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State under pressure to put rail services up for tender

State under pressure to put rail services up for tender

BRUSSELS: The contract to run rail services in Ireland should be put out to international tender, the European Commission has proposed, a move that could have serious ramifications for Iarnród Éireann.

The Government is strongly resisting the idea, amid concerns it could cause major financial and industrial relations problems for the State.

Iarnród Éireann’s 10-year contract to run Ireland’s rail services is up for renewal in 2019. The contract is typically awarded to the State-owned body Iarnród Éireann, but the European Commission is arguing the Irish transport sector needs to liberalise further.