No new rail carriages purchased since 2016

-Commuters will have to deal with chronic overcrowding as no spare fleet available and refurbishment plans are shelved-

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Robert Troy, has said the Government’s failure to address commuter concerns has led to the chronic overcrowding which is now commonplace on train services.

Deputy Troy explained, “Information I received from the NTA shows that no new rail carriages have been purchased since 2016 and that it will be a long time before any more are purchased. In fact, the NTA does not even know how many trains it will be ordering for the next cycle.

“Despite passenger numbers growing by 6% in 2017 and 5.5% in 2018 across the rail network, Minister Ross and the Government have been slow to put in place any workable alternatives.

“The real bug bear here is that none of this comes as a surprise. Minister Ross knew that passenger numbers were increasing and that the pressure on the fleet was immense. He also knows that the process of having rail fleet built is a lengthy one which will take at least four years after the contract is awarded.

“Concerned by other issues which are not in his portfolio, Minister Ross has dropped the ball on transport and now we have gridlocked rail service which cannot cope.

“There is no point talking about projects that will not be delivered for almost a decade. We need targeted investments and upgrades in the here and now in order to get our rail moving and supporting the maximum number of passengers possible”, he concluded.