A major review of plans for an enhanced all-Ireland rail network and Atlantic Railway Corridor will be published within weeks.
In 2021, the Government announced an All Island Strategic Rail Review to “consider how the rail network on the island of Ireland can improve”.
The public were asked to write in with their suggestions and, 18 months on, the Department of Transport says the report is ready.
“The week after next we expect to publish it so that we can do a strategic environmental assessment,” Minister Ryan told Newstalk.
“That will allow the public to see the plans we have.
“It’s already starting; we’re reopening the rail line from Foynes to Limerick in anticipation of that longer [Atlantic] rail corridor but come back to me in a week and a half and I’ll go into real detail on it.”
Rail is a low carbon way of travelling; Our World in Data estimates that national rail services emit 41 grams of CO2 per passenger per kilometre compared to 192 grams for a medium sized petrol car.
In its Climate Action Plan, the Government outlined targets to reduce car use by 20% by 2030 and for half of all journeys to be made on foot, bicycle or public transport.
A number of railway lines were closed in the second half of the 20th century as more people began to travel by car.
In 1966, then Transport and Power Minister Erskine Childers justified railway closures on the grounds “the services are seriously uneconomic” and “substitute road services” could be provided where necessary.
Main image: Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews