Electrification of commuter lines essential for future of rail

04 March 2019

Labour Transport Spokesperson Senator Kevin Humphreys has welcomed the tendering for the additional fleet in Irish Rail to address serious overcrowding. He has also called for the electrification of busy commuter routes such as the Maynooth and Drogheda lines.  

Senator Humphreys said;

“I welcome the news today the NTA has issued a tender for pre-owned trains to meet the growing demand for rail. This is a smart solution to stem the tide of overcrowding onboard trains, which has become a fixture onboard DART and Commuter services in recent years. I would be concerned that they may struggle to find suitable trains given that specific gauges and requirements of our rail system.   

“While these pre-owned trains will fill a gap in the fleet, we have reached a point now where we need to re-evaluate our use of diesel fleet in trains as a whole. The electrification of commuter routes such as the Maynooth and Drogheda lines has to be a major priority for the NTA and Irish Rail. 

“This needed from an environmental perspective and getting more of the national rail network using electric vehicles would result in larger orders of the same trains to being able to be placed. Electric trains are cheaper to buy, easier to maintain and are an essential component in reducing our emissions. 

“Until we electrify these lines we will continue to rely on diesel vehicles. We need to have an ambitious plan to electrify our commuter routes and should be working towards the electrification of our national network.” 

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