Dáil Éireann - Volume 508 - 29 September, 1999
Written Answers. - Rail Network.
Mr. Yates Mr. Yates
241. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the progress to date in implementing the rail safety programme of investment; and if there have been any rail accidents in 1999 due to outdated track or signalling. [18079/99]
Mrs. O'Rourke Mrs. O'Rourke
Minister for Public Enterprise (Mrs. O'Rourke): The Railway Safety Programme 1999 – 2003, prepared by Iarnród Éireann following the submission of the IRMS Review of Railway Safety in Ireland, provides for expenditure of £430.6 million for the first phase of the implementation of the recommendations of the consultants. I am informed by the company that the main thrust of the programme is being achieved both in terms of the physical works programmes and in terms of the establishment of training and cultural change programmes and the development of corporate safety standards. By the end of this year it is expected that some £80 million will have been invested in rail safety by Iarnród Éireann.  Up to the end of the first week in September, 65 miles of the planned 85 miles of track renewals for 1999 had been completed, major repairs and renewals had been completed on 25 of the planned 45 bridges and, in regard to fencing, 14 of the 18 urban locations which need improvements had been put out to contract, and 26 miles of the planned 34 miles of rural fencing have been put out to contract.
Overall, IE is confident of completing all planned works by year's end, but points out that there are other parties involved in the repair of the bridges, most particularly the relevant local authorities. I am also advised by the company that there have been no rail accidents in 1999 which were attributable to outdated track or signalling.
A key recommendation of the 1998 IRMS review was that external audits should be carried out on the progress made in implementing the recommendations contained in the report. IRMS hope to commence the first such audit in the near future. The consultants have recently submitted a pre-audit report of progress to date, which they prepared at my request, prior to carrying out the first formal audit.
Dáil Éireann 508 Written Answers. Rail Network.