Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Rail Network Expansion

Photo of Marc MacSharryMarc MacSharry (Sligo-Leitrim, Fianna Fail)
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235. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of the proposed DART underground as specified on page 55 of the National Development Plan 2018-2027; the status of the project; the projected commencement date for construction; the projected completion date of the entire project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43964/19]

Photo of Shane RossShane Ross (Dublin Rathdown, Independent)
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As the Deputy is aware, as part of Project Ireland 2040 the funding priority in relation to the DART Expansion Programme is to ensure delivery of the non-tunnel elements of the programme over the next ten years.

The initial sequencing of investment will therefore focus on  - 

- electrification of the Northern Line to Drogheda,

- electrification of the Kildare Line to Hazelhatch,

- electrification of the Maynooth Line to Maynooth and M3 Parkway ,

- better utilisation of the Phoenix Park Tunnel,

- expansion of the rail fleet, and

- other measures such as re-signalling and junction/station changes.

The DART Expansion Programme's remaining element is the DART Underground Tunnel (also known as the DART Interconnector) as referred to by the Deputy.  Project Ireland 2040 commits toward establishing the route of the DART Underground Tunnel and ensuring its protection to allow for its future delivery.  The cost estimate for the delivery of such a project would only be developed following the completion of any design work on the project.

Noting the National Transport Authority's statutory responsibilities in relation to the delivery of public transport infrastructure including the DART Expansion Programme, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a more detailed reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.


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