Call for light rail link between Mullingar and Athlone

A Westmeath lobby group is seeking the development of a light rail system between Mullingar and Athlone.

It is one of three requests submitted to the Transport minister Eamon Ryan by members of the Killucan Kinnegad Transport Lobby Group,

The reopening of the railway station at Killucan and approval for a transport museum for Mullingar are the other projects that the group wants the new transport minister to consider.

The appointment of the Green Party leader to the helm of the Department of Transport has led to a sense of hope that their wish list may become a reality among members of the Killucan Kinnegad Transport Lobby Group, which is headed up by Cllr Denis Leonard.

Cllr Leonard said he would like to see light rail on the Mullingar to Athlone rail line, which could transport students from Mullingar to AIT and people from Athlone to Mullingar hospital.

In a comprehensive letter to Minister Ryan, Cllr Leonard states that it should cost no more than €1.5 to €2 million to reopen Killucan station, which was closed in 1963 after 115 years serving the area.

“There is no station between Mullingar and Enfield on the Sligo line, a distance of 23 miles, and the area is filled with Dublin commuters,” said the councillor.

According to Cllr Leonard, most of the people living nearby work in the greater Dublin area.

“If rural Ireland is to survive, it needs meaningful transport alternatives,” he continues.

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