O'Rourke to tackle overcrowded rail system


This Government has spent €2.2 billion on public transport during its five year lifetime, according to the Minister for Public Enterprise, Mrs Mary O’Rourke.

 Mary O’Rourke
Mrs Mary O’Rourke

"It is time to invest in rolling stock so that the difficulties of overcrowding on mainline services can be tackled," she told delegates.

Ireland’s creaking rail system is to get a €15 million boost, the Minister said, with the money being earmarked for 67 new mainline carriages over the next two years.

This is in addition to €350 already spent in the Railway Safety Programme on replacing worn out track, rail signalling and improving level crossings.

Mrs O’Rourke added that planning for the rail service for the next 20 years had already begun. The Strategic Rail Study was in particular looking into a route between Ennis, Shannon town and airport and Limerick city, as well as a Western rail corridor linking Cork and Sligo, via Limerick and Galway.

DART services are also set to undergo improvement, with 38 carriages to come into use in the next two years. Suburban rail capacity will grow by 30 per cent, with train lengths increasing from six to eight cars.