Egis, a leading global consulting, construction engineering and operating firm, has been awarded a pivotal four-year project to support Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) in modernising the existing Signalling, Electrical, and Telecommunications (SET) systems in Cork. This landmark initiative is set to vastly improve the railway network in the region, elevating public transportation for the city and facilitating a modal shift from car to rail travel.
At the launch held at Kent Railway Station in Cork, Finance Minister Michael McGrath TD endorsed the overall Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme, commenting: “This is a significant milestone for the commuter rail network in Cork. The investment is one of many planned projects planned to boost Cork’s rail offering and public transport network. Upgrading Corks signalling system is a crucial step forward to facilitate the proposed capacity and service frequency increases planned for the region and will be of considerable benefit to users of the rail network”.
As an integral part of the ambitious Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) 2040, this project focuses on the heavy rail network of the Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme. The signalling and communications improvements will facilitate the planned increases in rail capacity and service frequency, bolster the signalling system's reliability, and support Iarnród Éireann’s continued safe operation of the railway. The initiative reflects a transformative vision for sustainable urban growth in the area, enabling more efficient, low carbon, and climate resilient transportation.
AJ Cronin, Delivery Manager, Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme at Iarnród Éireann, said: “This is a hugely significant step forward for Cork’s public transport infrastructure. In partnering with Egis, we are confident in their capacity to deliver this transformative project, boosting our rail services while aligning with our strategic mission for sustainable growth. We look forward to the positive changes this collaboration will bring to our community, making rail the preferred mode of transport.”
This upgrade project, involving the three main railway corridors in Cork, forms part of a larger development plan including multi-modal integrated transport hubs, additional rolling stock, and new stations with Park & Ride interchange points. Notably, the upgrade will cater to the significant expected growth in commuter numbers and lay a strong foundation for Cork’s future transportation needs.
Leveraging more than 50 years of industry experience and a proven track record of successful railway projects across the globe, Egis will bring an NEC4 professional Project Management Office (PMO) to the table. The company will ensure a collaborative working environment with effective, transparent communication, supported by a high-quality inclusion approach and a "right-first-time" delivery mindset.
The Egis team, which includes experts from both Ireland and the UK, will also integrate key staff from JB Barry & Partners, following the recent acquisition of the company by Egis. As a local Cork-based engineering firm, JB Barry & Partners brings an intimate understanding of the area’s requirements and needs.
Andrew Doyle, Operations Director at Egis Ireland, said: "This project signifies a landmark moment not just for Egis and Iarnród Éireann, but for the entire Cork community. The upgrades will bring a seamless, improved railway experience to the region, with enhanced service reliability, frequency, and capacity. We are delighted Iarnród Éireann has placed its trust in us for this important project."
Egis has enjoyed substantial growth in the rail sector in Ireland, establishing a reputation for excellence in project delivery and transport innovation. Leading the Systems Integration and Testing and Commissioning for the Train Protection System project, onboard and trackside, and the Train Management Systems project as part of the new National Train Control Centre, developing the preliminary design for the Luas Line Extension to Finglas in Dublin, and supporting the Cork Area Commuter Rail (CACR) with innovative Signalling, Electrification, and Telecommunications (SET) systems design during the tender phase of the project are just a few of its successes.
These achievements demonstrate Egis's ongoing commitment to helping Ireland improve its transportation infrastructure, with the new project in Cork marking yet another milestone in this journey.