Sallins rail station
Moves to add passenger capacity to the Maynooth and Kildare rail lines will take some time, judging by recent information from the National Transport Authority.
Kildare North Labour general election candidate, Emmet Stagg, said he has been in further contact with the National Transport Authority (NTA) in relation to the provision of additional capacity on existing services on both the Maynooth to Connolly rail line and the Kildare rail line serving Hazelhatch and Sallins.
A previous proposal to refurbish existing rolling stock which was manufactured in 1998, was “regrettably shot down as not representing value for money,” he said.
He said the NTA have told him that Iarnroad Eireann are examining two further options to add additional capacity, “both of which unfortunately will take some time if proceeded with.”
One option is to get second hand carriages from train fleet companies through lease or purchase.
Expressions of interest were sought in relation to this option and one compliant proposal was received from a UK Lease Company who has a number of second hand carriages becoming available at the end of this year.
Mr Stagg said there are significant complications in relation to the use of second hand fleet due to the fact that the Irish Rail Network operates on a different gauge to that operated in the UK and most European countries.
He said Iarnrod Eireann are assessing the full implications of converting this fleet to operate on their network and this assessment should be finished shortly and a decision then will be taken on the potential of this option.
A second option is to buy new intercity rail carriages.
Intercity rail carriages bought between 2007 and 2012 are currently being used on the Maynooth and Kildare commuter lines.
He said discussions are ongoing with the manufacturer of the 2007-2012 fleet to evaluate the timeline and cost of manufacturing additional rail carriages. “It is likely that there would be a two year time period between contract signing and delivery of the carriages. Details of the actual cost and time implications will be available shortly and a decision will then be taken on this option.”
Mr Stagg: “Iarnrod Eireann must move forward with the best and timely option for delivering additional capacity on both lines because the new DART Fleet is at least four years away, and whilst the options before them will take time, at least there will be some move to deal with overcrowding.”