The National Transport Authority and Iarnród Éireann have launched a process of consultation around the Rail Review 2016 Report, which was published today.

The Rail Review examines the network as it currently operates, and analyses the potential of the network to meet national, economic, social and environmental objectives into the future.

The process of public consultation gets under way today and continues until close of business on Wednesday 18th January 2017.

National Transport Authority CEO Anne Graham said:

“Rail has a huge role to play as an economic driver in terms of bringing about balanced regional development. It also delivers social benefits by improving social inclusion, improving accessibility and mobility, and making travel safer. In addition, it provides real environmental benefits by reducing emissions and improving air quality.

“But these benefits do not come free of charge, and if safeguarding them into the future is to become a genuine priority, there must be a commitment to give our rail network the support it will need in the years ahead.

“The Rail Review looks at the investment required to operate, maintain and develop the network, identifies the funding gap that has arisen, and examines the options around closing that gap.

“Starting today, we are actively consulting with the public on the prioritisation of rail services. We are very anxious to get a wide a range of views, and we want to engage with as many people as possible in this process, including members of local communities, rail users, employers, and any other interested parties.”

Iarnród Éireann CEO David Franks said:

“As our economy recovers and demand for rail services grows, Iarnród Éireann wants to play a strong role in meeting the transport needs of the country.

“However, this can only happen in a sustainably funded environment. The Rail Review shows the costs and revenues associated with all sections of our network, and provides independent analysis and data which will allow all stakeholders to make an informed contribution to the Authority’s public consultations and decisions on our future, and how we address the funding gap which exists.

“A sustainably funded railway will ensure Iarnród Éireann can focus on meeting commuter demand, and on the transport, economic and environmental needs of our country in line with the Authority’s strategy and the Government’s policy framework. I encourage anyone who has an interest in these issues to contribute to the public consultation launched today.”

Written submissions and observations may be made: