Ireland announces 1-bln-euro railway infrastructure investment plan

Irish Minister for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTS) Shane Ross on Monday announced a 1-billion-euro (about 1.1 U.S. dollars) railway infrastructure investment plan for the next five years extending from 2020 to 2024.

The investment will be used in rail civil engineering programs, including track relaying, signalling improvements and safety related initiatives, said Ross in a statement.

The funding will benefit passengers across the rail network in the country through increased service reliability and punctuality, improved journey times and ensuring continued safety of rail services, he said.

The money approved by the government will be provided to Irish Rail, a national operator of the railway network in Ireland, through a contract which will be signed between the DTTS and Irish Rail, according to the statement.

Irish Rail currently operates a rail network with a total length of some 2,400 kilometers. In 2018, the rail operator carried 48 million passengers, which represented a 5.5-percent increase over 2017.