Despite problems identified with a section of the Luas line the Railway Procurement Agency say the system remains safe for passengers.

Reports by an expert at the Institute for Railway Engineering at the University of Graz highlight issues with 8km of Luas track on the Red Line at Suir Road.

The bonding material which helps keeps the Luas track in place is faulty. This issue could cause excessive widening between the rails and have safety implications in the future.

The state body responsible for Dublin's Luas tram system, the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) admits there is a problem. RPA Director Light Rail Michael Sheedy says the widening issue is normal. However to ensure the situation does not deteriorate over time, a weekly monitoring system is in place.

The trays holding the bonding material are held in by concrete. In some places this concrete is cracking. Michael Sheedy says the incidents of cracking are isolated and do not compromise passenger safety.

It's not a significant issue; it doesn’t jeopardise the safety of the system.

The German expert’s findings have been sent to the Railway Safety Commissioner John Welsby. As the Luas project has numerous technical and engineering strands he concludes,

It would be quite normal for something like this with so many inputs to have some teething problems.

The RPA say the contractors who built Luas are responsible for fixing the issue at their own cost. The contractor’s insurance company have also commissioned a report on the faults.

Work on the track, which could cost up to 10 million euro, is expected to begin in the early part of 2006.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 12 January 2006. The reporter is David Murphy.