Saturday to see rail line closed
THIS Saturday, September 18, has been announced as the final journey for the Rosslare to Waterford train.
'From Monday, September 20, rail services will be terminated and customers can avail of the new Bus Éireann schedule operating from that date,' said Irish Rail.
Existing rail season tickets will be accepted on the bus services and fares on the Bus Éireann services will be the same as the rail fares. Full details of the new bus timetable are available on Bus Eireann's website.
Irish Rail has also confirmed that the majority of the 22 staff they employ on the line have opted for voluntary severance packages over redeployment to other lines.
The company has estimated that their obligations to maintain the line and its infrastructure to a standard fit for use (which will be audited independently) will only set them back about an estimated €100,000 per year, far less than their current operating costs of €1.9 million on the line.
The 'Save The Rail Group' remain adamant that there is a very real prospect of a private company operating a service on the line after Irish Rail ends its service, which proved a huge loss-maker for them since freight services disappeared with the demise of the beet industry.
Its Chairperson, Tanya Fenlon, said that two companies, one based in the UK and the other in mainland Europe, are the front runners at the moment, one of them looking at utilising Rosslare Port to create a 'Rail and Sail' business model.
Meanwhile, a group of regular train users took a journey with a difference on the train at the weekend to mark its imminent closure, as they were clad in period dress. They disembarked in Wellingtonbridge for a picnic before going home.