Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (72)

Dan Boyle

Question:

172 Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Transport if his Department held discussions with Iarnród Éireann on the proposed interconnector tunnel between Heuston Station and Spencer Dock; if he intends asking for a full cost benefit analysis to be carried out on such a proposal as was included in the Dublin Transportation Office platform for change plan; and his views on whether we will have to choose between investing in the interconnector proposal and investing in upgrading the Phoenix Park tunnel. [2164/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

Consistent with the Dublin Transportation Office "Platform for Change", Irish Rail recently completed a study on the feasibility of providing an interconnector tunnel from Heuston Station to the docklands. At my request this study also examined the question of increased use of the Phoenix Park tunnel for passenger services between Connolly and Heuston stations. The completed study has been submitted to my Department and discussions have taken place with Irish Rail on the findings.

I am awaiting a business plan from Irish Rail, which will include cost benefit analysis, funding proposals and a proposed timescale. I understand, however, that the construction of the interconnector does not form part of the company's short-term plans. In the meantime, the company is looking at the potential of the Phoenix Park tunnel when the second phase of the DART upgrade programme is completed in 2007 and extra rail paths into Connolly Station become available.

Question No. 173 answered with QuestionNo. 131.