Residents furious over delays at Fuerty level crossing

  Residents in Fuerty fear that the long delays at a local level crossing will eventually lead to a serious accident at the automated Clooneyquinn level crossing.             The situation came to a head on Tuesday evening last as racegoers were delayed for almost twenty minutes at the crossing as a train carrying timber made its way from Castlerea to Roscommon.             Among those delayed at the crossing on Tuesday evening was local county councillor Martin Connaughton and he witnessed at first hand the ire of motorists as they were forced to wait until 6.17 pm for the train to pass and the level crossing to be lifted.             Once a train leaves Castlerea station, all automated crossings along the way remain closed until the train arrives at Roscommon. Passenger trains travel faster than goods trains and so the wait for the train carrying timber on Tuesday was longer than usual. The automated crossings between Castlerea and Roscommon are at Adragoole, Frenchlawn, Corrastoona, Ballymacfrane and Clooneyquinn in Fuerty.             ‘When the train leaves the station in Castlerea, all the gates are down until it passes the last crossing at Fuerty,’ said Cllr. Connaughton. ‘There was never any bother until the crossing was automated. Farmers such as Tommy Fannon have land both sides of the crossing and are continually being held up here. The road is also used by local people going to the races and by people who want to avoid the town when the races are on.             ‘People living beside this crossing are waiting for an accident to happen. People are trying to beat the lights because of the long delays,’ said Cllr. Connaughton.             ‘Joe and Dinagh Kelly manned the gates for 42 years and there was great comfort. People passed by at all hours of the night, and they would let them through and there was never any bother, morning, noon or night. Now, there’s cameras on the gates and phones and all this technology and the whole road is being held up.’             Cllr. Connaughton plans to take action on this issue and believes that the crossings could be treated independently, to minimise inconvenience to road users. ‘This is a holiday week, but I will be on to Iarnród Éireann about this matter next Monday and there will have to be something done about this.’