The Race briefing takes place at 10:15am at Market Square and the event starts at 10:30am sharp.

Support sponsors The Mc William Park Hotel who will supply the post race refreshments.

Hegarty’s Centra, Ballinrobe rd, Claremorris will provide all the finish nourishment.

Flynn’s Pharmacy and Colette Jordan Associates Architectural Engineering & Energy Consulting are long serving sponsors

Claremorris Leisure Centre will provide shower facilities for participants after the event. Prize giving takes place at 12:45pm at the Mc William Park Hotel.

Mr. Marrey thanked the sponsors and said the event would not be possible without the continued support of the main sponsor, Claremorris Chamber of Commerce, Mc Mahon Park committee, Mayo County Council, the Road Safety Authority, Claremorris Men’s Shed group and The Red Cross.
Event results will be supplied by Core Timing.

The event was launched at Mc Mahon park.

To find out more details on how to entry go to www.raceface.ie

At the McMahon Park, the entrance to the Land of the Giants Greenway, pictured at the launch of The Land of the Giants Duathlon, to be held on Fri Dec 28th in Claremorris, were representitives of Sponsor The McWilliam Park Hotel, Gemma Jordan(General Manager), and Anne Bomser(Sales and Marketing) with Raceface, organizer Padraig Marrey.
Pic:Trish Forde.

At the launch of the Land of the Giants Duathlon, which takes place on Fri Dec 28th, pictrued were Colm Byrne (Hegarty’s Centra Manager Claremorris:Refreshments Sponsors) and Padraig Marrey, Raceface, Organizer(right). Pic:Trish Forde

At McMahon Park Claremorris, the entrance to The Land of the Giants Greenway, pictured was the launch of the Land of the Giants Duathlon, which takes place on Fri 28th in Claremorris:Left to right:Paul Dixon(Dixon & Dever, Project Development ServicesLts:Main Sponsors), McWilliam Park Hotel , Sponors,representitives Anne Bomser and Gemma Jordan(General amnager), Raceface, Organiser, Colette Jordan(Colette Jordan & Associates -Architectural Engineering and Energy:Sponsor), Sean Dever(Dixon & Dever:Project Development Services Ltd: Main Sponsors), Sean Heneghan(Clare Lake Committee), Colm(Hergarty’s Centra Manager:Refreshments Sponsors), Darragh Delaney(Annagh Wheelers), Colin Davitt(Bridge Signs), Michael Brennan(Clare Lake Committee). Pic:Trish Forde.

At the launch of The Land of the Giants Duathlon which takes place in Claremorris on Fri Dec 28th , pictured at McMahon Park Claremorris, were Clare Lake Committee members Sean Heneghan and Michael Brennan.
Pic:Trish Forde.

At the launch of The Land of the Giants Duathlon, which will take place in Claremorris on Dec 28th, pictured were Padraig Marrey, Raceface, Organizer, with Sponsor Colette Jordan of Colette Jordan and Associates, Architectural Engineering and Energy(Claremorris).
Pic:Trish Forde.

Canney Welcomes Progress with The Western Rail Corridor – 17 Aug 2018

August 17, 2018

Deputy Seán Canney has received confirmation that the Western Rail Corridor Phase 2&3 review is progressing.
‘This review is part of the Programme for Government and is also part of the National Development Plan. I understand that the Minister for Transport Shane Ross has commenced the review. The review will entail an examination of the cost of the project coupled with the potential for development opportunities for the West.

Phase 2 and Phase 3 includes the extension northwards of the Western Rail Corridor from Athenry to Tuam and onto Claremorris.
The review will carry out the appraisal of the missing link in Ireland’s Rail infrastructure and the benefits this project can deliver.
‘I further understand that the review will be vetted independently by consultants who will be appointed by the Department of Transport. Iarnród Éireann will prepare the financial and economic appraisal on the proposal. They will conduct a broad consultation with key stakeholders. The Department will engage appropriate transport and economic expertise to review the appraisal’

The Programme for Government commits to having an Independent review and the National Development Plan commits to moving on this work immediately.
As stated in the National Development Plan the findings of the review will be brought to Government for approval and if approved the project will be prioritised under the National Development Plan.
‘I have received written confirmation from the Taoiseach of his commitment to have the independent review undertaken and that if the findings of the review are approved by Government the project will be prioritised and advanced. The Taoiseach has also highlighted that the Western Rail Corridor Phase 2 from Athenry to Tuam and Phase 3 to Claremorris could play an important role in the Atlantic Economic Corridor.

The project has been described by the Chair of the Atlantic Economic Corridor task force subcommittee on infrastructure as a ‘No Brainer’.
The recent developments on Brexit have also created an additional consideration that needs close examination.
The review will consider potential rail business for commuters, freight and tourism. It will also look at the positive impact of Rail on carbon savings.

‘I look forward to the review and I urge the Department to work with all haste to complete the review. We do not need any further delays if we are to achieve our goal in Government of balanced regional development’


West on Track Welcomes inclusion of Mayo-Galway rail link in Capital Programme

February 19, 2018

West on Track welcomes the inclusion by the Government in the Capital Plan announced Phases 2 and 3 of the Western Rail Corridor linking Galway and Mayo, and its specific acknowledgement that the railway could play an important role in the Atlantic Economic Corridor and could increase passenger, tourist and commercial use.

We are confident that the independent review of the potential of the railway in the context of the Atlantic Economic Corridor will confirm the major contribution that the railway can make in terms of regional connectivity, linking Galway city with its natural hinterland in line with the National Planning Framework, as well as opening up the southern ports directly to freight traffic from the west, an essential requirement in the context of Brexit.

Linking Westport, Ballina, Castlebar, Claremorris and Tuam by rail to Galway would have an enormous impact. It would also enable direct rail travel to and from Limerick and Cork offering tourists proper access to the west and north-west for the first time.

Text in Capital Programme: ‘The Western Rail Corridor Phase 2 from Athenry to Tuam and Phase 3 to Claremorris could play an important part in the Atlantic Economic Corridor. The extension of the WRC could increase passenger, tourist and commercial use. In line with the Programme for Government an independent review will be undertaken immediately. If the findings are approved by Government the project will be prioritised during this plan.’


Kiltimagh Closures Suggest Loss of Banks Is A Killer Blow – Feb 2018

February 13, 2018

Towns in east and south Mayo are reporting mixed fortunes, with new businesses opening in Claremorris and Swinford, but with three closing in Kiltimagh.

The Paper Shop, which was in the centre of the town, shut its doors after years of serving the community, while Eden Flowers and Byrne’s Butchers also closed recently. The latter business shut its doors after the death of owner, Paddy Byrne.

Carroll’s Supermarket is the only grocery store left on Kiltimagh’s Main Street, with the Village News, Mulherin’s, and Gallagher’s, beside the local church all closed for a number of years. Supervalu is at the rear of the town.

But it’s a different tale in nearby Swinford, where Cllr Michael Smyth can list a plethora of new businesses, including a kitchen company, gym, accountants’ firm, and agricultural consultant.

“We’ve been lucky, because we have kept our banks. Kiltimagh and Charlestown have lost theirs and it has has an impact.” Claremorris pharmacist and chamber of commerce member, Jimmy Flynn, says the south Mayo town has not been as badly affected as others in the region.

“While we are still in the so-called storm, it has abated. At Christmas, people were more focused on leaving their money in the local town,” he said.

A number of businesses opened in Claremorris, before Christmas and another two are due to open shortly, with the town’s central location attracting people to live in the area to commute to jobs in Galway, Sligo, Castlebar, and Westport. Claremorris Chamber of Commerce is lobbying hard to have the Urban Renewal Scheme extended to towns like Claremorris, Ballinrobe, and Ballyhaunis, which would attract people to live in the town centres.

“The streets are ripe for regeneration, but it needs to be driven by local and central government,” said Mr Flynn. “There needs to be a concrete proposals to incentivise development, including tax breaks and a relaxing of the building regulations, introduced in 2011.”

by Marian Duggan – Western People

Growth of 22% on Galway – Limerick Rail Services in 2016

November 16, 2017

Patronage on the Galway Limerick Intercity rail line has soared 22% in 2016 pointing to annualized passenger numbers of 420,600.

The annual rail survey by the National Transport Authority finds that 1,402 people travelled Galway-Limerick on census day, 17 November 2016, an increase of 22% on 2015.

With rail passengers counted six days a week throughout the year, this would equate to 420,600 passengers in 2016. The Business Case for Galway-Limerick had projected 220,000 by 2020. In fact, patronage has almost doubled – fully three years earlier than projected. And while rail travel nationally is up 19% between 2012 and 2016, the increase for Galway-Limerick is 38%.

“Rail is enjoying a renaissance,” said a West on Track spokesman. “These figures confirm the findings of the Cicero report of 2015 and show this rail route is one of the fastest-growing links in the country. There is no justifiable reason for further delay in the reinstatement of train services between Galway and Mayo.”

Co. Mayo.
Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Galway County Council vote to Protect Rail Infrastructure – Oct 2017

October 3, 2017

Claremorris Chamber of Commerce welcomes the decision of the elected members of Galway County Council to protect and preserve the Western Rail Corridor for development as critical infrastructure.

This outcome is pivotal to the future development of the west.
Were the WRC to be ripped up for a greenway, it would be a most serious setback for the region at a time when an Atlantic Economic Corridor is being planned.

To develop the western region to its full potential, we need a spine of top quality infrastructure – including road, rail, broadband and electricity. The vote by Galway County Council is a vital part of ensuring that existing infrastructure is protected.
Here in Claremorris County Mayo, we have developed a 5 km greenway as a result of strong community effort and support from Mayo County Council. In fact, our town’s greenway is about to get a 3 km extension.
Most important of all, it goes nowhere near the town’s railway which proves that a greenway can be developed without tearing up transport infrastructure.

We would be delighted to share our experience in developing this greenway as we believe there is huge potential for Tuam and many other locations to develop a similar kind of amenity without interfering with the railway.

WRC crucial to future development of the West – by Seán Canney TD

August 21, 2017

Seán Canney TD has reiterated the importance of the Western Rail Corridor for the future development of the West of Ireland.
‘Phase 1 of the Western Rail Corridor has exceeded the projected level of use with 279,000 passengers using the Galway to Limerick line in 2015 as confirmed by Irish Rail. Phase 1 serves the towns between Galway and Limerick including Athenry, Craughwell, Ardrahan, Gort and Ennis.

‘There has been consistent misinformation about the performance of this line and I am dismayed to hear that elected public representatives from the Tuam Area are calling for the closure of this line. This is not helpful in the quest to increase investment in the West of Ireland
‘I have always advocated for the extension of the Western Rail Corridor north from Athenry to Tuam and Claremorris. This development would provide rail connectivity from Galway to Westport and Ballina, Galway to Limerick as well as the existing Galway to Dublin line. The opening of the Western Rail Corridor would provide direct rail freight access along the West to Foynes Port in Limerick and Waterford Port.
‘The Programme for Partnership Government recognises the importance of the railway to the future development of the West of Ireland as a counterbalance to overdevelopment in the greater Dublin region.
‘The Atlantic Economic Corridor is the platform to create balanced development and the Chambers of Commerce of Limerick, Shannon, Ennis, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo and the American Chamber of Commerce support this drive for balanced development.
‘All political parties believe in the concept of the Atlantic Economic Corridor and they need to put this into operation in their utterances and they need to give clarity instead of playing politics.
‘The Western Rail Corridor is a vital component in the realisation of this vision. The re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor Phase 2 & 3 will revitalise towns in Galway such as Tuam, Milltown, Athenry, Ardrahan, Gort and Craughwell.
‘The fact that the NTA spent €270 million in projects between January 2015 and March 2017 in Dublin and spent €25,000 in the rest of the country demonstrates clearly the imbalance that continues to exist.
‘We need to unite and aspire to bigger investment for Tuam, Athenry, Loughrea and Gort. We should not be afraid to flight for more. We have got to stop putting ourselves down. Finally, we need to work together in the West to ensure we get infrastructure lead development for the entire region.
‘Since being first elected to Galway County Council I have always been passionate in my belief that Galway East is a great location to live, work and raise our families. I intend to continue to push for investment to allow Galway East to provide jobs for our children and grandchildren,’

By Sean Canney| August 21st, 2017|Athenry Area, Blog, Education, Farming, Flood Relief, Galway East, Gort Area, Health, Homepage, Housing, Information, Latest News, Launch Events, Loughrea Area, National, O P W, Portumna Area, Sporting, Tourism, Tuam Area

Mayo Towns Blaze A Trail In Development of Community Greenways

August 10, 2017

Mayo Towns are showing the way in the development of community greenways. Castlebar and Claremorris now have two excellent facilities which are being widely used by local communities and visitors.

The development of such Community Greenways is best facilitated by identifying attractive local areas of natural beauty such as lakes, woods or rivers which can be adapted for use, as in the case of Lough Lannagh in Castlebar or of Clare Lake in Claremorris, developed with the support of Mayo County Council.

Pictured: View of Clare Lake from Greenway

The Claremorris development is a state of the art community-developed Greenway, ‘Mac Mahon Park – Land of the Giants’, featuring a 5.5 Km walking and cycling loop including Clare Lake and a large forest area, which is also used for sporting events such as running and cycle races. A Claremorris ‘parkrun’ takes place every Saturday at 9:30am. (See Claremorris Park Run Website.)

A children’s feature ‘The Land of the Giants’ has been built into the forest section. The lakeside in a wooded setting features sculpture, seating, bridges, a gazebo and much wildlife, including ducks, geese and butterflies. Boating and fishing facilities are provided and a fully-equipped children’s playground has also been developed at the entrance. More than 2,000 people now use the facility every week. The latest addition is a multi-use gaming area with an astro-turf facility, basketball and goal posts.

Pictured: A fun scene at Mac Mahon Park

The project has been developed over time by a number of community groups with assistance from Mayo Co. Council. A further 2.5 Km is now to be added taking in another local lake, again with the support of the Co. Council.

While the park is located in the vicinity of the Mayo-Galway railway line there is NO interference of any kind with the rail infrastructure.

Pictured: Walking and Cycling trail at Claremorris Greenway

The Lough Lannnagh greenway at Castlebar is a 10km trail offering a pleasant mix of countryside, including fields, riverside woodlands, small sections of quiet country back roads and urban settings. The Greenway forms part of the National Cycle Network which is currently being developed throughout Ireland. This facility is designed for shared use for leisure walkers, joggers and cyclists.
Funding of €725,000 was made available from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport under the National Cycle Network Programme to develop the Greenway from Springfield, Castlebar to the National Museum and Mayo County Council also provided match funding to the same amount for the urban section of Greenway from Lough Lannagh – Springfield.
The route is mainly traffic-free and off- road with a solid surface, consisting of both tarred and compacted gravel. The Greenway was designed and developed by Mayo County Council by way of Permissive Access in partnership with 28 local landowners.

Pictured: Bridge to the Greenway at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar

These models offer an exciting template for similar towns seeking to develop community greenways, leaving important regional infrastructure such as railways protected for future development.

Pictured: Family stroll at Lough Lannagh Greenway.

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