Closed Mullingar to Athlone rail line raised at meeting

Story by Tom Kelly

Thursday, 16th February, 2012 5:30pm

Closed Mullingar to Athlone rail line raised at meeting

Lots of funding would be required to open the railway for use, as this photo taken on Tuesday February 14, looking towards Dysart, suggests.

Two suggestions that could sort out the Athlone to Mullingar rail line saga have emerged from a public meeting in Mullingar.

One is that Chinese investors be asked to consider funding the reopening of the Mullingar to Athlone rail line and the second is that Iarnród Éireann be asked to grant Mullingar Chamber of Commerce a long-term lease on the 30 miles of track.

The issue came up for discussion during Monday night's Town Hall meeting, organised by Mullingar Chamber of Commerce and attended by politicians and members of the public as well as chamber members.

Michael MacDonald, who asked from the floor if progress had been made in persuading Iarnród Éireann to re-open the line, made the suggestion.

"I believe they have abandoned the line," he said. "They should offer us it for €10 for a 99-year lease."

He said otherwise, the project would go nowhere, and that officials in Dublin were "totally insulated" against needs locally.

More in this week's Westmeath Examiner.

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