In April 2021, the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D., and the Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon MLA, announced the launch of an all-island Strategic Rail Review (the ‘Review’).
This Review will consider how the rail network on the island of Ireland can improve to promote sustainable connectivity into, and between, the major cities, enhance regional accessibility and support balanced regional development.
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 (above 200km/h) / higher (up to 200km/h) speeds on the network and whether there is potential to increase use of the network for freight.
The Review’s focus is not 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.
Today’s rail network across the island of Ireland covers around 2,300 kilometers. This review will look at the network’s current conditions and connectivity and identify ways that it can support wider policy objectives.
Interested members of the public are invited to share their thoughts via an online public consultation form.
The public consultation launched on 29 November 2021 and will remain open for submissions until 21 January 2022.
Interested parties can find all the relevant information at the consultation website www.strategicrailreview.com and will be invited to share insights on several areas framed by the information in this paper.
In addition to a public consultation, we will be engaging directly with specific stakeholders in a targeted consultation, identified as those having a significant interest in the future of rail on the island of Ireland. This consultation will take place in the duration that the public consultation is open.
The output of these consultations will feed directly into the Review and support the development of high-level scenarios for the future of the rail network.