Ministers seek experts for all-Ireland strategic rail review

Group to consider how rail network can boost city links and aid local development

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan says the review will look at how rail can help better connect cities and regions across the island. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan says the review will look at how rail can help better connect cities and regions across the island. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Government Ministers Eamon Ryan and Nichola Mallon want experts to consider if trains can travel faster on Ireland’s railways in a review of the all-Ireland network.

Mr Ryan, the Republic’s Minister for Transport and Ms Mallon, the North’s Minister for Infrastructure, said on Wednesday they were seeking experts for an all-Ireland strategic rail review.

The review will consider how the rail network across the island can boost links between its major cities, open access to the regions and aid local development.

In addition, a statement said the review would consider the feasibility of higher speeds on Irish railway lines and whether there is scope to use the network to transport more freight.

External consultants overseen by the two Government departments, the National Transport Authority, Commission for Rail Regulation, Iarnród Éireann and Translink, will carry out the review.

Mr Ryan said he was particularly delighted to work with colleagues from Northern Ireland on an all-island review.

“The review will look at how rail can help better connect cities and regions across the island and will complement the investment we already plan in our commuter rail networks,” he added.

Ms Mallon said rail had untapped potential to provide multiple benefits across Ireland.

“Since coming into office, I have been clear that it is my priority to address regional imbalance, tackle the climate crisis and better connect communities across Ireland,” she said.

The two administrations seek expressions of interest from those interested in doing the work in the Official Journal of the European Union.