A campaign has been launched to extend late-night services on one of Cork’s busiest commuter rail lines.
The public has been invited to get on board to persuade Irish Rail and the National Transport Authority to operate trains later than 10.30pm on the Cork-to-Cobh rail link.
The suburban rail link from the city serves Little Island, Glounthaune, Fota, Carrigaloe, and Rushbrooke, and includes provision for a future station at Dunkettle.
The last train from the city’s Kent Station to the harbour town pulls out at 10.30pm, six nights a week, and at 10pm on Sundays.
The new Cork-Cobh Rail Group said this means Cobh residents who want to enjoy the city’s late-night amenities have to drive, or take a bus or taxi home.
Group spokesman Gerry Moore said their campaign was not a criticism of Irish Rail but an attempt to secure an expansion of the rail service.
He said they hoped people in Cobh and Cork City would engage in their public consultation, which will make the case for a later night-train service.
“While our objective is as full a service as possible, we believe that, initially, a proposal for a modest service improvement, which can be expanded later, has the best chance of success,” he said.
“We are minded to pursue a departure from Cork at no earlier than 11.40pm, two nights of the week, all year round. We are now seeking the community’s views on departure times, operating days, and any other relevant points.”
Irish Rail operated a late-night rail service between Cork and Cobh some years ago, but cancelled it when it proved unviable.
However, Mr Moore said that the town’s population had expanded since, economic conditions had improved, and there was a demand in the town for a later night service.
The group, which includes members of Cobh Municipal Council — councillors Anthony Barry, Clare Cullinane, Ger Keohane, Kieran McCarthy, Padraig O’Sullivan, Cathal Rasmussenc, and Sinead Sheppard — and other local stakeholders has urged people to get involved in their campaign, and offer feedback and ideas through their public-consultation process.
Anyone who would like to join the campaign can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or post their contributions, in an envelope marked ‘Cobh Rail’, to Cork County Council, Carrig House, Spy Hill Cobh, P22 CH02, before September 11.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved