Iarnród Éireann has once again issued a plea to the public and interested organisations to submit their views on the future of the Western Rail Corridor.
With the July 17 deadline looming, people are being reminded that this is their opportunity to shape the future of the disused sections of the corridor, which link Athenry to Tuam and Tuam to Claremorris.
A number of campaign groups have campaigned for different uses of the track, with proposals including the reinstatement of the railway line and the use of the corridor to create a greenway.
Working to the terms of reference as specified by the Department of Transport, consultants EY-DKM Economic Advisory has been commissioned by Iarnród Éireann to carry out an independent financial and economic appraisal of the proposals, and to undertake a public and stakeholder consultation.
The purpose of the appraisal is to establish if the proposed extension of the line from Athenry to Tuam (Phase 2) and from Tuam to Claremorris (Phase 3) would represent value for money to the Irish public.
Phase 1 involved the reinstatement of the Athenry to Ennis line and the re-opening of Oranmore Train Station.
EY-DKM will present their report including findings and recommendations to Iarnród Éireann and the Department by the end of September, before the Department undertakes its own peer review of their report and finalises the process which will ultimately shape their decision on the future of Western Rail Corridor.
Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann, Jim Meade, said there was huge interests in the future of this railway line across the country and people had welcomed the opportunity to put forward their view.
“We would encourage all those who are interested in this issue, regardless of point of view, to participate in the consultation before the deadline to give us a comprehensive understanding of opinions on these proposals,” said Mr Meade.