Ireland is set to place an order for over 100 electric and battery-powered trains 'within weeks'.
Irish Rail's CEO says it will be "the largest and greenest order" of public transport vehicles in the history of State.
Jim Meade told Down to Business it's part of plans to increase capacity on the network while taking into account environmental issues.
He said: “One of the challenges that came at us in 2018-19 is how we were going to grow the network.
“We were coming towards capacity on the network - we were challenged in the morning and evening peaks, particularly in the greater Dublin area.
“What COVID has done for us in some ways, while numbers are down, is to give us the opportunity to start building for the future.”
He said such major upgrades do take time, but the soon-to-be ordered trains are expected to arrive in Ireland in late 2024.
He said he's confident the COVID-19 crisis will pass, and demand for public transport will return.
Mr Meade said work is also already underway on the DART+ expansion programme, which aims to improve rail services in the greater Dublin area.
The Iarnród Éireann CEO noted that there's a need to 'integrate' public transport - meaning bus, train and tram services are all more closely linked, along with walking, cycling and driving facilities.