Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) has secured a €3m award of European Union funding for development of a new east jetty. The award also includes €800,000 to fund a detailed engineering study to build the business case to reopen the 25-kilometre long railway line from the port to Limerick for freight traffic. The railway, currently mothballed, was last used commercially around 15 years ago.
The announcement, made on 29 June, was in a list of funding awards made to projects as part of the EU Infrastructure - Trans European Transport Network (TEN-T) - Connecting Europe funding. SFPC has repeatedly made clear that it sees the restoration of the railway as vital for the continued development of the port and the Shannon Estuary in general and is a part of the ambitious SFPC ‘Masterplan Vision 2041’ that aims to boost the economic potential of the port and surrounding area.
In recent months the mothballed railway has seen activity with vegetation clearance taking place so that the formation and 84 structures (bridges, level crossings etc) along the route can be examined and tested for safety in a detailed study. The project is called Connecting International Sea Cargo to the Irish Rail Network (CISCIRN).
Separately, The Port of Cork has secured €12.3 million-worth of EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for its Ringaskiddy redevelopment project. The Ringaskiddy Redevelopment Project will form part of an eventual investment of around €100 million.
Source: Tim Casterton