Dart Underground, an 8.6km city-centre connection between Dublin's
northern and western commuter rail routes, and Metro North, the city's
first light metro line, have both escaped the cuts, while the St
Stephen's Green - Liffey Junction extension of the Luas light rail
network will also go ahead, providing a link between the Red and Green

However, the government has confirmed that it no longer
intends to support the 27km third phase of the Western Rail Corridor
from Tuam to Claremorris. Irish Transport System (CIE) is currently
seeking around €60 million to fund Phase 2, a 25km extension from
Athenry to Tuam.

Plans to reintroduce trains between Dublin and
Navan have also been dropped. The initial 7.5km section of the line
between Clonsilla and Pace is due to open later this year, although the
spending review has ruled out the construction of a second phase that
would extend the line to Navan North. The project was previously due
for completion by 2015.

Ireland's budget deficit is expected to
equal 11.7% of GDP this year and the government has initiated a
wide-ranging series of austerity measures in an effort to stabilise
public finances.

The Irish economy has shrunk by around 10% in two
years, reducing passenger demand in many areas. Figures released this
week by Irish Rail (IE) show ridership fell by 5.9 million to 38.8
million last year, contributing to a loss of Euros 4 million.
irish-projects.jpg Dublin's Dart Underground link is one of the projects that
has escaped the Irish government's spending custs. This view shows the
planned new station at Inchicore.