Government will earmark more than €90 million over the next two years to further boost the Dublin-Cork rail line to allow faster trains on the route.
State company Iarnród Éireann has been maintaining and improving the line – one of the Republic’s key public transport routes – over the past seven years.
Eamon Ryan, Minister for Transport, confirmed on Tuesday that Government would allocate €94.5 million from next year to 2024 to boost rail lines.
Of this, Iarnród Éireann will spend €91.5 million on the Dublin-Cork route to shorten journey times by eight to 10 minutes and ultimately allow trains hit speeds of 200km an hour.
Journeys on the Dublin-Cork route take up two hours and 45 minutes, depending on the number of stops made. Work over previous years resulted in delays and disruptions, including moving passengers to buses for sections of the journey.
Iarnród Éireann had the work done over weekends to minimise disruption. A spokesman said that any work under the 2022-2024 programme would also be done at quieter times.
The €94.5 million will bring the total spent by taxpayers on improving rail lines since 2014 to almost €1.03 billion.
Following Budget 2022, Mr Ryan said the Government would continue spending on rail improvements, including allocating more cash to the Dublin-Cork line.
Jim Meade, chief executive of Iarnród Éireann, predicted that the extra cash would improve journey times on the line. "Furthermore, it will create 150 additional jobs during 2022," he added.
Mr Ryan forecast that the improvements would encourage more people to switch from cars to rail.