Limerick - Foynes phase 1 contract

IRELAND: Rehabilitation of the Limerick – Foynes line to enable freight services to restart is set to begin in February, after Iarnród Éireann awarded John Sisk & Son a contract for the first phase of work.

The 42 km line closed to passenger traffic in 1963, and the last revenue freight services ran in 2000. Shannon Foynes deep water port is on the EU TEN-T core network, and reopening the railway forms a key element of Iarnród Éireann’s strategy to significantly increase rail freight traffic by 2040.

Foynes (Photo Shannon Foynes Port Company)

The €65m first phase of the rehabilitation project has been funded by the Department of Transport, and includes vegetation clearance, track and trackbed renewals, bridge repair or replacement, level crossing renewals and replacing the fencing. Completion is planned by late 2024.

Phase two would include signalling and telecoms, level crossing CCTV and work at Limerick and Foynes yard. Subject to funding, the line could reopen in 2025.

The project will ‘bring back the connection between rail and ship services and promote sustainable transport by strengthening freight transport via rail and sea’, John Sisk & Son CEO Paul Brown said on January 9.