The planned opening date of 9th January 2010 for the Ennis-Athenry line, which would deliver direct Limerick-Galway services, was deferred as a result of the flooding in November. However, driver training resumed between Ennis and Galway last week, and will now continue over the full Limerick-Galway route.
As a result, Iarnród Éireann has stated that the line is on schedule to open in March 2010, with a precise opening date expected to be confirmed shortly.
The €106.5 million redevelopment of the Ennis-Athenry line will:
- Deliver direct Galway to Limerick services
- Serve Limerick, Ennis, Athenry and Galway; and new stations at Sixmilebridge, Gort, Ardrahan and Craughwell
- Expand commuter links to Limerick and Galway
- Promote balanced regional development, in line with National Spatial Strategy objectives, by linking two Gateways – Limerick and Galway – and serving the hub of Ennis
The investment project delivered by Iarnród Éireann involves:
- renewal of 36 miles of track, including all necessary fencing, and installation of points and crossings at Gort and Ennis.
- a 90m platform with furniture, signage, shelter, Automatic Ticket Vending Machine, lighting, car park, PA, Customer Information Systems, help point and CCTV provision at Sixmilebridge, Gort, Ardrahan and Craughwell. These stations will also be accessible to the mobility impaired
- At Ennis and Athenry stations, PA, Customer Information Systems, help point and CCTV has been provided
- Repair and improvement work has been undertaken on bridges on the route to allow rail services to operate
- modernised signalling systems
- improvement to level crossings, and elimination where practicable
Deliver direct Galway to Limerick services
BluntGuy wrote: »
I really hate this lie. "Direct" is as point-to-point as possible, not going through hamlets, twisting and turning on a rotting, outdated alignment and worst of all, that hopeless, shuffling (and completely avoidable) mess of a turnaround at Athenry. :mad:
tech2 wrote: »
With the improvements on the M18 it's hard to see this getting a large amount of passenger numbers. Gort to Crusheen and the Limerick Tunnel will cut possible 10-15 mins off a trip.
Roryhy wrote: »
Check out all the crossings in the background here!
Roryhy wrote: »
I think that is to be built as part of the Galway commuter rail project linking Galway, Oranmore and Athenry. Theres no date for that yet.
Roryhy wrote: »
All they need is one new station and one train isnt it!!
Does this section need to be resignalled? That price might include double tracking too? Needless to say, that kind of spend couldnt be justified!
Sponge Bob wrote: »
It did include double tracking even though Galway Oranmore was doudble tracked before WW1 and the second track was lifted thereafter. The Oranmore - Athenry section was never double tracked that I know of.
That is €15m a mile. The N18 motorway around Gort cost €5m a mile ( not including land acquisition costs) . Then again CIE already own all the expensive land , from Galway to Oranmore
The lines of the former Midland Great Western Railway as built were provided with a surprising mileage of double track, as described by Oliver Doyle in JOURNAL 144, February 2001, “Double Track on the Midland”. With the sole exceptions of the short portion from Dublin (Broadstone and North Wall) to Clonsilla and also Ballysodare to Sligo, arguably also the short length between Mullingar Nos. 1 and 2 signal boxes, all of the double track sections were singled between 1918 and 1930.
Ballysodare - Sligo was not dealt with in JOURNAL 144 and neither is it mentioned in Ernie Shepherd’s book, “The Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland”. With the Sligo line now seeing a greater number of passenger trains than has been the case for more than half a century, and enjoying more through services than at any time in its history, it is appropriate to complete the story of Midland double track.
The 41/2 miles between Ballysodare and Sligo appear to have been double from the opening of the line in 1862. With the arrival of the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway from Enniskillen in 1882, which had entered into an agreement to make use of the Midland’s tracks into Sligo from Carrignagat, 1 mile south of Ballysodare, the double line was extended to a new double track junction at that location, the provision of the additional track being funded by the SL&NCR, although the track itself became the property of the Midland.
black47 wrote: »
Well, it's open, 2 hours beween cities. 100 out of 142 level crossings eliminated. 12 more to be gone over next 12 months. This should improve journey times surely. Oranmore stop in 2011. No minesterial commitment to extending further to Tuam and Claremorris though.
'The Limerick to Galway rail line has been officially reopened, with trains travelling between the two cities for the first time in 34 years.
Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey attended the official departure of the first service from Limerick at 10.30am.
The re-opening of the rail link comes after €160m has been spent on upgrading the Ennis to Athenry line.
As well as serving Limerick, Ennis, Athenry and Galway, the project involved the building and total fit-out of new stations at Sixmilebridge, Gort, Ardrahan and Craughwell.
Car parking facilities, as well as mobility-impaired access, are provided at the new stations.
There will be five services each way along the new route starting at 6am from Limerick, with journey times varying from just under two hours to two-and-a-half hours.
An estimated 300,000 passengers a year are expected to use the service.
The new link has been widely welcomed, however Labour's Jan O'Sullivan said it was disappointing the route did not include a terminal at Moyross as part of the important regeneration process.
Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, who lives in Oranmore, said the greatest mistake on the line was that it did not include a stop there, which serves a hinterland of up to 15,000 people.
An Oranmore stop is planned to open in 2011.
West on Track, which has campaigned heavily for the new service, said it is important to proceed to phases two and three to Tuam and Claremorris.
However, Iarnród Éireann cannot say when these phases will be start given the current difficulties with the State finances.'http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0329/rail.html
zootroid wrote: »
This is the main issue I have with public transport in this country. Not only is it expensive, but it's too slow. Why would you take the train when you could save up to an hour by travelling by car? You need to provide an incentive for people to take public transport, and a slow, expensive form of transport isn't going to get people out of their cars.
wellbutty wrote: »
Exactly...what is it........100km??? This must be 1 hour.
I've always been curious and ignorant as to why our trains are so slow and visitors to Ireland often ask me, hopefully some of the more knowledgeable here can help me.......is it the gradients, curvature, track, engines, level crossings, "slow down at the bottom of Mary's garden" or station shuffling? I thought CIE had invested heavily in engines and tracks over the years, thereby ruling these two out.
Judgement Day wrote: »
Me - but only if Westtip and Nostradamus can make it - and it has to be ginger beer!
JupiterKid wrote: »
I can see this new line being a total white elephant. The number using the service will be tiny and why in God's name wasn't the line rerouted to serve Shannon Airport? Not having a stop at Oranmore, a sizeable satellite commuter town of Galway, was also very clever.:rolleyes:
2 to 2.5 hours to travel from Limerick to Galway or vice versa is pathetic. The service is far too slow and its cost will deter people fro using it. Plus, when the M18 motorway is finished, or even once Gort is bypassed later this year, the journey times by road between the two cities will be pretty much twice as fast as the rail sevice.