Cutting train times on Longford/Dublin route will cost millions of euros.
Irish Rail bosses have distanced themselves from possible moves to cut travel times from Longford to Dublin, saying any attempts to do so would cost hundreds of millions of euro to effect.
Head of Corporate Communications Barry Kenny said provisional esimates to trim journeys on the Dublin-Belfast line by just 15 minutes had been costed at €200m.
Mr Kenny did, nonetheless, contend the state-owned railway company had designs on moving to an all-electric or hybrid fleet, but ruled out moving to a higher speed network at this stage.
“That would mean us (Irish Rail) closing stations and that's something we are not going to do,” he said.
Addressing Longford Co Council Members
Mr Kenny's comments were delivered as he addressed local politicians at last week's monthly meeting of Longford County Council.
He said the company was already making plans to take account of increasing passenger numbers with 2018 expected to be its busiest year on record.
He accepted concerns raised by a number of councillors concerning overcrowding and increased anti-social behaviour problems.
Mr Kenny said one overriding way in which both could be mitigated in tandem was by strengtening its own fleet numbers.
“We need to fund what we have now before we look at further network expansion,” he said.
“In terms of overcrowding, customers don't want it and we (Irish Rail) don't want it.
“I probably sound like a broken record when I say this but it's a case of more trains, more trains, more trains.”