All-island review of rail system to be carried out

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The review will consider how trains could improve connectivity across the island of Ireland.

THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS to carry out an all-island review of the rail network in Ireland has been launched by ministers on both sides of the border.

The Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and the Minister for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland Nichola Mallon today announced the launch of a ‘Strategic Rail Review’. 

This review will consider how the rail network on the island can improve connectivity between cities, enhance regional accessibility and support balanced regional development.

It will also “consider the feasibility” of high speeds on the rail network and consider any potential to increase the use of the network for freight. 

Ryan said he is a “firm believer” in rail’s potential to support “social and economic development” along with sustainability in the transport system.

“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,” the minister said.

Mallon said she believes rail has “massive untapped potential to deliver multiple benefits across our island”. 

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“This is an ambitious piece of work that will help inform our decision making and investment in our rail network for years to come. It’s an exciting start of a journey, many have been waiting for,” the minister said. 

The review will be carried our by external consultants and will be overseen by the Department of Transport in the Republic and the Department for Infrastructure in NI.

The request for tender to carry out this review will now be published. It is expected that a contract will be agreed and work will commence on the review by early summer. 

The Department of Transport said this review reflects a government commitment under the New Decade, New Approach agreement of the Irish and UK governments.

File image of Connolly Station in Dublin in 2017.

File image of Connolly Station in Dublin in 2017.

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