Reopened €106m route loses further customers
THE Galway-Limerick rail route, which cost €106m to reopen, is continuing to lose passengers.
Fewer than 200,000 people used the route in the first 11 months of 2013, a significant drop on last year.
Figures for the rail route seen by the Irish Independent, show 197,780 line passenger journeys from the beginning of January to December 1. This compares with almost 250,000 in 2011.
The line, which reopened in 2010, has come in for criticism this year after a report by the National Transport Authority described the service as unattractive, slow, infrequent and costly.
It pointed to the fact that the route is 20km longer than the equivalent road journey, with journey times almost half-an-hour longer and speed restricted by 35 level crossings.
Despite the dropping numbers, a spokesperson for Iarnrod Eireann said it had no plans to suspend the service. It refused to release revenue figures for the route stating that this was commercial information.