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Consultation launched on all-Ireland rail strategy

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Consultation launched on all-Ireland rail strategy

Consultation launched on all-Ireland rail strategy
December 01
13:50 2021

Irish transport minister Eamon Ryan and Northern Ireland’s minister for infrastructure Nichola Mallon have launched a consultation on an all-island of Ireland strategic rail review.

The consultation aims to gain insights from key parts of the Northern Ireland and Ireland business community and transport sector on the review to shape what the future rail network could look like.

In August, Arup was selected to lead the all-island strategic rail review. At the time, the review aimed to consider the feasibility of high or higher speeds on the network and whether there was potential to increase freight capacity on the line.

The review outlines six main goals: to contribute to decarbonisation, to improve connectivity between major cities, to enhance regional and rural accessibility, to encourage sustainable mobility, to foster economic activity and to achieve economic and financial feasibility.

In particular, the review will look at how the railways are used, how they could be used in future and how the network can evolve to serve the people on the island of Ireland and achieve policy goals.

In addition, the review will consider the feasibility of high speeds in excess of above 200km/h, or up to 200km/h on the network and whether there is potential to increase use of the network for freight. It is also considering the feasibility of a high speed line between Belfast, Dublin and Cork.

In a ministerial forward to the consultation, Mr Ryan and Ms Mallon said: “We firmly believe in the untapped potential of rail to contribute toward social and economic development across the island of Ireland, providing faster and more frequent connectivity, connecting communities, as well as helping us meet our ambitious climate action objectives.

“If we are to tap that potential, then we believe there is a need to comprehensively and objectively examine how rail could deliver benefits across the island of Ireland and that is why we are undertaking this Review.”

According to Infrastructure NI the review will not only focus on commuter rail services within the major cities but it will consider the interactions between proposed improvements to inter-urban rail and existing, or proposed, commuter rail services.

The rail network across the island of Ireland covers approximately 2,300 km.

Source: Construction News

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