Rail carriage order delay pushed up cost
Reacting to the announcement today that the Government has approved the purchase of 41 extra rail carriages, Labour Transport spokesperson Kevin Humphreys highlighted the 50% increase in cost, and the unexplained delay in ordering the much needed trains.
Senator Kevin Humphreys said:
“Commuters will be thankful that the Minister has finally greenlighted the long delayed purchase of these much needed 41 rail carriages, which have been in the pipeline for years now. I welcome it but it will be years before we see the benefit.
“The Minister sat on his hands for three years when he was warned of the urgent need to invest. I’ve been raising this problem for some time, but it would appear the Government were waiting for an imminent general election before making the announcement. No doubt we’ll hear the purchase relaunched many times inthe months ahead.
“As I have repeatedly said, our commuters deserve far better than the current situation at rush hour, which sees people crammed onto trains at dangerous levels. Where is the plan to address this now?
“However, I am really concerned that this delay has also come at an extra cost to the taxpayer. Earlier this year, the mooted cost of these 41 carriages was around €100m. Today, that price tag is €150m. That’s an unnecessary and huge increase at a time when that extra spend could have been used to further invest in public transport.
“The delay also means it will be another two years before we see the first carriages delivered. That’s simply not good enough and commuters need an explanation why this didn’t happen months ago.”