Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Transport engineering, Business and Management.

Publication Details

Proceedings of the Irish Transport Research Network (IRTN) Annual Conference, University College Cork, August/Septemer 2011


In a world where freight transport is increasing, efficiency is essential. Transport by rail is characterised by its low fuel consumption per tonne. This mode of transport became extremely important during the last century but unfortunately it has been losing its importance in the logistics sector with the passing of time. However, we are currently witnessing an important transformation in the railway sector throughout Europe. This has been promoted by the European Union, with a significant allocation of resources to this issue. With the objective of increasing the volume of goods transported by rail, European nations are conducting a transformation process of their infrastructure and rolling stock. In Ireland, the outlook for rail freight is not very positive since its market share has been dangerously decreasing. This paper presents an analysis of the current situation in the Republic of Ireland. The research is based on a range of secondary sources, as well as on a series of semi-structured interviews carried out by the authors with current rail freight customers. A focus group comprising rail freight experts was also used to identify possible future scenarios.