THE RAIL NETWORK

Goals and Objectives

To guide the development of the Review, six goals, with supporting objectives, have been drafted and are to be confirmed by completion of the first phase of the review.

These address relevant policy objectives in both jurisdictions and will be used to help understand which options best support those policy objectives. Potential options will be reviewed against these goals.

Goal Objectives
Goal 1: Contribute to Decarbonisation To reduce the carbon emissions associated with rail’s construction, operation, and maintenance.
To reduce the carbon emissions from motor vehicle
Goal 2: Improve All Island Connectivity Between Major Cities To provide an attractive public transport choice for travel between the seven major cities of Belfast, Cork, Derry/ Londonderry, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford
Goal 3: Enhance Regional And Rural Accessibility To give people in rural and regional areas better access to economic opportunities, health, education, and civic services.
To improve inter-regional accessibility.
Goal 4: Encourage Sustainable Mobility To help manage demand through compact growth and better integration of public transport with land use.
To enhance the integration of rail with other transport modes.
To reduce reliance on private passenger vehicles.
Goal 5: Foster Economic Activity To contribute to balanced economic growth between urban and regional areas.
To support the efficient movement of goods to and from economic centres and international gateways.
To support the efficient movement of people between economic centres, and to and from economic centres and international gateways.
Goal 6: Achieve Economic And Financial Feasibility To plan investment in rail that is financially feasible.
To access potential funding.
To ensure the benefit cost ratio of investment in the railway network is considered alongside meeting objectives.

Ongoing projects for the rail system

Improvements to the rail network and services are already in planning, some of these are shown in the below table.

Title Purpose Location Status
Additional Rail Fleet 41 InterCity Railcars are under construction and scheduled for service entry by 2023. Greater Dublin Area (largely) In construction
Belfast Transport Hub The new Belfast Transport hub will be the main, transport gateway to Belfast, creating a sense of arrival in a modern, progressive city, with rail, bus and coach connections to all parts of Northern Ireland and beyond, scheduled for completion by 2025. Belfast Enabling Works
Cork Commuter Rail Programme A series of projects to develop and expand rail infrastructure and services in the Cork Metropolitan Area. Phase 1 of the Programme has been included in Ireland’s National Recovery & Resilience Plan for delivery by 2026. Cork Metropolitan Area Strategic Assessment
DART+ A series of projects to develop and expand the DART network in the Greater Dublin Area, with approval of the Preliminary Business Case expected by end 2021. Greater Dublin Area Preliminary Business Case
Dublin-Cork Line Speed Improvements A programme of works over the coming years to improve line speeds on the Dublin – Cork line. Multiple In construction
Enterprise Rolling Stock Replacement Replacement of the Enterprise fleet to provide 9 new inter-city train set for hourly service frequency on the Belfast-Dublin corridor by 2027. Rolling stock to be future proofed for electrification. Belfast - Dublin Pre-Planning
Lisburn Area Renewals Renewal of existing Track and Signalling within the Lisburn Station Limits and enhanced capacity by 2024. Lisburn Pre-Construction
National Train Control Centre The existing Iarnród Éireann central train control centre is due for replacement due to capacity constraints with the IT systems nearing life expiration, with the replacement system expected to be fully operational by 2026. Dublin, with network wide benefits In construction
New Trains 3 Programme Provision of 21 additional carriages to integrate with existing class 4000 during 2022. NIR Network Wide Construction
Park and Ride Programme Provision of additional Park and Ride spaces throughout the network at existing stations over the period 2023 to 2025. Ballymena, Bellarena, Moira, Mossley West, Trooperslane Planning
Station Development Programme Enhance facilities at existing Rail Stations on the network over the period 2023 to 2025. Yorkgate, Lurgan, Ballymena, Posnett St. Planning