Dáil Éireann - Volume 542 - 17 October, 2001
Written Answers. - Rail Network.
Mr. Sargent Mr. Sargent
88. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if her attention has been drawn to the low average distance travelled by rail in Ireland; and if she will ensure that rail investment is at least on a par with road investment in the national development plan to ensure the rail network is expanded in terms of track length and capacity. [24537/01]
Mrs. O'Rourke Mrs. O'Rourke
Minister for Public Enterprise (Mrs. O'Rourke): The national development plan was embarked upon by the Government to redress the lack of investment in infrastructure generally within the State down the years. In excess of £1 billion – 1.27 billion – is being invested in the railways and light rail to increase the overall  capacity of both the suburban and main line systems and to encourage a modal shift, particularly in urban areas, to public transport generally.
However, I am fully aware that significant infrastructural deficiencies still remain to be tackled to improve the service quality for users. I do not accept that a comparison between the usage of railway systems in Switzerland and Germany is directly relevant to Irish conditions. I am, however, encouraged by the fact that the number of passengers using the rail network continues to grow year on year.
Dáil Éireann 542 Written Answers. Rail Network.