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Journal 190  - Infrastructure


Dublin-Cork 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.

The normal Monday to Saturday service on the Nenagh line consists of Up trains from Limerick at 06:30 and 16:55, arriving at Balybrophy, 08:41 and 18:51, to connect with the 07:40 from Limerick via Thurles and the 17:20 from Cork respectively. Down services are at 10:05 and 19:00 from Ballybrophy, connecting out of the 09:00 and 18:00 Cork trains, to arrive Limerick an 12:04 and 21:00 respectively.

On certain dates an interesting arrangement is applied, under which the train from Limerick runs through to and from Portlaoise, and makes the Dublin connections there. The branch railcar (usually a 2800-class) then runs empty to Portarlington to reverse direction, before forming the return service from Portlaoise to Limerick. At Ballybrophy, Up services use the direct connection from the branch platform to reach the Up main line. Down trains from Portlaoise run into the Down loop platform, reverse back over the crossover to the Up main, and then reverse again to enter the connection from the Up main that gives access to the branch via the branch platform track. Passengers have remained on board during these manoeuvres, in both the Up and the Down direction.

Amended timings have applied. On Saturday 30 April, these were 07:25 and 16:55 from Limerick, and 10:33 and 18:35 from Portlaoise, 36 minutes later from Ballybrophy. The same times applied on Saturday 14 May, except for the down evening service, which was 18:40 from Portlaoise. On Saturday 11 June, times were 07:25 and 15:30 from Limerick, and 10:33 and 18:30 from Portlaoise. For Saturday 2 July, the times were 07:10 and 15:20 Up, and 10:33 and 18:33 from Portlaoise. These works have offered a rare but unpredictable opportunity to travel through to and from the Nenagh line.

However, for the works on Saturdays, 4 and 18 June, connections were made at Ballybrophy. Revised times applied on the Nenagh branch – but not the same on each date.

Another piece of track not normally used by passenger trains is the Laois Train Care Depot Down Loop, which was traversed on Saturday 4 June, when ballast cleaning was taking place on t he Down line in the Clonkeen area and single line working was in operation over the Up line.



Grand Canal Dock The City Centre Resignalling Project, Phase 3, Stage 8, involving track and signalling alterations  between  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 again.


The remainder of this article appears in IRRS Journal number 190, published June 2016

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Revised: January 18, 2017 .