Navan East railway station
Navan has not had a passenger rail service since 1958 when, as part of its rationalisation of the railway network, Córas Iompair Éireann withdrew services on the branch line running from Drogheda to Oldcastle. However, the growth of the Irish economy led to a realisation that rail transport was necessary, both for economic reasons, but also for environmental factors. So, in 2005, the Irish government embarked on a €35 billion transport infrastructure improvement programme called Transport 21. Included in this plan was a proposal to restore passenger rail travel to Navan.
Although passenger services along the Oldcastle line were withdrawn, the line itself remains in situ, and is used exclusively for freight trains from the Tara Mine at Navan and the cement works at Platin, near Drogheda. However, Iarnród Éireann's plan is to rebuild the other rail route to Navan, which runs via Clonsilla. This has provoked significant criticism, most notably from the pressure group Rail Users Ireland.
Iarnród Éireann's plan is to re-open the Clonsilla-Navan line in two stages, with Navan itself not reached until 2015. The initial terminus will be a park and ride next to the M3 toll road. But the siting will mean that the station sits the other side of the toll point for commuters from Navan, meaning they will have to pay the road toll, then park at the railway station. This, combined with it being several years until the railway reaches Navan, has led to Rail Users Ireland coming up with an alternative proposal.
The RUI plan would see the existing Oldcastle line upgraded to allow passenger services, with three stations built. Two of these would see Navan restored to serve the centre of the town, while Duleek would serve as a park and ride. The third station would be Navan East. This would be located to the east of Navan, adjacent to the link road that runs off the N51, and would serve the communities of Farganstown and Ballymacon. This would have a single bi-directional platform on the single track line.