Ireland’s national rail operator Iarnród Éireann has opened a rail freight line from Ballina to Dublin’s port.

The line resumed freight services following six years of closure.

The line will be used by freight forwarder International Warehousing and Transport to transport cargo such as containers of Coca-Cola concentrate from the Ballina production plant for export to Mexico, Australia, Japan, India and Turkey.

The service will see 18-carriage trains carry 35t of cargo in 40ft containers in a day on a round-trip basis, removing laden and empty freight vehicles from the road network.

The rail service will initially operate twice in a week. Plans to operate the service daily are being considered.

The rail line is expected to save road travel by 5.5 million km and cut carbon emissions by nearly 2,750t.

The operator hopes the rail service will attract other shipping companies for freight transportation to Dublin Port.