The ballast cleaning programme for 2016 resumed in March, starting with
the section across the Curragh, MP25¼ to MP29½, when the Down line was
under possession. Single Line Working over the Up line was in place. Since
then, worked has continued on selected Saturdays and also Sunday 1 May,
with the Down line, from MP32¾ to MP36½ and MP38¾ to MP40 in the
Cherryville Junction - Portarlington section, being tackled over various
weekends. The usual train arrangements applied, as described in previous
Journals last year. The Cork sets are made up to 8-piece ICR’s. These
are too long for the platform at Ballybrophy, so passengers to and from
the Nenagh line cannot transfer there.
Canal Dock The City Centre Resignalling Project, Phase 3, Stage
8, involving track and signalling alterations
North of Tara Street and Sandymount, was brought
into use over an extended possession on the June Holiday weekend.
The outer face of the Up island platform at Grand Canal Dock is not yet in
use. Slewing of the Up line into this platform is scheduled for a later
stage of the project, at which time a buffer stop will installed at the
Lansdowne Road end of inner face of this platform, on what will then be a
central reversing track. The Down loop has, however, been brought into use
Line The Limerick – Ennis
line was re-opened on Tuesday 17 May, having been closed for 5
months on account of flooding at Ballycar. This line is constantly in the
news and part of the programme for government includes re-opening the
section from Athenry to Claremorris. An economist writing in the Sunday
papers stated that he was ashamed to be part of the government apparatus
approving the spending on the Western Rail Corridor. He went on to state
that it cost €105m to operate, with passenger numbers pitiful, amounting
to about 1000 per week. In an interesting reply the following week, it was
pointed out that annual projections for Iarnród Éireann had been 169,000
for the Galway - Limerick route. Actual numbers achieved were 220,000 in
2014 and 270,000 in 2015. Passenger projections for the “new” section
between Athenry and Ennis had been 100,000. Actual passenger numbers in
2014 were 50,000 but in 2015 reached 102,000, according to IÉ. A recent
survey by the NTA found that on a given day 886 passengers boarded 10
trains on the entire route.
On 27 May, Bruce Springsteen was playing in Croke Park
and Ireland had a friendly soccer match against the Dutch at the Aviva
Stadium. Most trains coming into Dublin were very busy, although the
preferred option for many travellers was car or bus, judging by the high
volumes on the approaches to the city. On the railways, many trains were
strengthened, the 13:20 from Cork was 229 + 7 Mk IV, DT 4004, and the
09:05 from Tralee (4-car ICR set 26) was extended from Mallow through to
Heuston; the 09:45 from Westport had a 4-car ICR added at Athlone, making
it 7-car, and the 11:20 from Cork was a 7-car ICR. There was also a relief
to the 12:20 ex Cork, which consisted of 219 + 7 Mk IV, DT 4002), the
relief leaving Mallow at 12:38 (ICR 4-car set 22).
has doubled capacity on its intermodal rail service from Waterford Port to
Ballina commencing March 2016, with the introduction of a second round
trip weekly. DFDS believe the time is right to offer this increased
intermodal service to its customers.
The new capacity will benefit customers in the west and north west of
Ireland in particular, providing them with a cost effective alternative
when compared with a road-based shipping option, as well as a reduced
has uncovered historic remnants of Belfast’s first ever railway station
complex during demolition works for the Belfast Hub Regeneration Project.
The discovery of original cast iron columns and arches,
identical to those used in the Great Northern Railway terminus at Great
Victoria Street, was made within large warehouse sheds situated on the
main project construction site along the Grosvenor Road in Belfast city
centre. These goods sheds were originally used by freight trains from all
over Ireland carrying produce such as cattle and stout.
Translink is donating the
salvaged components to the heritage Downpatrick and County Down Railway
for its own restoration project in which it hopes to recreate a
Victorian-style train shed at its Downpatrick station.
Subject to planning and
funding approvals, the construction work at Belfast Hub is due to commence
Railway Herald. Issue 501.
4 May 2016.