Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 08 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Rail Network.
Mr. Coveney Mr. Coveney
145. Mr. Coveney asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the action he has taken to ensure that the western rail corridor will be completed within the timeframe of Transport 21, in view of the route’s importance to rural development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4376/06]
Éamon Ó Cuív Éamon Ó Cuív
Éamon Ó Cuív: The Deputy will appreciate that the completion of the western rail corridor is primarily a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Transport, Deputy Cullen, as part of the Government’s ten-year programme for transport, Transport 21.
Transport 21 commits to developing the western rail corridor in phases. Following the launch of Transport 21, the Minister, Deputy Cullen, asked Iarnród Éireann to give immediate attention to the design and planning stages of the first phase of development from Ennis to Athenry. I understand that the company has already begun this work and will shortly undertake detailed scoping on the requirements for the technical aspects associated with re-opening the line. While Transport 21 anticipates the completion of this section of the line in 2008 and the re-opening of all sections to Claremorris by 2014, Iarnród Éireann has been encouraged to accelerate delivery of the programme wherever possible.
The remaining section of the line from Claremorris to Collooney will require further studies before a decision is made in relation to its re-opening. However, to ensure that no action is taken, in the meantime, along this stretch of line that would compromise its future development as a railway, the alignment will be preserved in its entirety. Iarnród Éireann has invited tenders to undertake the necessary work for fencing and closing-off of the line and I expect it to make proposals in relation to this matter in the near future.
Dáil Éireann 614 Written Answers. Rail Network.