State racks up €225m bill on rail projects now facing chop
THE State has already spent more than €225m on five rail projects which are expected to be axed today as part of government cutbacks.
Iarnrod Eireann and the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) spent the money planning and designing underground railway systems and Luas light-rail projects for Dublin, which were expected to cost more than €5bn to build.
Iarnrod Eireann last night said it had spent €40m on the DART Underground project, while the RPA admitted spending another €185.6m on four light-rail lines across the capital.
But all of the projects are likely to be shelved or postponed.
Details of what projects will be hit will be revealed when Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin today outlines how €750m will be taken out of the capital-spending budget for next year, with further cuts each year up to 2014.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has done a U-turn on a promise to pay more than €450m towards the cost of a cross-border motorway from Monaghan to Derry.
and Treacy Hogan