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Barrow Bridge Essential To The Future Of The Wexford To Waterford Rail Line

Transport Advocacy Group, South East on Track, welcomes the continuing maintenance of the Wexford to Waterford Rail line, as shown this week by Irish Rail’s Maintenance Train crossing the line twice…

This shows that the rail infrastructure is still in place and passable by trains.

Transport Advocacy Group, South East on Track, have raised concerns that there are plans by Irish Rail to secure the river Barrow Bridge in the open position in the near future, as confirmed by Minister Eamon Ryan recently at the Dail.

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“As previously stated, following the closure of the Wexford to Waterford railway line in November 2010, a maintenance agreement was established between the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Iarnód Éireann (IÉ).”

“I am informed that the maintenance agreement was reviewed in 2019 and revised arrangements agreed last year between the NTA and IÉ which reflect the fact that no rail services have operated on the line for just over a decade. Among these revised arrangements is the decision to leave the Barrow Bridge in the ‘open’ position for marine traffic, reflective of the fact that while no rail services have operated on the line for over a decade, the Barrow itself remains open for marine traffic serving New Ross port,” Minister Eamonn Ryan said.

The South East Trasport Advocacy Group argues that this would most likely render the bridge inoperable as the bridge is designed to be mostly closed and occasionally opened for ships using New Ross Port.

This Bridge is the longest rail bridge in the state and is rated as having National Significance in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

No matter the future of this transport corridor, be it as an operational railway or a greenway, securing the bridge in the open position will most likely prevent any future crossings of the River Barrow using this bridge.

For more information, the Transport Advocacy Group has also compiled, created, and released a professional 72-page ‘business pack’ concluding that there is a very “strong market potential for passenger ridership, as well as a range of economic and social benefits for the region, should the rail link be reopened.”

Featured Image: Niall Redmond

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