Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (159)

Bernard J. Durkan


278 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport his plans for the further improvement of the commuter rail service in north Kildare with particular reference to the towns of Kilcock, Maynooth, Leixlip and Confey; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2461/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

I am informed by Irish Rail that, since the introduction of the new timetable in December 2003, capacity has been increased by 24% on the Maynooth line. This has been achieved by introducing to the route some of the new fleet of 80 diesel railcars. This latest capacity increase comes on top of a 100% increase achieved in 2001, when the double tracking of the route was completed.

In addition, Irish Rail has recently placed an order for another 36 diesel railcars, which will be delivered in 2005. Some of these railcars are destined for use on the Maynooth line to further increase capacity.

Proposals to further increase capacity on this line form part of the Irish Rail mid-term investment strategy that is under consideration by my Department at present.