Penrose calls for Killucan Station to be reopened
11 April 2019
Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Rural & Community Affairs
Labour Spokesperson for Rural Affairs, Willie Penrose TD has asked the Minister for Rural and Community Affairs, Michael Ring, to make funds available through the Rural Regeneration Fund to reopen Killucan railway station and make rail travel more accessible rural communities. Deputy Penrose raised this issue in the Dáil during a debate on Rural and Community Affairs.
Speaking in the Dáil,
"Rural transport is an important factor in rural regeneration, and rural communities have long been treated like Cinderella in that regard. I would ask the Minister to pay particular attention to the need to provide grant aid for transport in rural areas.
"Transport is important in rural areas to combat rural isolation. In my own constituency, there is a railway station at Killucan which is on the Dublin-Sligo line. It has been closed since 1963 after operating for 115 years.
"Reopening it would cost €3.5 million, mostly due to the need to install the modern dual platforms required. Trains have to stop there every day as it stands. Its reopening would be of major assistance to many local communities, the citizens of which face one and a half hour journeys each way to get to work. It would make a major contribution to carbon reduction and help the environment.
"Some 10,000 people live within 5 km of the station. The population has quadrupled in this area in the past number of years. Up to 50% of funding could be available from the Rural Regeneration Fund and the Border, Midlands and Western, BMW, funding. We should be able to access that funding and make rail travel a real option for a rural communities in Westmeath."