My Department has provided over €600,000 to CIE to assist with the preparation of the railway order phase of the Kildare route project. Iarnród Éireann is in the process of completing the draft order and I understand that the application will be submitted to me by the company in the middle of this year. The procedure to be followed on receipt of the application is set out in the Transport (Railway Infrastructure) Act 2001. I am required, under the Act, to direct a public inquiry to be held into the application and to appoint an independent inspector. All aspects related to the public inquiry are a matter for the inspector and, therefore, it is not possible to say, with any degree of accuracy, how long the entire application process will take. I will take into account the findings of the inquiry and any other submissions made to me in the matter when deciding on the application.