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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - CIE Locomotives.

Thursday, 15 December 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 226 No. 5

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4.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman asked the Minister for Transport and Power if in fact it was originally intended to operate the whole CIE railway system with 100 locomotives; and with what number of locomotives the railway is now operated.

[595]5.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman asked the Minister for Transport and Power if it is a fact that a direction was laid down by CIE that all locomotives in use must average a specified number of miles per annum.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 and 5 together.

I am informed by CIE that it was never intended that the whole CIE railway system should be operated with one hundred locomotives and that the Board never laid down a direction that all locomotives in use must average a specified number of miles per annum. The Board's accounts for the year 1965-66, copies of which are in the Library of the House, show the number of diesel locomotives owned by the Board as 212. The Board recently received delivery of a further 12 diesel locomotives. In addition, the Board has 86 diesel railcars.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman If the Parliamentary Secretary will make a little further inquiry, he will find the original plans to operate with 100 locomotives of four different types, with a 95 per cent daily availability. Will he explain why, as more and more branch lines are closed, it is now necessary to operate with more and more locomotives?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor Naturally, an amount of research has gone into this. At no stage was it found that the impression was conveyed that CIE should operate with a maximum of 100 locomotives.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman I am afraid the Parliamentary Secretary has not been given an accurate reply. The number of miles specified per locomotive was, in fact, 54,000. If the Parliamentary Secretary makes the inquiry, he will find that that is there in the original plans also.

6.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman asked the Minister for Transport and Power what percentage of the 60 heavy engines carrying the major burden of traffic was available over the year in each of the past ten years.

7.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman asked the Minister for Transport and Power what is the [596] average number of breakdowns for diesel locomotives and for steam locomotives respectively for each of the last ten years on a monthly basis.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 and 7 together.

Breakdowns in diesel engines are not comparable to those in steam engines and information on breakdowns would yield no useful conclusion since the breakdowns each year would relate to a stock of engines of differing ages. Further, a statement of the average number of breakdowns would not be informative without classification of the nature and magnitude of each breakdown.

The engines purchased since 1958 have proved far more efficient than those purchased during the early fifties, while the total number has increased. The Deputy can be assured that with the passing of time the number of en route breakdowns has now become insignificant as illustrated by the fact that 95 per cent of the passenger service trains arrive on time, a very high figure by European standards.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that a couple of years ago the number of breakdowns was 30 per month for steam and 180 per month for diesel, and that the figure rose later to 200 per month? I am afraid the Parliamentary Secretary, when he asked for the figures, was given a selection of statistics that do not bear examination over the period of ten years I have suggested. Will the Parliamentary Secretary ensure that the statistics in relation to railway operations which used to be published will be published now instead of what I might better describe, perhaps, as a colour magazine rather than an informative report about the working of CIE?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor I feel it would be wrong to allow the comments of the Deputy to pass without remarking——

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Can you deny them.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor ——that we feel that the report is a factual report of the situation [597] and not as the Deputy described it.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman It is a colour magazine and leaves out all the technical figures that used to be included.

Mr. S. Dunne: Information on Seán Dunne Zoom on Seán Dunne It should be brought before the Censorship Board.

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan Fine Gael are technicoloured.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor Basically, it is for general consumption and not particularly for expert consumption.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman Although he took Questions Nos. 6 and 7 together, the Parliamentary Secretary has not answered No. 6.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor I think I have covered it.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman I got no percentages.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor It was not possible to give the percentage.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman The information is there; I know it is there.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor If the Deputy knows it is there——

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman Yes, but the Deputy wants to bring out in public how inefficient the present management is.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Promotion of Fianna Fáil men who do not know their business—that is nothing new.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan Order. Question No. 8.


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