Senator Aisling Dolan welcomed the confirmation from Irish Rail that Ballinasloe is now included on a stop on the 6.25am service from Galway to Dublin Heuston.
The Ballinasloe-based Fine Gael Senator stated
“There is such a demand for additional public transport services in Ballinasloe. It was very frustrating to see the 6.25am Galway to Dublin train pass by at 7am and many people got in touch with me on it.
“I raised this a number of times in the Seanad and also with Minister Éamon Ryan and with public consultation, it is great to see that the train will now stop in Ballinasloe at 7am.
“We have more people travelling into Ballinasloe for work than actually leaving the town for work according to the census data and more choice in public transport will especially support so many working in town especially healthcare in Portiuncula University Hospital starting early shifts and maybe travelling from Galway to work in the hospital. As well as many students from Ballinasloe and all around a 10k radius who use our train station to go to college like the TÚS in Athlone or Dublin city. We know more students are travelling with TFI student leap card which has reduced fares”
“With this new service people will be in Ballinasloe for 7am from Galway and into Athlone for 7.20am and 8.44am to Dublin Heuston station. I also know that people want waiting rooms to be open especially coming into the colder winter months and to give people especially older groups a warm place to sit & wait. The team at Ballinasloe train station are working on this and hopefully more staff means waiting room open for longer.”
“An extra service has also been added to the Athlone to Westport route which again gives more choice for people especially students travelling to college.”
“I travel to Dublin on the train and from Heuston coming home if you haven’t booked a seat well … you could be left with just standing space as sometimes during the day there are just four carriages on the line. The good news is that more commuter services in the Dublin region should relieve pressure on longer journeys. Also with 41 more carriages ordered in 2022, these are due to be added to Irish Rail Inter-city services (e.g. Galway) and commuter services (e.g. Athlone) at start of 2024 and this hopefully means an extra carriage to existing lines. These new carriages will look different with flip up seats to allow more space and a larger area for prams, luggage and bicycles.”
“With lower train fares, it is good to see train travel becoming more accessible and also that people have more choice. Perhaps now is the time to explore new towns & go sightseeing with family & friends on the next break. Now we just need to get the tea trolley service back on the Galway Dublin route!”