Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Questions (269)

Marc MacSharry

Question:

269. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the relevant health and safety legislation or regulations that apply to the operation of train carriages. [51921/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The railway sector in Ireland is subject to a considerable body of national and EU safety legislation. The essential requirement of the statutory framework is that railways must be run safely and within the regulatory framework which applies to the entire sector, including railway companies, network infrastructure (including rails), rolling stock (including trains and carriages), and any railway operations. Primary responsibility for safe rail operations lies with the relevant rail operator, and is overseen by and subject to the regulatory framework of the Commission for Railway Regulation (CRR), which is the independent, statutory national railway safety regulatory authority for this country.

I understand that the Deputy is specifically interested in the issue of passenger numbers in carriages. Train carriages come within the definition of "rolling stock" under the Railway Safety Act 2005 and are subject to independent safety assessment by the CRR. While there is no specific legislative provision governing capacity for passenger numbers in train carriages, train operators are required to run their services safely and the CRR, as the independent national railway safety authority, can carry out capacity loading inspections of train services to see if passenger numbers are within the design capacity of the rail vehicles.