As the Deputy is aware, all public expenditure must comply with the Public Spending Code which sets out the requirements to which sponsoring agencies and sanctioning authorities must adhere, including the requirement that any project with an expected cost of €100 million or more must obtain specific approval from Government. In addition to that there are also procurement requirements which must be complied with in line with relevant legislation.
There are two active proposals in relation to the purchase of additional rail fleet.
I can confirm that my Department has now received a business case from the National Transport Authority-Iarnród Éireann in relation to the proposed purchase of 41 InterCity Rail (ICR) Cars. In line with the Public Spending Code, that business case is currently being considered by my Department and once that consideration is complete I will seek Government's decision in relation to same. Pending Government approval to proceed, NTA-Iarnród Éireann anticipate delivery of the ICRs will commence in late 2021.
Separately, there is also a proposal to significantly expand the commuter rail fleet through establishing a 10-year procurement framework in relation to a minimum of 300 electric and battery electric units, with the potential for that to increase to 600 units over the life of the procurement framework.
The NTA and Iarnród Éireann commenced procurement pre-qualifying in May and I expect a business case will be submitted early next year. This is a significant procurement and later construction project and I understand delivery lead-in time would be in the order of 3 years.