2 March 2023 No Comments by The Northern Standard

There is a great chance of seeing a rail connection brought to the county and opening up the entire Border region including Monaghan, according to local Deputy Niamh Smyth. However, she warned that the all-island Strategic Rail Report needs to be “swiftly taken off the Minister for Transport’s desk” and immediately published. “The draft report on an expanded All-Ireland rail plan has been completed but the fact that there is no Minister for Transport in Northern Ireland, due to the suspended Assembly, has halted its publication,” the Fianna Fáil TD stated this week.

“This report is something that could breathe new life into the Border region and put us firmly back on the agenda when it comes to rail transport. Contrary to popular perception Monaghan had a strong railway heritage with towns like Clones, Newbliss, Monaghan, Ballybay, Castleblayney, Blackstaff, Inniskeen and Glaslough all linked to different routes. “The approval by government of the extension of the rail line to Navan creates a pathway for carriages to Cavan – serving South Monaghan – with an extension to Kingscourt, making Lisa O’Neill’s lyrics “There is no train from where I came from” obsolete.”

Deputy Smyth pressed this proposal with Irish Rail CEO Jim Meade at a special meeting in Leinster House on Tuesday last. “I was really heartened by the positive response of CEO Jim Meade to my call to bring rail connectivity to the region,” remarked Deputy Smyth. “I was delighted to ensure that the rail connection to Kingscourt was included in the Programme for Government but we now need to make…

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