Irish Rail has revealed plans to run trains direct from Dublin Airport to Cork, Galway and Belfast.
Irish Rail chief executive, David Franks, said the development could cost as little as €300m, while offering a significantly boosting tourism.
“One of the biggest contributions we can make to the economy is moving people over long distances and into city centres fast,” Franks told the Irish Independent.
“My vision is more a Manchester Airport connection where you can go all over the country using diesel trains.”
However, concerns have also been raise the plan could risk damaging smaller regional airports.
Irish Rail could run intercity services direct to the airport, or else link the airport and city by DART before switching to intercity trains, Franks added to the Irish Independent.
The plan would involve building a spur line to Dublin Airport from Clongriffin.
This is already being considered by the Irish department of transport, in the context of developing a new public transport option for north Dublin.