Varadkar: No sense in selling 'surplus to requirements' train carriages
on 25/01/2013 12:46:34
The carriages were purchased prior to the economic crash, and are no longer needed because of declining passenger numbers.
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness has said that the idle carriages are a huge waste of money.
He also said that there should be no further fare increases until the management and finances of Irish Rail is sorted out.
Yesterday, the committee heard calls for the idle carriages to be sold off.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said today that they cannot be sold because the trains are designed specifically to run on Irish railway lines.
"They are surplus to requirements," he said.
"I was made aware of it a few months ago by Irish Rail, and I told them at that stage to either sell them or make use of them.
"It doesn't make sense to sell them because they're narrow-gage, they're rolling stock - they were designed for a narrow-gage railway, and would need to be adapted before they could be sold.
"So it doesn't make sense to sell them.
"So what they do at the moment is they use them for special events and they use them in rotation."