Irish Railway Record Society
station has only five platforms and is extremely restrictive, with many trains
being held outside the station waiting for an empty platform. Platform 1 is
short, not covered by the overall roof and is some considerable length from the
main concourse. It is primarily used by Arrow
railcars on the Kildare service, although it also has to be used for loco hauled
movements at certain periods. Platforms 2 and 5 are full length for existing
nine-carriage Mk III trains plus locos. Platforms 3 and 4, which were installed
in 1972 when Galway and Westport train departures were transferred from Pearse,
will just about take full-length trains if the driver pulls up tight to the
buffer stop, but not with a loco at each end. Accordingly, it is often not
possible to attach locos to outgoing trains on platform 4 until after the
departure of a train from platform 3 and vice versa, with consequential affect
signalling system in Heuston consists of IÉs last miniature frame mechanical
interlocking with colour light signals and dates from the 1930s. It requires
significant resources to maintain in safe operation and is life expired. An
entirely new system was recommended by safety consultants IRMS.
current €117 million project will see the number of platforms increased from
five to nine, platforms lengthened, re-modelled track, new signalling and
concourse improvements. Three new sets of intermediate signals between Inchicore
and Hazelhatch will provide extra capacity, with Inchicore and Heuston cabins
both closing. When complete, all signals and points will be controlled from
Mainline CTC in Three additional platforms, nos. 6, 7 and 8, will be constructed
outside the confines of the existing overall roof in the area formerly occupied
by sidings and the car park. There is no platform 9. Platform 10 has been
constructed on the North Wall branch between Islandbridge Junction and Liffey
It can be accessed from both Inchicore and Connolly directions, but signalled
departures made only towards Inchicore.
will be routed to new platforms 6, 7 and 8 via the north side of the existing
Valeting Plant. Existing platforms 4 and 5 will be accessible from either side
of the Valeting Plant. The ‘Third Road’ between Heuston and Inchicore
becomes a bi-directionally signalled running line and is re-titled to the ‘up
and down branch’. There will be three bi-directionally signalled lines between
Heuston and the entrance to Inchicore Works, with high-speed crossovers
installed for extra flexibility. At the west end of Inchicore at Kylemore Road
bridge there are further high-speed crossovers and these are the limit of
completion date for the entire scheme is April 2003. Phase I sees the
commissioning of new track and signalling covering the Liffey Branch at Heuston,
through Inchicore to the existing Mainline CTC system at Hazelhatch. An
additional platform will be brought into use as noted below. For Phase II, which
lasts until the end of September, fencing has been erected to enable
construction of the extra platforms without disruption to trains. Existing
platform 5 will be taken out of use to allow it to be extended and new Platforms
6, 7 and 8 will be brought progressively into use. Platform 4 will be
temporarily shortened but remain in use. Heuston signal cabins closes at the end
of Phase II. During Phase III, existing Platforms 1, 2 and 3 will be taken out
of use for track alterations and re-building.
final track installation for this phase consisted of a pair of crossovers, nos.
704 and 705. These were installed during the closedown over St. Patrick’s
Holiday weekend, as they required track to be slewed in the vicinity of the new
staff footbridge (OB 5) at the site of the old staff platform at Inchicore.
are now three tracks instead of the original four between Liffey Bridge Junction
and Islandbridge Junction, with the new platform, no. 10, constructed partially
on the site of one of the former North Wall Loops. It is envisaged that this
platform will be used primarily by railcar services on the Kildare line,
although it can and will be used by all trains.
area is also the location for the new Heuston Signal Equipment Room (SER)
containing the new Solid State Interlocking and Westcad signalling system. The
latter will control new signals and points in the Heuston and Inchicore areas
pending completion of all works and transfer to CTC in Connolly station. The
Westcad system has four VDUs in a dedicated room in the SER. An additional VDU,
transferred from Heuston cabin, shows the interface tracks with the Connolly
West CTC system that covers Connolly to Liffey Junction, Glasnevin Junction and
Cabra. On this, the Heuston SER signalman can see the identification code of
trains approaching from Glasnevin Junction. The Heuston SER signalman also has a
terminal to enter the code of trains departing his area of control into the
Mainline CTC system. He is also able to transmit and receive bell codes from
to the signalman’s room is the room containing two Solid State Interlockings (SSIs),
which control all movements. One is for the signals and points commissioned so
far in Heuston and the other is for Inchicore. A third will be fitted to cover
the remainder of Heuston. This room also contains the CAWS generation equipment,
which is also solid state. At the Phoenix Park tunnel end of the complex is the
standby-diesel generator room.
IÉ Weekly Circular describing these works in January noted definitions of up
and down lines for the former GS&WR branch, which have been in regular use
on IÉ in recent years, but are in variance with historical practice. IÉ now
define ‘down branch’ direction as referring to trains travelling from
Glasnevin Junction to Islandbridge Junction. Mileposts remain unaltered and read
from zero at Islandbridge Junction. This JOURNAL will use the new IÉ
definitions in future reporting.
and Sidings Construction
sidings on the down side of the running lines adjacent to St. Johns Road were
commissioned, but nevertheless, there was a significant reduction in storage
space available. The replacement sidings contain storage for one 9-carriage and
one 8-carriage Mk III set, plus a small siding capable of holding three
carriages. The recently renewed Guinness sidings, now connected to the ‘up and
down branch’ and controlled by the Heuston SER, remained in use.
new platform is approximately one kilometre from the existing concourse. It is
190 metres long, equivalent to a 201-class loco + 7 Mk III or an eight-car
railcar. No trains or rolling stock are allowed to be left unattended at this
platform. A train loco must not be detached until another loco or the pilot loco
has attached to the rear. There is a passenger information indicator on the
platform, similar to those in use in the DART area. Following on from the
experiment at Grand Canal Dock station, it features white rather than red LEDs.
There is also a ticket office and toilet facilities in temporary structures.
Rudimentary shelters are provided against the elements.
viaduct is exposed to the vagaries of tide and wind. During late February and
early March, additional rock and concrete fill was added to provide additional
protection against the elements. A 5-mph speed limit was in force during the
footbridge at Sheriff Street level crossing in North Wall was removed on
Thursday 21 February. The cast iron railings on the up side of the viaduct in
Balbriggan were restored and renewed during the spring.
has commenced on a new overbridge between Coolmine and Porterstown level
crossings on the Dublin-Clonsilla section of the Sligo line. The bridge also
will span the Royal Canal and the road will be known as Blanchardstown Road
South Extension. It is hoped that this new road and bridge will relieve traffic
congestion through the adjacent level crossings.
on the €20 million project to replace the existing bridge over East Wall Road
and the River Tolka commenced over the Easter Weekend. It resulted in closure of
the line between Connolly and Clontarf Road from 11.00 on Good Friday to 16.30
on Easter Monday to facilitate the first phase of works. The work will
necessitate 12 weekend closures, with the bridge to be completed by the end of
September 2002. Weekday trains will not be affected by the works.
Wall Road Bridge is the most struck bridge in the country, suffering 104 bridge
strikes by high vehicles since 1985, with 53 of these occurring since 1998. The
clearance of the old bridge is 4.57 metres. The repeated strikes, together with
other lesser 'scrapes', have resulted in a requirement to replace the structure
to ensure the continued safe operation of rail services over the bridge.
Services were also disrupted after each bridge strike while bridge inspections
were carried out. There is also provision in the new bridge for an extra line to
provide for future DART and suburban expansion.
the Easter closure, an hourly regular interval DART service was provided from
both Malahide and Howth to Clontarf Road. The Malahide departures were at ten
minutes to each hour, while the Howth departures were at half past the hour. An
hourly regular interval Drogheda-Clontarf service operated at 40 minutes past
each hour from Drogheda and 35 minutes past each hour from Clontarf Road. Bus
connections were provided to Tara Street, not calling at Connolly. Normal
services operated between Connolly and Bray / Greystones. Enterprise services operated normally between Drogheda and Belfast
with bus substitution to and from Connolly. A similar service operated over the
May Public Holiday weekend. Details of further weekend closures have been
published by IÉ.
undertaken during the Easter closure included removal of all connections from
Fairview DART depot at the south end, as well trailing crossover number 114,
north of East Wall Junction. The result was that DART trains had to use the
north connection to Fairview, with some resultant delay to trains. A 20-mph
permanent speed restriction was introduced to accommodate construction work for
the bridge and the adjacent Dublin Port Tunnel.
was a small local protest when work commenced on Saturday morning by residents
who were objecting to a new 6-metre high retaining wall. IÉ agreed to reduce
the height of this wall when work was completed.
renewed during track renewal on the Athlone-Westport line included OB784 at 156
miles 594 yards on 7 January, OB791 at 158 miles 1720 yards on 9 January and
UB793 at 159 miles 594 yards on 16 January. Also renewed were OB105 at 45 miles
1308 yards on the Mallow-Tralee line on 13 February and OB 596 at 128 miles 1186
yards on the Dublin-Sligo line on 16 April.
Copyright © 2002 by Irish Railway Record Society Ltd.