Wednesday 21 August 2019

New National Train Control Centre to cost €135m

Shane Ross
Shane Ross
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

THE new National Train Control Centre is expected to cost €135m, Transport Minister Shane Ross has confirmed.

Mr Ross said the centre to be located at Heuston Station was described as a "statement of intent" from the government as is sets out to "massively expand rail services in the coming years and look to encourage more people to make the switch to sustainable mobility."

The project is to be delivered by Iarnród Éireann and overseen by the National Transport Authority (NTA) with funding provided as part of the Project Ireland 2040 initiative.

A statement said the centre will underpin both the planned and potential future expansion of rail services across the entire network.

In particular it will facilitate DART Expansion Programme.

NTA chief executive Anne Graham said that a critical part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions as part of the Climate Action Plan is to ensure public transport services can meet the demands placed on them to provide alternatives to people using private cars.

She said the control centre will be "a key piece of infrastructure from that point of view".

Ms Graham said that it is also proposed that the Garda Dublin Traffic Control Centre and - at a future point - a regional traffic control centre will form part of an integrated facility at Heuston Station.

Iarnród Éireann boss Jim Meade said: "Not only will we deliver new, energy-efficient trains and an enhanced infrastructure for greater frequency of services, the National Train Control Centre will also ensure that this expanded rail service and any future expansions operate efficiently".

He said it will also bring improved customer information and punctuality and this will strengthen the appeal of rail services and public transport generally.

The Government has approved funding for the project which is scheduled to commence construction later this year.

The goal is for the new centre to be fully operational by 2024.

The new centre will replace the existing Central Traffic Control centre based at Connolly Station where the capacity and technology systems are said to be "approaching obsolescence".

It will be re-purposed as a back-up facility as part of the project after the new centre is finished.

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