Rail network starved of investment


Sir, – John Shorten (September 12th) makes an interesting observation where, after noting the shortfalls of the current Irish rail network, he then seems to focus on the failure of the Government to “successfully deregulate” the industry, as has been done on the continent.

However, this doesn’t seem to take into account the realities of the rail network in much of continental Europe, where the bulk of passenger train services are still operated by semi-state train companies like SNCF or Trenitalia, and much of the proclaimed excellence of European train networks comes from the extensive public investment and forward-thinking by the governments of those countries.

On the other hand, the country that has arguably gone further than any other European country towards privatisation, the UK, has seen numerous problems in regards to reliability and punctuality as a direct result of privatisation.

For those reasons, I’m not sure why the problem with the lack of service on the Wicklow and Wexford line would be better solved by lobbying for privatisation, rather than lobbying for the kind of public investment that has worked in virtually all other western European countries. – Yours, etc,



Co Leitrim.