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Journal 194 - Infrastructure

INFRASTRUCTURE

Track: Athlone Midland station was reduced to one road whilst work was undertaken to replace the points at the Galway end of the station. This working, along with a 5 mph speed restriction passing the worksite, was in place from Wednesday 7 June 2017 to Sunday 16 July 2017.

Level Crossings: Level Crossing XM202 (Clare or Cloonconnor) outside Claremorris was converted from traditional gates to barrier CCTV operation. It was operational again on Wednesday 5 July 2017. Of interest is that it was the last gated crossing on the Athlone – Westport line.

Ballast Cleaning: The Ballast Cleaning programme continued until mid-July, when higher summer and GAA demand results in less spare capacity to work with. There was no cleaning undertaken in August that required a line closure.

Saturday 3 June 2017: Single Line Working (SLW) over the Up Road between Laois Traincare Depot and Ballybrophy.

Saturday 10 June 2017: Single Line Working (SLW) over the Up Road between Laois Traincare Depot and Ballybrophy.

Saturday 1 July 2017: Single Line Working (SLW) over the Down Road between Laois Traincare Depot and Ballybrophy.

Saturday 15 July 2017: Single Line Working (SLW) over the Up Road between Laois Traincare Depot and Ballybrophy.

Depots

Boston Sidings: The area next to Grand Canal Dock station, used for many years as a turn-back siding for Dublin Pearse and known as the Boston Sidings, is set to be rejuvenated in a new proposal launched by landowner CIÉ.

The sidings are currently under-utilised, as they can only accommodate 4x20m vehicles (ie a 29000 set or 2x2600/2700/2800 2-car sets). With longer trains using the bay platform at Grand Canal Dock or the area between Pearse and Grand Canal Dock, CIÉ is looking at gaining revenue from the site.

It proposes a 300-year ground lease of the site, with any developer handling the building of any new building. This is expected to be an office block, since the station provides excellent links to the north, east and south. With rents in the area around the €600 per square metre mark, CIÉ expects to gain considerably from the lease.

A similar scheme is in progress next to Tara Street station with the Johnny Ronan Property Group, which lodged a planning application for a 22-storey tower. This has been refused, although an appeal to An Bórd Pleanála is expected.

Dublin Connolly: In a related development, CIÉ are seeking to develop the area around Dublin Connolly station in the same fashion. The first area, around 4.85 acres, includes the current car park and offices in that area, as well as some stabling sidings next to the Valeting Plant at the station.

Malahide Bridge: For a number of years, the overbridge carrying Back Road, Malahide, over the railway has been a cause of serious concern. The bridge was so narrow that there was no room for a footpath despite increasingly heavy road traffic. To remedy the situation, a new bridge section was fabricated in the neighbouring carpark belonging to the Malahide Castle Park. It carries a footpath and a cycle path, and ducts underneath were provided for utilities. This was craned into position on the north side of the existing structure in the early hours of Sunday 16 July 2017 after the passing of the last train, and power was switched on by the start of Sunday services.

Work then began on removing the north wall of the existing bridge to integrate the new structure with the existing road, and to install the service facilities beneath the new structure. This is expected to continue for some weeks

The remainder of this article appears in IRRS Journal number 194, published October 2017

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