Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
99. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of reports that have been commissioned over the past 20 years to examine the potential reopening of the Western Rail Corridor from Athenry to Claremorris; and the cost of these reports itemised by each individual report. [49928/21]
Since 2001 my Department believes there were potentially three reports which relate to the possible re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor between Athenry and Claremorris. However, there may be other reports commissioned by private parties that the Department would not hold any relevant information.
In 2004 my Department established an expert Working Group to carry out a full examination of the Western Rail Corridor proposal. The final report is known as the ‘McCann Report’ and while it did not incur significant consultancy costs directly, I understand Iarnród Éireann commissioned Faber Maunsell to conduct some work to assist with the Working Group’s examination.
As the Deputy knows, there have been two Reports produced more recently, in line with a decision of the previous Government. Iarnród Éireann commissioned EY economic consultants to undertake a financial and economic appraisal of a proposed re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor Phases 2 and 3. EY were commissioned by Iarnród Éireann following a competitive procurement process and Iarnród Éireann submitted a final report to my Department in July 2020. Management and oversight of EY’s work programme was a matter forIarnród Éireann in line with their contractual arrangements, including payment of any fees.
Separately my Department arranged for JASPERS, an agency of the European Union / European Investment Bank, to conduct an independent review of the proposal once the work referred to above was complete. JASPERS provides advisory services to Member States (and other public authorities in the EU) and has extensive experience in relation to transport infrastructure proposals in European regions. There were no payments made to JASPERS in respect of this work as JASPERS’ services are available to Member States at no cost.