Iarnród Éireann and XPO launch new rail freight service between Port of Waterford and Ballina, Co. Mayo

Today, Iarnród Eireann and XPO Logistics, a leading global provider of freight transportation solutions, launched a new rail freight service in each direction between Ballina, Co Mayo and Waterford.

The new rail service begins weekly operations today, it will then be twice-weekly within eight weeks.

It will offer Irish industry a greener and more efficient mode of transporting freight between the West and South East of the country. This will see the potential for over 5,000 truck movements a year to switch from road to rail, with a resulting reduction in road congestion, and 75% reduction in emissions per unit.

The new service comes as Iarnród Éireann is finalising a new national rail freight strategy to identify growth and investment opportunities to significantly grow rail freight operations.

Iarnród Éireann Chief Executive Jim Meade stated:

“We are entering a very exciting phase where rail freight can offer key solutions for the movement of freight as the country addresses both environmental and congestion challenges in this sector. We are currently finalising a very ambitious strategic plan for the growth of rail freight between key locations across the country. Today’s announcement with XPO and Waterford Port demonstrates the viable opportunities that can be developed that will not just support industry and the logistics sector, but is also fully aligned with the country’s climate action plan.”

Dan Myers, managing director – UK and Ireland, XPO Logistics, said:

“Climate change is a critical global challenge; the solutions will take a concerted effort, coordinated action and cooperation. Our collaborative, end-to-end service with Irish Rail — where XPO provides the booking of rail freight movements, drayage trucking of containers, and services such as cross-docking — is a double win. Our customers have new, eco-friendly transport options, and our planet wins as supply chains become greener. It’s another step in our collective journey to a carbon-neutral future.”

Port of Waterford Chief Executive Frank Ronan said:

“Port of Waterford welcomes the re-introduction of rail freight services to the Port at Belview. These trains, carrying container freight, will work very effectively with the Port’s Lo-Lo shipping services to provide businesses in Ireland’s West/North West with a compelling logistics solution to and from mainland Europe.”

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