Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
49. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to documents released by Irish Rail to a group (details supplied) under freedom of information estimating that the cost of returning the Rosslare to Waterford line to a serviceable condition consistent with its state pre-closure in 2010 would be of the order of €12 to €15 million; if that would be consistent with costs estimated by his own Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62257/21]
I am not specifically aware of the document the Deputy refers to, however there are often a wide range of costs ascribed to re-openings of any disused railway line.
As the Deputy is aware from our previous discussions on this issue, I do believe our rail network requires a broad strategic review to better understand its role and assess its future potential. That review needs to consider whether opportunities exist to better utilise currently underused lines, or closed lines such as the Rosslare to Waterford line.
That is why I have asked my Department, in co-operation with the Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland), to undertake a Strategic Rail Reviewto inform the development of inter-urban and inter-regional rail on the Island of Ireland over the coming decades.
This will be one of the most significant reviews of the rail network on the island in many years and will provide a framework to develop a much-improved rail network in the years ahead. A public consultation is currently underway and I would encourage all interested parties to participate. I expect a final report to be available by Q4 2022.