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Journal 190  - Operations

PASSENGER OPERATIONS

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).

WESTERN RAIL CORRIDOR

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.  

FREIGHT AND DEPARTMENTAL

DFDS

DFDS 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 carbon footprint.

The train timetable is optimised to meet the DFDS sailing schedules from Waterford Port to Rotterdam, which allows for onward delivery into Europe. Customers can now load in the west of Ireland on Tuesday morning and deliver in Holland on Friday. Rotterdam also provides access to DFDS sailings to Norway, DFDS Rail Service, and rail connections to Italy and Turkey, allowing for a rail-sea-rail connection from Ballina to Milan and Istanbul.

Importers into Ireland will also benefit from this extra capacity, with the intermodal rail solution particularly suitable for bulk tank operators and large volume shippers to the west and north of Ireland.

DFDS is also working with IÉ to further develop its rail capacity by offering longer trains. Trails are currently in progress and it is hoped to bring further news of this development in the near future.

The current timetable is as follows

 

Depart

 

Arrive

 

Monday

Waterford Port

11:30

Ballina

19:35

Tuesday

Ballina

11:05

Waterford Port

18:24

Wednesday

Waterford Port

11:30

Ballina

19:35

Thursday

Ballina

11:05

Waterford Port

18:24

DFDS train press release March 2016.

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

 
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Revised: January 18, 2017 .