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New Irish Rail Intercity, Commuter and DART Timetable Public Consultation

  • 19-09-2022 8:41am
    Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    A new Irish Rail timetable will come into effect from December 11th, and a public consultation has just gone live.

    Full details here:

    I've posted an extract below:

    A detailed summary of proposed changes below.

    Iarnród Éireann and the National Transport Authority will review all suggestions received. Suggested alterations which cannot be implemented at this timetable change will be retained in a database for consideration at future timetable reviews. Please note that peak frequency cannot currently be increased, as all available fleet and infrastructure capacity is in use.

    Dublin/Maynooth/M3 Parkway/Longford

    • Existing 16:01 hrs Pearse/Maynooth service advanced to 15:55 hrs Monday to Friday

    Northern Commuter

    • Existing 05:40 hrs Dundalk/Pearse service on Monday to Friday will be advanced to 05:30 hrs and extended to Grand Canal Dock.
    • Existing 07:09 hrs Pearse/Drogheda service on Monday to Friday will be extended to start from Grand Canal Dock at 07:05 hrs.
    • New 16:09 hrs Connolly/Drogheda service Monday to Friday
    • Existing 17:12 hrs Connolly/Balbriggan has been retimed to provide 16:09 hrs Connolly/Drogheda. The existing 17:13 hrs Pearse/Newry will call additionally at Malahide as a result.
    • Existing 17:58 hrs Balbriggan/Pearse will be extended to start from Drogheda at 17.48 hrs Monday to Friday.

    Phoenix Park Tunnel (Grand Canal Dock to Hazelhatch)

    • New 08:31 hrs Grand Canal Dock/Hazelhatch Monday to Friday.
    • New 16:00 hrs Grand Canal Dock/Hazelhatch Monday to Friday.
    • New 16:37 hrs Hazelhatch/Grand Canal Dock Monday to Friday.
    • Existing 15:50 hrs Hazelhatch/Grand Canal Dock Monday to Friday will be deferred to 15:53 hrs.

    Heuston to Newbridge Commuter

    • Monday to Friday: New services at 09:45, 10:40, 11:40, 12:40, 13:40 and 14:40 hrs from Heuston to Newbridge serving all stations.
    • Monday to Friday: New services at 10:26, 11:40, 12:26, 13:26, 14:26 and 15:27 hrs from Newbridge to Heuston serving all stations.

    Dublin / Waterford

    • Existing 07:00 hrs Waterford/Heuston will be advanced to 06:50 hrs and call additionally at Kilkenny. There will be no change to arrival time at Heuston.
    • New 08:26 hrs Dublin to Carlow service, calling at Newbridge, Kildare, Athy and Carlow.
    • New 10:15 hrs Carlow to Dublin service, calling at Athy, Kildare, Newbridge and Heuston.

    Dublin / Rosslare Europort

    • Monday to Friday: 07.20 hrs Rosslare Europort/Connolly will call additionally at Kilcoole.
    • Saturday: All services will call additionally at Kilcoole.
    • Sunday: All services will call additionally at Kilcoole.

    Dublin / Westport / Ballina

    • New 05:05 hrs service from Ballina to Manulla which will connect with an advanced 05:15 hrs Westport/Heuston service Monday to Friday.
    • New 05:38 hrs Manulla/Ballina service Monday to Friday.
    • New 07:08 hrs Athlone/Westport service Monday to Friday.
    • Existing 07:37 hrs Manulla/Ballina service Monday to Friday, deferred to 08:40 to provide connection from new 07:08 hrs service from Athlone.

    Athlone / Galway

    • Existing 07:30 hrs Athlone/Galway service will now commence from Tullamore at 06:50 hrs on Monday to Friday, and additionally serve Clara. There will be no change to the timings between Athlone and Galway.

    Limerick / Ballybrophy (via Nenagh)

    • Existing 06:30 hrs Limerick/Ballybrophy service is deferred to 06:45 hrs Monday to Saturday, with same arrival time, an improved journey time of 15 minutes.
    • Existing 16:55 hrs Limerick/Ballybrophy service is deferred to 17:10 hrs Monday to Saturday, with same arrival time, an improved journey time of 15 minutes.
    • Existing 07:45 hrs Nenagh/Limerick service is deferred to 07:47 hrs with existing arrival time in Limerick Monday to Saturday.
    • Existing 10:08 hrs Ballybrophy/Limerick arrives 15-minutes earlier arrival at Limerick 11:52 hrs Monday to Saturday.
    • Existing 19:05 hrs Ballybrophy/Limerick arrives 15-minutes earlier arrival at Limerick 20:48 hrs Monday to Saturday.
    • Existing 17:20 hrs Limerick/Ballybrophy service is deferred to 17:35 hrs Sundays, with same arrival time, an improved journey time of 15 minutes.
    • Existing 18:25 hrs Ballybrophy/Limerick arrives 15-minutes earlier arrival at Limerick 19:21 hrs Sundays.

    Cork Commuter

    • New 22:00 hrs Cork to Cobh and 22:30 hrs Cobh to Cork services Monday to Saturday.
    • Existing 22:30 hrs Cork to Cobh deferred to 23:00 hrs, and existing 23:00 hrs Cobh to Cork deferred to 23:30 hrs Monday to Saturday
    • Existing 22:15 hrs Cork to Midleton deferred to 22:45 hrs, and existing 22:45 hrs Midleton to Cork deferred to 23:15 hrs Monday to Saturday.


    • Monday to Friday:
      • 09:24 hrs Greystones/Howth deferred to 09:27 hrs with altered timings to Connolly. Existing timings retained from Connolly to Howth.
      • Minor timing alterations to 15:04 hrs Greystones/Howth and 15:25 hrs Bray/Malahide.
      • 16:30 hrs Malahide/Greystones deferred to 16:34 hrs with altered timings to Connolly. Existing timings retained from Connolly to Greystones.
    • Saturday:
      • 09:35 hrs Greystones/Howth deferred to 09:37 hrs.
      • 15:30 hrs Greystones/Malahide deferred to 15:32 hrs.
      • 20:13 hrs Bray/Malahide deferred to 20:15 hrs.
    • Sunday:
      • 12:00 hrs Bray/Malahide deferred to 12:03 hrs.
      • 16:43 hrs Bray/Malahide deferred to 16:45 hrs.



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    It is (I suspect) to provide a train that can then operate in the other direction towards Dublin at 10:15 bridging the rather large gap from 08:58 to 12:15.

    Ideally you would have an 09:00 out of Waterford, but right now they don’t have enough sets to operate such a service.

    Just to add - they won’t have the rolling stock to operate a later Waterford until the new order of intermediate ICR coaches are fully delivered, and the sets reconfigured. That will allow extra services to operate, but they will then need more drivers to operate them, and training and passing out the latter takes time too, allowing for leavers and retirements.

    Post edited by LXFlyer on

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,376 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    still no extra weekend Darts to Greystones despite having been promised them 5 years ago. Last Dart is still too early as well (should be at least as late as the last Luas).

    No weekend PPT services.

    Are IÉ still short of drivers?

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Yes is my understanding in answer to the last question, which is why the changes now are fairly cosmetic.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,748 ✭✭✭lisasimpson

    While the 15 min reduction time is great on the ballybrophy line and departure to 17.10 is a bit better, it really needs a 3 service during the day. Think roscrea is still missing a service though

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,620 ✭✭✭✭Jamie2k9

    Another timetable cycle that fails to address variuos problems.

    07:08 Athlone-Westport - odd addition which most likely points to meddeling from individals. Otherwise operational connivance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,764 ✭✭✭Poxyshamrock

    The pushing back of the 22:15hrs Cork to Midleton to 22:45hrs will result in a large gap between that and the previous train from Cork to Midleton at 21.15hrs.

    I think it would be better to keep the 22.15hrs as normal and run a 22.45hr as an additional service or dare I suggest even a 23.15hr instead?

  • Good to see the tunnel getting extra trains. Far cry from the reluctance of all parties not too long ago to even countenance opening it.

    One question; why does one of the Sligo bound trains stop at Leixlip Louisa Bridge on weekdays? Is it a quirk or to serve Intel etc? No return service as such.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    I would suspect that, in situations like this where something obvious such as an additional train isn’t there, that they don’t have the drivers to deliver it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,791 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3

    So no improvements to the shambolic evening service for the Maynooth line? 🙁

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,066 ✭✭✭✭road_high

    Another obvious gap in the Waterford line is the morning train/s southbound? Leaves Dublin at 07.30ish so is useless for any commuters from athy, Carlow or Kilkenny that want and need to be in Waterford at or before 9.00 am.

    Why not move it to 06.30 or so? Or better still add an extra earlier train!

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,573 ✭✭✭✭end of the road

    because that would be common sense, would benefit passengers, would show the policy of no early services to the smaller cities as being of the 1950s.

    and they probably don't have the stock for it anyway.

    Protect the rights of the alcohol enjoyers of ireland. Remove all funding from alcohol action ireland now!

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    It does state on the consultation that

     Please note that peak frequency cannot currently be increased, as all available fleet and infrastructure capacity is in use.

    You'd need an extra set to operate that (which they don't have), as otherwise you'd create an almost four hour gap in service to Waterford which is too long.

    It is important to remember that there is still also a shortage of drivers across the network, which impacts on what services can be introduced. This is a consequence of the lengthy dispute between the previous CEO and the unions, which put a ban on in-cab training. While the dispute was resolved quickly enough after the new CEO was appointed, the company has since lost drivers through retirement, and I believe that some of the people recruited externally have also left after finding that the job wasn't for them. I suspect that it's going to still take time to catch up, as it takes considerable time to pass out a new driver, and that will impact on new service delivery, but you would hope that the training facilities will be expanded to expedite the process over the next couple of years.

    Once all of the new intermediate ICR cars are commissioned, which should be by 2024, this will allow the ICR sets to be reformed into three, four and six car sets. This in turn will mean that more trains will be available to operate additional services such as on the Waterford line in the future, as some trains which are currently using two sets will be able to use one instead.

    There is a need to deliver tangible regional service improvements (and there are a couple in this change) that facilitate commuter journeys and also link in with the Connecting Ireland programme which is being rolled out currently.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,590 ✭✭✭AngryLips

    Still so much padding on the section of the loop line between Clontarf Road and Grand Canal Dock. It shouldn't take dart trains so much time to cover such a short distance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,620 ✭✭✭✭Jamie2k9

    They should restore the old 09:XX and 11:XX services, scrap the current 10:15 and this proposed 08:26.

    09:XX Waterford-Heuston should be added and the set for this added onto the 13:15 ex Heuston in the absence of 19:XX evening service.

    The reopening of second platform in Waterford should help with scheduling. I would be surprised if Waterford is still short drivers to facilitate the 09:XX Waterford. If XPO asked for a daily service they would have drivers available!

    They might say no ICRs available, that is solved by IVs operating the route it was purchased for.

    It would be good to know the thinking behind this Carlow service and who decided on such a pointless addition (08:26),

    Now maybe we should all suggest extend this to Muine Bheag because the 45 minute sit in Carlow isn’t necessary. Just maximising the limited driver and fleet resources!

    They were quick to add Muine Bheag onto the 07.00 service which isn’t at all justifiable so this additional service to/from there would be good for locals. This wouldn't go down well I suspect.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    The Carlow service is far from pointless. The 08:26 departure utilises an available ICR set in Dublin off an inbound service, to run to Carlow and which can then provide a service towards Dublin that will fill a massive gap in the current services on the route.

    Also, not everyone starts at 09:00, particularly students, so this will facilitate anyone needing to be in Carlow for 10:00.

    Ultimately, when the sets are reconfigured there will be enough for an 09:00 Waterford-Dublin, which could also operate a commuter service from Clonmel into Waterford beforehand.

    But we have to accept that there are limiting factors, which are drivers and train sets currently, and then whether the NTA can fund the services on top of that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Not sure it'll ever be much faster given the permanent speed restrictions along that section, coupled with the regular conflicting moves at Connolly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,620 ✭✭✭✭Jamie2k9

    Lets not get carried away, 41 ICR will deliver far less than IE or the NTA are promicing and you know that. If it wasn't for Covid it would be even less. How many sets will Belfast take...

    Yes the 08.26 utalises a spare, classic IE decision rational here. Quick and easy decision just like most of this timetable. Not all students start at 09.00 nor do students in Kilkenny commuting to Carlow IT who have a 4h gap between services are those who finish after 4 have a 3.5h going north. That is why they could have a more balanced schedule.

    I fully accept resources are tight but I could almost guarntee there was no consideration to restoring the old ex Heuston schedule and adding an 09:XX service.

    I think we have to accept there was no serious consideration given to this timetable either in terms of additional services where possible or resolving pathing issues on the current schedule. They will use the excuse of waiting for additional coaches and assessing new travel patterns.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    I’m not getting carried away, but I’m not going to be constantly negatively focussed like your posts are.

    The arrival of the new DART sets that are on order will also release 29k sets which in turn will also release some ICRs.

    There are positive things happening at last on the railways, but all your posts seem to focus on are negatives.

    There will be far more six car ICRs once the sets are reformed (and that is aside from the premier sets) which will reduce the numbers of double sets in place currently, allowing for new services to be added. Belfast moving to hourly would require three ICR sets in addition to the three Enterprise sets.

    There of course should be an 09:00 ex-Waterford in the timetable, and I would be pretty sure that there will be one after the sets are re-configured. But there isn’t a set to do it right now, and no amount of moaning here is going to change that.

    And without being in Irish Rail or the NTA, and a party to their discussions, none of us can guarantee what was discussed or not, so let’s not go down that road. It’s just more negative speculation on your part.

    Post edited by LXFlyer on

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,620 ✭✭✭✭Jamie2k9

    When you see quesrtionable decisions like the bleow I think I have every right to be negetive...

    Calleary hails new Ballina train despite concern of low demand

    Link-up to early morning Westport-Dublin service had been ruled out due to insufficient demand

    Iarnród Éireann has announced a new 5am train service from the hometown of Dara Calleary, the junior minister, despite previously ruling it out in the past because there was not enough demand.

    I'm sure IE and NTA will be very forthcoming explaining the cost and what has resulted in the sudden demand change.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,573 ✭✭✭✭end of the road

    to be fair we only have irish rail's word for it that there was no demand for that early service previously.

    now maybe there genuinely wasn't and there genuinely isn't demand for it i don't know, but it is irish rail and they do use no demand as an excuse to not improve services when it suits them so it's hard to take them seriously when they claim no demand.

    still i do take the point that it would be gauling for passengers on the waterford line to see westport get extra services but waterford not and i do sympathise with them on that even though in general i am in no way against mayo getting extra services but not at the expence of waterford.

    as for the hourly belfast, they would be as well now to wait until the new stock for that arrives and then launch the whole lot together but i guess what will happen is 3 or 4 I C R sets will be dedicated to it meaning less improvements which themselves are just as much needed.

    Protect the rights of the alcohol enjoyers of ireland. Remove all funding from alcohol action ireland now!

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    I think developing regional connections is a positive move. Why don’t we wait and see what the demand is like?

    People said that the 05.20 ex-Westport would be a flop too and it isn’t.

    I can’t imagine that the cost of running a 2-car 2800 from Ballina to Manulla Junction and back is going to break the bank. It doesn’t impact operationally on any other service, utilising a train that would be idle otherwise.

    If we were all as constantly negative about every single development, then nothing would ever happen.

    What has changed is that the NTA are now rolling out their Connecting Ireland strategy which is all about improving regional connectivity and encouraging people to ditch their cars in favour of public transport where possible. That train fits perfectly with that strategy.

    I would also state that the Sunday Business Post has never been public transport friendly in its reporting. Quite the opposite.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,620 ✭✭✭✭Jamie2k9

    I didn't say it wasn't a positive move just questionable move that IE have been lobbied heavily on it. I'm not sure I would put this addition as a result of Connecting Ireland Strategy.

    I am not going to comment on the 05:20 service or tarffic west of Athlone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Have you proof that they were lobbied heavily on it for this timetable change? I can't read that article as it is behind a paywall. You are just making all sorts of accusations or suggestions which have no basis in fact.

    To be clear, the provision of services in the timetable is dictated now by the NTA, and not IE. IE have a say in terms of their ability to resource services, but the NTA are calling the shots. So I find this idea of it being as a result of IE being lobbied heavily rather odd to say the least.

    It is abundantly clear that the NTA are looking at improving public transport connectivity across the country as the Connecting Ireland strategy is rolled out, and as I said that includes more regional rail connections. A Ballina connection into that Westport train was a rather glaring omission previously, and frankly it's a sensible move.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,590 ✭✭✭AngryLips

    Less than two months until implementation of the new timetable and yet they haven't been confirmed and dates beyond Dec 11th are still not bookable online...

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Well I would assume that they are currently finalising the timetable following the consultation?

    These things, particularly looking at and drawing up driver rosters, don’t happen overnight.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,052 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    They don’t have enough drivers to do that yet.

    There is still a shortage of drivers, which, certainly Covid didn’t help with, given the length of time it takes to train new drivers.

    I’d expect you’d see incremental service increases over the next few years, as we are seeing in this timetable change as more drivers pass out.