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Dublin-Cork Railway Line

  • 01-06-2010 12:44am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Discuss.

    Are any improvements to enable greater speed planned? I took the train for the first time in over a year about two weeks ago and while I enjoyed the train (it was comfortable and clean), the train seemed to go a little slower than I'd expected. So what works are planned for this line, if any?

    And, will they ever refurbish Kent Station?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 577 Typewriter


    Furet wrote: »
    And, will they ever refurbish Kent Station?

    Fat chance that if they do it will be like anything that was previously proposed.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Who proposed that, why and when?


  • Registered Users Posts: 577 Typewriter


    That was the proposal for Cork European Capital of Culture 2005. CIE were refused planning (Not enough information) and so instead kent station got a lick of white paint and a few glass doors.

    I cant remember the name of the Architects but I know they are the same people behind the revamp of Blackrock village(still yet to happen).

    EDIT: O'Mahony Pike Architects

    Kent Station
    A new City Waterfront with Quayside Marina is proposed in this urban regeneration project on a 15 acres, neglected brownfield site at the heart of the City.

    The site includes the existing Kent Station, the principle Station for Cork City and .75 kilometre frontage on to the River Lee at Horgan Quay. A major transport interchange is proposed with a new Station, 80,000m² of Retail, Leisure and Commercial plus 1,600 apartments. This project was the winner in a design/build Competition with Manor Park Home Builders and Treasury Holdings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭ Cool Mo D


    I know at the moment that IE are relaying the line with stronger track. I think there's a few short sections of the line done, but I have no idea when it'll be finished, if they plan to relay the lot, or if it will lead to increased journey times.

    I also know that the line is currently riddled with speed restrictions - something I believe IE were in court with one of their engineering managers for?

    When the Kildare route project is done, it should lead to a faster approach to Heuston. I believe there is quite a lot of slack in the timetable - it takes 2h50 now - should be around with no delays and trains run 2h30 flat out, I believe. IE should be aiming for 2h to 2h15 to keep the line halfway competitive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    Whats the drive time on a coach now for direct services with the Motorway completed? how does it compare price and time versus the train? Just for interest I am unlikely to ever use it living where I do.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    westtip wrote: »
    Whats the drive time on a coach now for direct services with the Motorway completed? how does it compare price and time versus the train? Just for interest I am unlikely to ever use it living where I do.

    I think you can get a €10 ticket Dublin-Cork if you buy online, in which case the train is superb value. I very rarely take it though as I seldom go from Dublin-Cork. Thurles or Kent, depending on where I am, would be the only two stations I'd use. Having said that a one-way online ticket from Thurles-Houston cost me €23 last time I went, so prices seem variable.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    Green-jesus,

    There was a proposal subsequent to this, which was not dependent on the Horgan's Quay development (I have a copy of the plan on my wall dated Nov 07). It was a lot smaller and less intrusive than the 05 proposal, and essentially left the existing building untouched (wise, because it's a PS), and involved an oval terminal building to the south of the existing structure, with a tunnel running under the tracks, with escalators/stairs up to the various platforms. It was costed and fairly far along, but was never made public for some reason, and never formally sought funding. It also includes the Luas line though, so it should probably be regarded as somewhat aspirational.

    Cork Station (or 'Kent Station') isn't that bad, to be honest - the important issue is to improve access from the city centre, so pedestrian access from Horgan's Quay and better public transport. The key priority for the service is to improve the journey time - ideally to around 2 hours - everything else is much improved. As it stands, there are a lot of people who would chose to use the train when travelling for business - I've used it midweek a few times recently and it has always been relatively full. Keeping that business and building on it is critiical for IE.

    Any capital for infrastructure works is going to be very difficult to come by for the foreseeable future though.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    As it stands, there are a lot of people who would chose to use the train when travelling for business - I've used it midweek a few times recently and it has always been relatively full. Keeping that business and building on it is critiical for IE.

    +1

    The train will continue to be popular until such time as bus companies start a genuine Cork-Dublin M8/M7 express service, which looks to be a long way away.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,017 invinciblePRSTV


    Wasn't the original IE/Cork City Co. plan pre 2005 to consolidate train and bus services into a redeveloped Kent station? And weren't those Horgans Quay plans thrown out by the City planners because it was essentially an ill conceived build-loads-of-apartments plan with a train station re-development tacked onto it?.

    As for Cork - Dublin by train, long term a complete renewal of the line is needed to drastically improve times to beat the motorway. I'd like to think if/when there will be money available for upgrading intercity rail infrastructure the Belfast - Dublin - Cork lines should be given priority for upgrades to higher speed levels before the taxpayer starts p*ssing away money subsidising more rural branch lines.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    Wasn't the original IE/Cork City Co. plan pre 2005 to consolidate train and bus services into a redeveloped Kent station?

    Not quite. Moving the bus station in Cork was considered a number of times in recent years. In 1999-2001 consideration was given to moving it to the railway station or the then becoming vacant An Post Sorting office (where the Elysian now is). Both were knocked down on the basis of cost/increased distance from the city centre. The Railway station idea came up again later (04-05), but was again knocked down on a cost basis, and because of the uncertainty over what a revised Railway Station would actually look like - the 05 plan is very expansive, and involves substantial track works to facilitate through trains for the commuter service (Mallow-Midleton/Cobh). The 07 proposal has very little new track work (that I can tell).
    And weren't those Horgans Quay plans thrown out by the City planners because it was essentially an ill conceived build-loads-of-apartments plan with a train station re-development tacked onto it?.
    Yup, and because the committment of IE to actually build the railway station element of it was suspect to begin with.

    Investment priorities should be higher speeds on the core services (Dublin-Cork,Limerick, Galway), and then improve the level of commuter service after that, where (and when) demand justifies (all of which assumes that MN and the Interconnector get built!).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    I've run out of time, so I'll leave it to you guys to discuss! I just want to know what people think and if there's anythink I've overlooked.

    Just taking your last sentence - check out the OP on this thread, your very comprehensive wish list is probably best set down again as a new thread methinks.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    westtip wrote: »
    Just taking your last sentence - check out the OP on this thread, your very comprehensive wish list is probably best set down again as a new thread methinks.

    Good point. Posts moved here.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,017 invinciblePRSTV


    What kind of ballpark figures are we talking about to get Dublin - Cork running to a 150 - 200kmph standard?

    Billions? Would there ever be enough passenger traffic between the two cities to justify such investment. In my mind Dublin - Belfast takes priority for any future investment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭ Cool Mo D


    What kind of ballpark figures are we talking about to get Dublin - Cork running to a 150 - 200kmph standard?

    Billions? Would there ever be enough passenger traffic between the two cities to justify such investment. In my mind Dublin - Belfast takes priority for any future investment.

    Dublin - Cork is already at 160 km/h standard generally. It is, however covered with speed restrictions that bring down journey time, and Irish Rail's timetables are unambitious. It would hardly cost billions to fix - maybe a few hundred million to permanently fix speed restrictions, fix a few stations (Limerick junction comes to mind...) and straighten a few bits.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    Furet wrote: »
    Discuss.

    Are any improvements to enable greater speed planned? I took the train for the first time in over a year about two weeks ago and while I enjoyed the train (it was comfortable and clean), the train seemed to go a little slower than I'd expected. So what works are planned for this line, if any?

    And, will they ever refurbish Kent Station?

    Never saw those plans for Cork Station until today - thankfully it looks like they have been consigned to the dustbin much like the redevelopment of Waterford Station. Apart from the obvious i.e. improvements to timings and the rebuilding of Limerick Junction, how about getting rid of the luxury office for clerical staff travel centre and reinstating the much missed Glanmire Buffet?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    Cool Mo D wrote: »
    Dublin - Cork is already at 160 km/h standard generally. It is, however covered with speed restrictions that bring down journey time, and Irish Rail's timetables are unambitious. It would hardly cost billions to fix - maybe a few hundred million to permanently fix speed restrictions, fix a few stations (Limerick junction comes to mind...) and straighten a few bits.

    And all should have been done under the On Track 2000 programme, if IE had even a semblence of real interest in the network. But of course they only think in mere basic terms and that's why after a considerable period of investment our rail network is still outdated. A fact many refuse to accept. IE are just as responsible for this as the Government. In fact I hold IE more responsible as they prepared the programme that was presented to Government. Furthermore they had ambitions in the early 70s to bring the Cork run down to 2H 30 Mins with an average speed of 78mph! They're a shower of prats.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,630 Plowman


    This post has been deleted.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    A 1993 quote from ex CIE Chairman, Paul Conlan;
    We go on from here. We are improving the competitiveness of the railway in terms of speed and comfort. This year will see major track improvement and renewal on the Cork lone as part of a £12 million spend - 75% funded by the EC.
    This upgrading of track will give smoother and faster rides to trains - all improvements responding to our customers needs. In addition, next year will see the introduction of 10 of the most powerful and fastest locomotives ever to run on Irish railways - these will be capable of 100mph operation and will bring down journey times on the Cork line to 2 hrs 15 mins.

    This quote is taken from the 1993 launch of City Gold. Furthermore, 20 years earlier a CIE chairman also announced a considerable reduction in journey times on this route. Yet they have consistantly failed to honour the promises. despite the investment.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    A 1993 quote from ex CIE Chairman, Paul Conlan;



    This quote is taken from the 1993 launch of City Gold. Furthermore, 20 years earlier a CIE chairman also announced a considerable reduction in journey times on this route. Yet they have consistantly failed to honour the promises. despite the investment.

    The same man who promised to make Inchicore a centre of engineering excellence....they eventually even outsourced the construction of the Network Catering tea trollies! :pac::pac::pac::pac:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,230 ✭✭✭ Solair


    The worst aspect of Kent Station, Cork is the curved main intercity platforms! You have to jump a good 2ft to safely land on the platform at some train doors!

    I'm amazed that none of the plans have considered doing something to provide maybe 4 straight platforms and using the existing hall for some other purpose?

    There's enough space to construct new platforms on that site and there is no particular reason hy the intercity trains need to rib through and on to Cobh/Midleton commuter lines!!

    Really they need to think of passengers! Not 19th C !!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Solair wrote: »
    Really they need to think of passengers!

    Irish Rail thinking of passengers?

    I think that's a wee bit too much to ask. :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 76 ✭✭✭ ilovegermany


    Just wondering if anybody knows anything if the following is true, false or just hearsay ..... I'm not a regular traveller out of Heuston anymore so just wanted to see if anybody has any more up to date info....

    1. That Irish Rail are actively working on the stretch around Portarlington - Portlaoise to remove the speed restrictions in this area?

    2. That they are also renewing the "old" two tracks on the Inchicore - Hazelhatch stretch as the additional two tracks are now complete?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 76 ✭✭✭ ilovegermany


    Cool Mo D wrote: »
    Dublin - Cork is already at 160 km/h standard generally. It is, however covered with speed restrictions that bring down journey time, and Irish Rail's timetables are unambitious. It would hardly cost billions to fix - maybe a few hundred million to permanently fix speed restrictions, fix a few stations (Limerick junction comes to mind...) and straighten a few bits.


    Just wondering if anybody knows where the main speed restrictions are on the line and how much is actually 160 km/h. I emailed Irish Rail a bunch of times but no reply from anybody..


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    Just wondering if anybody knows anything if the following is true, false or just hearsay ..... I'm not a regular traveller out of Heuston anymore so just wanted to see if anybody has any more up to date info....

    1. That Irish Rail are actively working on the stretch around Portarlington - Portlaoise to remove the speed restrictions in this area?

    2. That they are also renewing the "old" two tracks on the Inchicore - Hazelhatch stretch as the additional two tracks are now complete?

    Not sure about the Portarlington - Portlaoise stretch, but the old track from Inchicore - Hazelhatch is being replaced now that the new tracks are down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    Cool Mo D wrote: »
    Dublin - Cork is already at 160 km/h standard generally.

    We know that but I think this thread is about the slower train line rather than the main road...


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,401 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    Furet wrote: »
    The train will continue to be popular until such time as bus companies start a genuine Cork-Dublin M8/M7 express service, which looks to be a long way away.
    Would this ever be any good? Buses are limited to 80 km/h so DUB-CORK would be 3 hours ex traffic. This is slower than both the train and driving.
    Never saw those plans for Cork Station until today - thankfully it looks like they have been consigned to the dustbin much like the redevelopment of Waterford Station.
    Dunno why there's so much hatred of the Kent Station redev. Certainly it's needed for future expansion and it's appropriate to surround public transport nodes with high density developments - since they don't generate car traffic that way. Still think they should eventually go ahead with this one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,406 ✭✭✭✭ Stark


    spacetweek wrote: »
    Would this ever be any good? Buses are limited to 80 km/h so DUB-CORK would be 3 hours ex traffic. This is slower than both the train and driving.

    100km/hr now on motorways and dual carriageways (since Feb 2009 I think...).


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 KC61


    Just wondering if anybody knows where the main speed restrictions are on the line and how much is actually 160 km/h. I emailed Irish Rail a bunch of times but no reply from anybody..

    Firstly railway speeds are still measured in mph, not kph.

    Top line speed on Dublin/Cork is 100mph, but this is limited to the section between Cherryville Junction and near Portarlington if I remember correctly. Most of the rest of the route should be 80 or 90mph, but isn't in many places due to a variety of temporary restrictions. There has been extensive night-time work on the section from Newbridge to Portlaoise and this is ongoing south of Portarlington - there was a permanent speed restriction of 75mph imposed on this section in 2008/2009 but this has now been lifted.

    There are various restrictions along the line, such as at Ballybrophy, Lisduff, Limerick Junction, and at the half-barrier level crossings south of Limerick Junction.

    Limerick Junction requires major work (similar to that carried out at Portarlington which has seen a big improvement) to renew the track and remodel the station, but it is unclear as to when this will start. Currently there is a 25mph restriction on the running lines through the station.

    The original running lines between Inchicore and Hazelhatch are being relaid currently, during the rest of 2010. The completion of the Kildare Route Project will see a 6 minute increase in journey times on all services between Heuston and Sallins (to allow for temporary speed restrictions) removed.

    All told there is a lot of work to do yet. This needs to be a priority for the company, not least in order to be able to deliver an improved core product along the main line that has some hope of competing with road, but also to enable "up" and "down" trains between Dublin and Cork to call at Limerick Junction pretty much simultaneously and thereby offer the potential for meaningful services on the Galway-Limerick-Waterford route by elimintating the long waits at Limerick Junction.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 76 ✭✭✭ ilovegermany


    KC61 wrote: »
    Firstly railway speeds are still measured in mph, not kph.

    Top line speed on Dublin/Cork is 100mph, but this is limited to the section between Cherryville Junction and near Portarlington if I remember correctly. Most of the rest of the route should be 80 or 90mph, but isn't in many places due to a variety of temporary restrictions. There has been extensive night-time work on the section from Newbridge to Portlaoise and this is ongoing south of Portarlington - there was a permanent speed restriction of 75mph imposed on this section in 2008/2009 but this has now been lifted.

    There are various restrictions along the line, such as at Ballybrophy, Lisduff, Limerick Junction, and at the half-barrier level crossings south of Limerick Junction.

    Limerick Junction requires major work (similar to that carried out at Portarlington which has seen a big improvement) to renew the track and remodel the station, but it is unclear as to when this will start. Currently there is a 25mph restriction on the running lines through the station.

    The original running lines between Inchicore and Hazelhatch are being relaid currently, during the rest of 2010. The completion of the Kildare Route Project will see a 6 minute increase in journey times on all services between Heuston and Sallins (to allow for temporary speed restrictions) removed.

    All told there is a lot of work to do yet. This needs to be a priority for the company, not least in order to be able to deliver an improved core product along the main line that has some hope of competing with road, but also to enable "up" and "down" trains between Dublin and Cork to call at Limerick Junction pretty much simultaneously and thereby offer the potential for meaningful services on the Galway-Limerick-Waterford route by elimintating the long waits at Limerick Junction.


    Thanks KC 61. Thats great.
    When the original tracks are re-laid along the Kildare Route Project element and the four tracking is up and running, will it possible to get 100 mph for Intercity trains along there?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 KC61


    Thanks KC 61. Thats great.
    When the original tracks are re-laid along the Kildare Route Project element and the four tracking is up and running, will it possible to get 100 mph for Intercity trains along there?

    It should certainly revert to 90mph, getting to 100mph would depend on the topography of the line - there's a fairly major curve before Hazelhatch that might not allow it.


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