Dáil Éireann - Volume 597 - 16 February, 2005

Written Answers. - Rail Network.

  186. Mr. McHugh asked the Minister for Transport his views on the restoration of the western rail corridor; his further views on whether the restoration of the western rail corridor is vital as an aid to contribute towards the delivery of balanced regional development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5254/05]

  Mr. Cullen: Last year, my predecessor as Minister for Transport, Deputy Brennan, appointed a working group to carry out an examination of the proposal to re-open the western rail corridor. The group is under the chairmanship of Mr. Pat McCann, group chief executive, Jury’s Doyle Hotel Group. The group is comprised of county managers, directors of the regional authorities, representatives of city and county development boards, the Western Development Commission, West-on-Track and the intercounty rail committee, Iarnród Éireann, the Railway Procurement Agency and my Department.

The working group and its sub-groups have been considering the question of the feasibility of the western rail corridor since June last year and I understand that they may now be nearing the end of their deliberations. Accordingly, I expect to receive a report in the coming months. Prior to the receipt of that report it would be premature for me to make any further comment.