Irish Railway Record Society
Journal 171 - Infrastructure
Clonsilla-Pace Work on bridges has progressed well. By November, the new Royal Canal Bridge (UB284 at 610m) was largely complete and the farmer’s underpass UB285 at 688m had been replaced. By December, re-location of services and containment / strengthening measures were finished at Barnhill Road Bridge, OB286 at 1,689m, and the bridge re-opened. A large ‘lake’ had formed at a low point at this bridge preventing track laying and requiring two pumps to empty it. A new accommodation bridge OB286a has been constructed at Hilltown Stud at 2,450m. The new deck, diverted services and concrete traffic containment measures were in place at Stirling Road Bridge OB287 at 3,050m. One lane of traffic remained diverted over the trackbed at the main bridge at Dunboyne OB290 at 4,888m with the other lane still using the bridge. This allowed service, diversion, strengthening and containment work to take place. Bennetstown Bridge OB294 at 6,623m near Pace was demolished and will not be replaced. All underbridges had been replaced or upgraded.
Work on stations has also progressed well. Building, lift structure and footbridge construction at Hansfield was largely complete by November. Both platforms, station structural steel and lift shaft structures were in place in Dunboyne. At Pace, the lift shafts and station structure were largely in place by December.
The track bed was laid and prepared using road vehicles. Track laying commenced in October using road-rail equipment and starting at Hansfield station. New UIC54 rail was laid on concrete sleepers. This rail was clamped pending welding at a later stage. Ballast and sub-ballast were delivered by road vehicle.
Wednesday 16 December, a 201-class locomotive was used to test the new Royal
Canal Bridge at Clonsilla. Next day, 081 was the first locomotive to visit the
Dunboyne line, propelling a rail train over the new track as far as Barnhill Rd
Bridge beyond Hansfield station to drop long welded rail.
It is believed that this is the first train to use the Navan line
since GNR(I) 0-6-0
No. 181 was used on the lifting train in 1963. On Tuesday 22 December, 081 made
another visit with the LWR train to drop rails on the Dunboyne side of
Pace-Navan In October, IÉ said that design work for Phase II Pace-Navan had commenced. An application for a Railway Order is expected to be lodged in mid-2011, following public consultation with residents, landowners and interested parties along the route. The preferred route is mostly on the alignment of the former Clonsilla-Navan line.
and weeknight possessions continued throughout the autumn to allow track and
signalling work to be completed on the four track scheme from Cherry Orchard to
Hazelhatch and on re-signalling the two tracks from Hazelhatch to Cherryville
Junction. Bus substitution took place between Heuston and Newbridge / Kildare /
multiple aspect signalling was commissioned between Caragh (Newbridge-Sallins)
and the south end of Hazelhatch and new points were commissioned at Sallins on
Sunday 27 September. The trailing crossover at the west end is now located on
the Newbridge side of the platforms (See JOURNAL 170 for diagram). Plain track
between the crossovers has also been re-laid. A new set of trap points replaced
the ground frame at the south end of the loop. Signals were converted to three
and four-aspect. Track circuits have been replaced by axle counters.
left to right from the Dublin end, the final arrangement of the four tracks
between Hazelhatch and Cherry Orchard is; down fast, down slow, up slow, up
fast. The down fast was formerly the down track and the down slow was formerly
the up line. Two new tracks have been constructed to the north.
first section of ‘four tracking’ was commissioned at 23:32 on Sunday 1
November. To facilitate work there was a line closure from 20:00 the previous
Friday with bus transfers to/from Portlaoise / Thurles / Portarlington / Carlow.
New signalling on the former down line and the new up fast line was brought into
use and the original up line was temporarily taken out of service. This left the
two outermost tracks in service, with the two inner tracks under possession.
Work also included slewing the up line into the new up fast line at both Hazelhatch and Cherry Orchard ends. New high speed turnouts were also commissioned at each end but were not brought into use. The new signalling consists of four-aspect signals and CAWS (Continuous Automatic Warning System) on both tracks. Points were laid on concrete bearers (sleepers) and all signals are LED type controlled from CTC in Connolly. Axle counters are used throughout.
The following weekend saw crossovers installed connecting the down line to the down slow line at Cherry Orchard and the down slow to the down line at Hazelhatch.
Commissioning of the final scheme took place on Sunday 6 December. The line was handed over at 10:01 and the first train to operate over the down slow line was the 10:15 Heuston-Kildare.
The down fast line will be taken out of service for re-laying commencing in March. This is anticipated to take six months and will be followed by the down slow line.
RAIL CORRIDOR (WRC)
applied for planning permission to construct a new overbridge and associated
roads for farm use in order to close level crossings XE185/6 at The Roo,
Craughwell. The bridge deck of OB167 on the Athenry-Derrydonnell Rd was renewed
between mid-September and mid-October. Decks have also been renewed and
containment barriers installed on OB126, OB129, OB130, OB135 and OB158.
barriers have been installed on approaches, parapets heightened, road surface
improved and signs installed at the following bridges: OB91, OB93, OB102, OB111,
OB116, OB118, OB160, OB162 and OB162. Parapets have been heightened, road
surface improved and signs installed at OB75, OB134 and OB136.
renewal has included: UB77 Upper Fergus River – deck renewed and piers
strengthened, UB78 Tulla Rd – renewed with improved clearance and
‘culvert’ installed for pedestrians, UB86 and UB96 – public roads –
renewed with improved clearances, UB100 Crusheen – deck jacked to improve
clearance and bash beam installed, UB104 and UB106 cattle passes renewed, UB125
and UB145 culverts renewed and UB136 public road renewed. Strengthening,
including installation of handrails, took place at a further 56 bridges.
of the level crossing at Craughwell to four-barrier CCTV-type resulted in a
temporary re-alignment of the main N6 Dublin-Galway Rd from Monday 31 August to
Monday Tuesday 20 October. A temporary steel gated level crossing was installed
for the duration.
ballast train continued to be based in Ardrahan and Crusheen. 146 operated the
train in the Ardrahan/Gort/Tubber area in September and October. Ballasting of
the line finished in November and the ballast train with locomotive 146 stabled
in Athenry cement siding on Thursday 12 November.
level crossings were commissioned as four-barrier CCTV-type, controlled from
are protected by 2-aspect red/green colour light stop and yellow/green caution
(distant) signals. Kiltartan up and Castletown down stop signals have a third
aspect and act as a distant for the other crossing.
on the Ennis-Athenry section was commissioned at 16:31 on Sunday 8 November and
it was restored as a running line. Earlier, 073 operated a signalling test
train, running Athlone - Athenry - Ennis - Athlone. Gort loop was commissioned
and signals at Athenry and Ennis were brought into use. Signals are controlled
from the Galway Line PC ECP in Athlone and are prefixed GL. Axle counters are
used throughout and CAWS is not provided. Down direction is from Limerick.
has a conventional crossing loop (up side) with red/green starting signals on
each road, a red/yellow/green home signal with route indicator and a
yellow/green/yellow caution (distant) signal at each end. Both platforms at Gort
are 90m long and wheelchair accessible lifts are provided to the footbridge.
has a banner repeater signal for its red/yellow/green up home. Athenry has a
down yellow/green distant signal reading to a red/yellow/green outer home
signal, which in turn reads to a red/yellow/green home signal. A shunt signal
reads to the former cement siding. An up red/green advance starter is provided
training commenced in November, but had to be suspended due to flooding.
Timetabled services were scheduled to commence in January with five trains per
day each way between Limerick and Galway, but were also deferred due to flooding
(see below). The line speed limit is 60-mph and the best journey time is 1 hour
55 minutes using 2700-class commuter railcars. Competing express buses take 1
hour 30 minutes and run more frequently.
full article on the line re-build will appear in a future JOURNAL.
October, Monday-Friday trains were cancelled between 08:50 and 16:10 to allow
re-signalling work take place. ETS
working and semaphore signals were taken out of use and colour light
signalling between Limerick Check and Ennis was commissioned on Saturday 5
December. Consequently, Ennis signal cabin closed. Axle counters are used for
train detection and CAWS is not provided. The section starting signal at Ennis
is controlled from the Galway Line PC ECP in Athlone and is prefixed GL. Colour
light signals protecting Singland crossing are now controlled from Limerick
trailing crossover and points to the loop at the north of Ballybrophy were
renewed during the line closure for commissioning the first of the ‘four
tracking’ on 1 November. Points are laid on concrete bearers (sleepers).
work is taking place each night over the entire Dublin-Cork line. It is not
uncommon for nearly every section to be under a possession most nights. Work
includes excavation, re-laying, renewing drainage, installing a geo-textile
membrane, replacing broken sleepers and renewing side worn rails. Consequently,
the line has many speed restrictions and punctuality has suffered dramatically.
Re-fettling work has been completed between Newbridge and Monasterevin and speed
limits have been restored from 75-mph to 80/90/100-mph. 75-mph remains in force
Monasterevin-Portlaoise on both tracks. Track re-laid includes MP42-47 up and
MP45-47, MP122-124 down, MP119-121 up and the up line through Portlaoise.
long standing 10-mph speed limit at Woodhill has been lifted following opening
of the new bridge to replace the level crossing (See JOURNAL 170).
locomotive release crossover under the canopy at Tralee station was removed on
Monday 23 November and the buffer stop moved 80m towards Mallow to allow a road
to be constructed to a new 60 space car park in the freight yard. ‘Run
around’ is still available in the yard.
new replacement turnout on concrete bearers was installed at the Athlone end of
Geashill on Sunday 25 October. The turnout at the Dublin end of Clonnydonnin
crossing loop has also been renewed using concrete bearers.
The speed limit on the section of track fully laid with CWR between MP35 and
Killonan Junction MP521/2
has been raised to 50-mph, with some stretches at 40-mph. However, the speed
limit over most of this section used to be 70-mph in the 1970s when it was all
jointed track. The speed limit over the remaining sections (MP0-MP35) has been
reduced to 30-mph.
Limerick-Waterford Re-laying with CWR
on concrete sleepers continued in sections between Tipperary and Waterford
during the autumn.
1.1 miles were re-laid. The 08:50 and 11:45 Limerick
Junction-Waterford and 09:35 and 12:30 Waterford-Limerick Junction were
partially substituted by bus.
Dublin-Waterford trains did not serve Kilkenny
station from Monday 9 until Wednesday 11 November to allow track alterations
including temporary disconnection of the Sundries siding to facilitate
straightening of the platforms and installation of a new footbridge and lifts.
Crossovers 113 and 114 at the south end of the platforms at Pearse were renewed
over the weekend of 7/8 November. Trains were cancelled between Grand Canal Dock
main and siding tracks between the Dublin-Belfast line and the first underbridge
on the Navan branch in Drogheda station were re-laid when Tara Mines trains were
cancelled following the collapse of Malahide viaduct. Crossover No. 87 which
connected the West Loop to the East Branch and associated signals were removed,
as they were no longer required following withdrawal of Platin cement trains.
The turnout at the Navan end of the loop was also renewed.
September, a Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV), No. 790, was delivered to the
Infrastructure Department in Portlaoise.
has advertised for:
concrete bearers to support breather switches, insulated joints, bridge gatherer
systems and through level crossings.
50-150 sets of adjustment / breather
switch-rail sets and 400-1,200 cast base plates for use with them.
2,000 tonnes of rapid hardening Portland cement
and 2,500 tonnes of washed sand per annum for Portlaoise sleeper factory.
· Buffer stops - 150-200 required over 5 years.
· Automatic brushing machine for rail end contact surfaces, automatic rail weld grinding machine and a rail weld straightness measuring beam for the continuous welding rail line in Portlaoise Depot.
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