The third pillar of our Sustainability Strategy 2021 – 2030 is Economic Sustainability. At the heart of our economic sustainability is the delivery of a network and services that allow more people and more goods to move by rail. There are three key areas to consider here:
By moving more people and goods on rail we significantly decrease our transport emissions.
Our target of 80 million journeys by 2030, up from the pre-COVID high of 50.1 million, will be delivered by maintaining and investing in our existing network and assets along with the delivery of key new infrastructure projects.
Our passenger network is at the heart of sustainable transport and our target will be delivered through a number of different programmes including; completion of the DART+ Programme which includes the delivery of the largest and most sustainable fleet in Irish public transport history, the cascading of Intercity trains to help to build capacity and frequency on our Intercity network nationally and improved frequency and journey time on Dublin to Belfast Enterprise services.
Central to our goals for the passenger network is also the development of rail in our regional cities including; building a Cork Commuter network capable of trains every 10 minutes, delivering Oranmore and Ceannt Station improvements in Galway, supporting the development of an integrated transport hub in Waterford by relocating Plunkett Station, ensuring rail is at the heart of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy and providing new commuter stations where appropriate to support development.
Iarnród Éireann’s Rail Freight 2040 strategy targets a transformation of the rail freight sector in Ireland, to add over 100 weekly rail freight services to our operations, a five-fold increase in frequency and volume. Delivering on this strategy is key to achieving our economy sustainability goals and moving more goods on rail.
Rosslare Europort’s status as Ireland’s Gateway to Europe has been confirmed post-Brexit, with new services to and from the European continent with DFDS, Stena Line, Finnlines, Grimaldi Group and Brittany Ferries. It is Ireland’s foremost Ro-Ro port for direct continental services, as well as continuing daily connections to Wales and the British market.
We will build on Rosslare’s critical role for Ireland’s economy, ensuring efficiency and sustainability in our operations, through the Port’s Masterplan, investing in port facilities, infrastructure and systems.
Rosslare Europort is also ideally located to service the Offshore Wind (OSW) sector, particularly for developments in the Irish and Celtic seas. Significant infrastructure works are required to ensure suitable port facilities are in place to support the construction and ongoing operations of Rosslare Europort as an Offshore Renewable Energy hub.