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Iarnród Éireann

John Harvey, Special Projects Manager, Iarnód Éireann


Account of the lecture written by John Lunn

John Harvey started his lecture with a brief history of Irish Rail from the opening of the first line from Dublin to Kingstown (now Dun Laoghairre) to the present day and outlining, in particular, the peculiar problems that have faced Irish Railways from their earliest days.

The lecture was built on from nationalisation in 1945 to the present split of Irish Rail into the six business sectors, which are: Inter-city; Suburban; Freight; Road Freight; Rosslare Europort and Network Catering.

There are seven regional and district managers, whose main task is to go out after business.

It was explained that, after electrification of the Dublin suburban routes, growth in passenger numbers was - and continues to be - experienced and that new developments in housing tend to follow the electrified railway.

Freight suffered a setback when the principal forwarder, Bell, went broke following the destruction in a storm of two new overhead cranes in a new yard. The expected traffic from this development would have given rail freight a considerable boost. Cement, fertiliser and Guinness traffic remains buoyant.

Passenger traffic has grown from 25 million journeys in 1987 to 32.5 million in 1998. Freight traffic has declined, but total investment is up, at IR187m.

The lecture was very well illustrated, with both slides and view foils.