Wednesday, 21 September 2022
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
35. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount allocated by his Department for the development of the rail line from Limerick to Foynes; the date on which this expenditure will be incurred; if it is intended to complete the connection of Foynes to freight centres along the west coast (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46302/22]
As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding of public transport. The operation, maintenance and renewal of the rail network and disused lines on the network, including the development of a proposed rail link from Shannon Foynes Port to Limerick, is a matter for Iarnród Éireann in the first instance.
The Deputy may wish to note that the All-Island Strategic Rail Review, which is being undertaken by my Department in cooperation with the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland, is considering the potential future role for rail freight and for rail connectivity to our air and sea ports, including Shannon Foynes. The Review is also considering the scope for improved rail services and infrastructure along the various existing, or potential future, corridors of the network, including disused and closed lines. I expect to receive a final report in Q4 this year.
The Deputy may also wish to note that as a port on the European TEN-T Core Network, it is a requirement under EU regulations that a rail link to Shannon Foynes be developed by 2030.
In view of Iarnród Éireann's responsibility in this matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the company for more detailed reply on the specific issues raised. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.