A Tipperary town has retained its record as having the least-used train station on the country’s rail network.
Carrick-on-Suir has again emerged as the railway station with the fewest number of passengers in the latest annual rail census conducted by the National Transport Authority (NTA).
Only three passengers boarded trains at the station in the town, which has a population of around 5,700, on the day of the survey, carried out in November 2016.
Carrick-on-Suir is only served by two trains, which operate in each direction between Limerick Junction and Waterford on a daily basis. However, the numbers using the country’s least busy route rose by 38% last year — from 79 in 2015 to 109.
The numbers travelling between Limerick and Galway rose by 22% to 1,402 but there was a 23% drop in passengers on the Limerick-Ballybrophy line, to 978,
The future of such little-used routes could be under threat as part of the NTA’s rail review, currently under consideration by the Government given the difficult financial conditions faced by Iarnród Éireann.
The annual NTA rail census records all boardings and alightings at 147 stations across the 2,400km rail network.
There were 146,948 daily train journeys recorded last year — an increase of 4% on 2015 figures.
Dart services accounted for 46% of journeys; commuter services in Dublin and Cork accounted for 32%; and intercity services represented 22%.
The number of passengers travelling on trains in the greater Dublin region hit their highest level since 2008 with 123,615 journeys last year. It was the third year of continuous growth on the rail network in Dublin’s commuter belt.
According to the NTA figures, 84% of all rail journeys occur within the greater Dublin region.
The four main stations in Dublin — Connolly, Pearse, Heuston, and Tara St — account for a third of all rail passenger movements on a daily basis. Connolly, the busiest station, is used daily by around 15,000 passengers.
The only stations outside the capital to feature in the top 10 busiest were Kent Station in Cork, which is used by around 3,800 passengers, and Bray, Co Wicklow, with around 3,200.
Almost 5,600 passenger journeys were made on Cork commuter services — an annual increase of 14%.
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