A campaign to save and upgrade the Sligo to Dublin railway line is supported by six different county councils.

Mayor of Sligo Seán McManus is leading a major campaign to save and upgrade the line for fear it will close. The campaign believed that this would be a catastrophe across six counties.

It's very unusual to find an issue that would cause such concern that the chairpersons of six different county councils will come together to fight it. The Sligo Dublin train line is such an issue.

Seán McManus believes that this would be a disaster for both tourism and industry.

It spells disaster for Sligo, for the north west generally.

The root of the problem is stems from a lack of investment in the line. The engines on the line are between 30 and 40 years old, the tracks were laid between 1912 and 1937. The result is that the trains have to travel at a slower speed than on any other route. Mayor McManus believes that in time and without appropriate investment, it would be quicker for people to walk to Dublin than to take the train. The service will deteriorate to the point where people will stop using it and the line will then face closure.

Iarnród Éireann say that they have no plans to close the line. They also say that a £2.5 programme to relay the track began this year. However, this was abandoned as a result of a £7 million shortfall faced by the company. The Minister for Transport says that an additional £108 million was allocated to Iarnród Éireann this year and it is up to the company to decide how this is spent between its various services. The task force established to save the rail line has now told the Minister for Transport that it is time he told the company where and how to spend the money.

Seamus Monaghan, Chairman of the Sligo Dublin Train Line Task Force, sets out their demands. They want £4 million a year for the next five years dedicated for the line between Mullingar and Sligo.

The Chambers of Commerce are concerned about business in the area and have organised a day of action involving the public who live all along the line.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 November 1991. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.