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The Explainer: What happened to Ireland’s rail network - and what's its future?

Some counties have good rail coverage – but in Donegal there is none.

DEPENDING ON WHERE you live in Ireland, your access to public transport could be great – or not.

Take the country’s rail network, for example. At its peak in 1920, Ireland had 5,600km of railway. Today, only about one third of this still remains.

As part of its latest cycle, The Good Information Project reporters have been looking at the topic of public transport. Among the many topics covered was Ireland’s railway network, and this week on the podcast we’re zooming in on what we need to know about it.

Reporter Lauren Boland joins Aoife Barry (that’s me – standing in for Sinéad O’Carroll this week) in discussing how Ireland’s rail network has evolved over the past almost 200 years. In particular, she explains how Donegal got to the point where it has no rail network. She also fills us in on the potential for some of the closed-down rail lines, and the diverging opinions on them.

We also speak to Brian Whelan, who heads up the Good Information Project, to find out about the latest cycle – and what we can expect in the next one. 

The Explainer / SoundCloud

This episode was put together by producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan.

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