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Cork rail commuting blueprint announced

Words: Roger Milne
Kent Station, Cork / iStock-953265012

Transport minister Eamon Ryan has unveiled a €184 million commuter rail plan for Cork, which he said would be ‘transformative’ for the country’s second city.

Under these proposals the existing rail network would be upgraded to create a “commuter corridor” from Mallow through Kent station in Cork city and on to Glounthaune and Midleton.

It will also include a new side platform at Kent station and new stations at Tivoli, Blarney, Mynard, Kilbarry and other locations.

The minister noted that 30,000 houses were zoned around these locations, which was a “signal” to councils and developers for “transport-led development”.

Existing track will be upgraded with new signalling and the line will be double-tracked from Glounthaune to Midleton to allow for more frequent train services.

The plans are part of the newly announced National Recovery and Resilience Plan, launched alongside the country’s wide-ranging €3.5 billion National Economic Recovery Plan.

The €184 million rail investment will be funded by the European Union, as part of its recovery package for Europe.

As well as the rail line, the plans include a “low-cost” retrofitting scheme for homes and the rehabilitation of 33,000 hectares of former industrial peatlands owned by Bórd na Móna. Limerick, Waterford, and Galway will see similar rail investments in the future.

The government has promised that new city delivery boards will be established to drive the strategic coordination of metropolitan public investment and transformational regeneration.

Image credit | iStock