Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Ceisteanna (227)

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

227. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the 2019 capital budget allocation to Iarnród Éireann. [27068/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Project Ireland 2040 states that the priority funding objective in relation to mainline rail is the maintenance and renewal of the existing network so that it continues to provide a safe and reliable infrastructure that enables the provision of quality rail services for passengers across the country. This means ensuring ‘steady state’ levels of investment in our rail infrastructure each year for the foreseeable future and requires a significant and recurring capital investment of approximately €200 million from the taxpayer every year.

As the Deputy is aware, the Infrastructure Manager Multi-Annual Contract (or IMMAC) provides the funding framework for the maintenance and renewal of our railway infrastructure and is a statutory contractual agreement between the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and Iarnród Éireann.

I can inform the Deputy that the increases I secured in Budget 2019 mean that the Exchequer contribution to the IMMAC has increased this year to €197 million, thus ensuring that the steady state funding requirement (as measured on an annualised basis) is met for 2019.

This represents significant, and very welcome, progress in terms of the overall funding of the network and means that funding for the IMMAC as increased by 23% as compared with 2018.

Separately, capital funding is also provided to Iarnród Eireann through the National Transport Authority (NTA) as part of the heavy rail enhancement programme. This programme supports projects such as the continued planning and design of the DART Expansion Programme, the City Centre Resignalling Project, the replacement of the roof at Pearse Station, the development of the new National Train Control Centre and various other enhancement projects.

As this funding programme is managed by the NTA, I have referred the Deputy's question to it for direct reply, please inform my private office if you do you receive a reply within 10 days.