Written Answers. - Rail Network.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

234 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if she will report on progress to date in respect of the upgrading of the Maynooth suburban rail line; the timeframe for the doubling of the line from Maynooth to Clonsilla, upgrading of signalling in the city centre to facilitate the increased levels of service on the line and the provision of additional rolling stock; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2112/99]

In relation to the upgrading of the Maynooth line, Iarnród Éireann has advised me that a comprehensive engineering assessment of the line between Maynooth and the city centre has been completed. Design work is well advanced for track remodelling, bridge renewal, re-signalling, new platforms and station upgrading. Tender specifications are being finalised for those elements of the project which will be sub-contracted.

The first element of trackwork will commence in February 1999 and the installation of the new track will commence in the latter half of 1999. It is planned to have the whole infrastructure project on the Maynooth line completed on schedule by end 2000.

A contract is about to be placed for new diesel railcars to be used on the line which will be delivered in autumn 2000. Services on this line will be subject to disruption while development work is ongoing. Signalling work in the city centre is included in proposals for a post 2000 developmental programme.