Irish Rail grows freight volumes 13.6pc
Iarnrod Eireann Freight, the cargo arm of Irish Rail, said volumes grew again last year, as the company capitalised on low handling costs and new markets.
The company said volumes increased 13.6pc in 2011 over 2010, on top of a 9pc increase in 2009.
Iarnrod Eireann said the increase was due to "significant growth in container traffic between Ballina and Dublin Port and Pulpwood traffic between the West of Ireland and Waterford".
Total tonne kilometres, the measure used for moving one tonne of freight one kilometre, were 105m, up from 92.45m in 2010.
A company spokesman said the growth reflected the changing face of the freight business in the country. "Our strategy of targeting market opportunities which are suited to rail freight, with guaranteed flows, low-handling costs, and direct port access, continues (has paid off).
"In particular, the container business continues to grow year on year: customers, as well as using rail freight as a cost effective means of transporting goods, are concerned about their carbon footprint and recognise that utilising rail to transport their goods enables them to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions."
Track works between Dublin Port and Kildare means that line has now been cleared for the carriage of larger containers on standard floor wagons, allowing a "dramatic increase in possible payloads" on trains, he added.