Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford Mary Butler has said she is deeply concerned by reports in national media that the future of the Limerick Junction to Waterford train line, which has stops in Tipperary, Cahir, Clonmel and Carrick On Suir, is hanging in the balance.

“There have been reports in the national media that this important local train service is at risk of being discontinued.

“Media reports confirmed that Iarnród Éireann is facing significant challenges in keeping our rail network open, and that the closure of the Limerick Junction to Waterford line is one of a number of lines being looked at, as a cost saving measure.

“This is something that I will strongly oppose. Instead of thinking about closing lines, Minister Shane Ross, the Transport Minister, should be coming forward with a national strategy for enhancing our national rail network, and not looking for the easy way out by cutting services.

“Waterford City and County Council have recently made a submission to the Government in relation to the proposed redevelopment of the North Quays and an Integrated Transport Proposal. This proposal includes a change of location for the train station which would be an opportunity to provide a unique transport facility for the city. The loss of this train line to Limerick Junction, coupled with the previous loss of the Rosslare line, will have a detrimental effect for connectivity for Ireland’s oldest city.

“Minister Ross needs to make a firm commitment that the Government will not only maintain the Limerick Junction to Waterford line, but also invest in it in the years ahead. The Government needs to recognise that maintaining the rail service is vital for supporting Waterford and the rural communities along the route.

“The people of Waterford won’t tolerate any attempts to close this rail service,” concluded Deputy Butler.