Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (305)

Joe Costello


381 Mr. Costello asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that, despite the many millions of euros invested in the rail network, thousands of tonnes of untreated raw sewage is continually dumped on the nation's railways and their environs annually as a result of no sewage treatment or holding facilities on many of Iarnród Éireann's inter-city rolling stock; his views on whether, in view of the fact that nearly 500,000 people used the train between Sligo and Dublin in 2003, this practice is a health hazard to employees, local communities and to drinking water, particularly in places at which wells are in use; the action he intends to take to safeguard the environment and to have this practice discontinued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3601/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport)

I am informed by Iarnród Éireann that all trains purchased since the mid-1990s are fitted with a closed toilet system and these do not present a problem. With regard to other trains which are quite old, particularly the mark II and craven carriages, Iarnród Éireann has informed me of its plans to withdraw these from service on a phased basis over the next two to three years as additional inter-city trains which are on order come into service. There are a number of trains in service, mark III, which will be required to continue in service after the current replacement programme, and it is intended to fit closed toilet systems to these vehicles.