Port rail service 'to take 4,000 trucks off roads'

A new freight rail service to Dublin Port is on track to take up to 4,000 trucks off the country’s roads, it was claimed today.

The operation, linking the west of the country with the capital, is the first rail connection to the harbour in six years which can transfer goods directly on to a ship.

Dublin Port hopes the twice-weekly train service to and from Ballina, Co Mayo, will open the door for shipping companies.

Seamus McLoughlin, head of operations, said the port is at the hub of the national road and rail network as well as having direct rail connections to all major train stations.

“Despite a significant fall in the amount of goods being transported by train in recent decades, Dublin Port Company remained committed to ensuring that we could continue to handle rail freight through the maintenance of our own rail network within the Port,” said Mr McLoughlin.

“This new service is also good news for the environment as removing 4,000 truck journeys from Ireland’s roads will result in a fall in Co2 emissions.”

Irish Warehouse Transport (IWT) will contract the train from Iarnród Éireann and sell container and tank space on the train to its customers directly.

Goods will also be transported back on return trips.

The first load of freight, 630 tonnes of Coca-Cola concentrate made by Ballina Beverages, travelled across the country throughout the day on an 18 carriage, 720 foot long train.

From Dublin Port it will be shipped to Mexico, India, Japan, Turkey and Australia.

Maintaining the rail network in the port estate has also ensured that 500,000 tonnes of lead and zinc concentrate from Tara Mines can be transported to Dublin Port by rail annually.

Elsewhere, two deliveries arrive from Europe’s largest zinc mine in Navan each day and the lead and zinc concentrate is shipped to Odda in Norway and Kokkola in Finland.

Dublin Port handles over two-thirds of containerised trade to and from Ireland and 50% of all the country’s imports and exports each year.

More than 1.3 million tourists, through the ferry companies and cruise vessels, also use the port.

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