Kildare North Labour General Election Candidate Emmet Stagg has been in contact with the National Transport Authority in relation to the provision of additional capacity on existing services on both the Maynooth to Connolly Rail Line and the Kildare Rail Line, through the use of longer trains with additional carriages.
Mr. Stagg stated that it had been hoped that Iarnrod Eireann would increase capacity on existing services in the second half of 2019 through the refurbishment of existing rolling stock.
However the NTA have now advised Mr. Stagg that a plan to refurbish 28 carriages which were manufactured in 1998, and have been in storage since 2012, cannot proceed as the cost of refurbishment would not represent value for money, over half of the cost of a new train carriage.
The NTA further advised Mr. Stagg that Iarnrod Eireann have begun a process of identifying the potential of acquiring second-hand rail fleet either through lease or purchase. This approach is complicated by the fact that the Irish rail network operates to a different gauge than the UK and most other European Countries, and any second-hand vehicles would require modification for use in Ireland. A decision on the viability of this approach will be made later this year following investigation.
Commenting on the response from the NTA, Kildare North Labour General Election Candidate Emmet Stagg stated that it was 'disappointing that the refurbishment project could not proceed due to costs', but that he welcomed the fact that Iarnrod Eireann were 'seeking other solutions to increase capacity on our overcrowded commuter rail services in advance of the New Rail Fleet which will come about as part of the extension of the DART to the Maynooth and Kildare Rail Lines, which is 3 to 4 years down the line.'
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