Éamonn Ballance, Iarnród Éireann’s Chief Civil Engineer talks to Irish building magazine about maintaining and upgrading the rail network and the opportunities for contractors with upcoming infrastructure spending.

Iarnród Éireann comprises, in the main, of two distinct business entities: the Infrastructure Manager (IM) and the Railway Undertaking (RU). In addition, it is also the operator of Rosslare Europort. Éamonn Ballance works for the Infrastructure Manager which is responsible for providing the infrastructure for the trains to run on. The RU operates the trains. Companies can apply to Iarnród Éireann to run trains on the network. In Ireland there are currently four Railway Undertakings. Iarnród Éireann is by far the largest of these; Translink and the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland are the smaller operators, and lastly the specialist plant contractor Rhomberg Sersa, who provides rail borne mechanical maintenance services to the Infrastructure Manager.

Éamonn is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland and holds an MBA from the University of Limerick. He joined the railway industry as an apprentice in the late 1970s and has worked at various levels in rail infrastructure enhancement, renewal and maintenance since. Éamonn reports to Don Cunningham, the Director of the Infrastructure Manager. In 2019, the Infrastructure Manager’s budget was just short of €300m for railway maintenance activities. Of this, Éamonn’s track, civils and buildings asset management department has a budget of approximately €170m.


Full story on the Irish Building Magazine: https://www.irishbuildingmagazine.ie/2020/03/06/working-on-the-iarnrod-eireann-network/