ennis line today
Great to see that there is a good bit of rail infrastructure being upgraded.
Dont know if you use twitter but @TipperaryRail will be putting up some photos and videos of the track upgrade being carried out near Cloughjordan station next month. Interesting to see how the process is done.
The success of the Limerick - Ennis line is a great motiviation for other "rural" railways to keep campaigning for improvements.
I commute from Limerick to Galway daily, mostly by train. The works in Ennis have made a long journey even longer, for what is not a huge distance (110km). Since last weeks timetable changes, the evening direct train from galway to Limerick takes 2 hrs 25mins which makes an average speed of 45 km/hr!!!
And this is going to go on until next May. There is no way this level of service is going to attract anyone to rail transport, quite the opposite i'd say
does anyone know what the works in Ennis are, that are causing the delays?
I think its just platform re-construction to bring it up to modern standards. Guessing one platform will be closed at a time and they cannot cross and trains at the station for the duration of works.
It does appear slow unless they are complexly replacing platforms.
How long does it usually take?
The same Galway-Limerick evening service was 1hr 58minutes until a couple of weeks ago.
How come it takes so long???
Speed restrictions on the line. Think its mainly due to amount of level crossings. The service should be no more than 1hr30, considering the car can do it on a good day in 1hr 15m.
I thought all this work was to have been done when they reopened the line to Galway a few years ago. I know Ennis didn't have much work done but I presume it would have if it was needed that badly?
As posted above, the platforms at Ennis are being rebuilt, meaning that during the works two trains cannot pass one another in service there.
So the timetable had to be adjusted to allow the trains to pass at Gort.
Quite simply it's impossible to deliver a decent end-to-end timetable while this is ongoing, particularly in the evenings, due to the constraints of the single track between Galway and Athenry being full in the evenings, so retiming departures was not possible, and the desire to maintain the existing Limerick-Ennis timetable for local commuters.
I just visited Ennis Station this evening and the buffers are fitted on the loop and the ballast has been taken from under the track and the loop platform is gone.
On the topic of passing loops, is there any further updates on the installation of a loop at Sixmilebridge? It would certainly allow for an increase in the number of services between Limerick and Ennis.
yes, the journey has gotten longer from Limerick to Galway. the afternoon train stops in Gort for about 20 minutes.
Not at the moment sadly.
If the person beside me coughs one more time with no mask or even into their elbow I might actually murder them !
Has anyone got any info on the engineering works on the Limerick to Gort line this weekend?
Presumably it is the ongoing works at Ennis station and the engineers need a full possession.
I checked and the turnout at the north side of the station are being worked on
due to the constraints of the single track between Galway and Athenry being full in the evenings
It doesn't help that the shortest Galway-Athenry running time is, I believe, 18 minutes (and that's without stopping in Oranmore), meaning that the most frequent service possible on that section - if we assume an alternating down and up train - is every ~38-40 minutes each way at best...
There is a split signal in each direction near Oranmore station (i.e. a signal that splits the single track section between Galway loop and Athenry in two), which does allow two trains to follow one another, plus Galway loop at the far side of Lough Atalia, so it’s not quite that long.
A Limerick train leaving Galway is typically allowed 19 minutes to get to Athenry.
The split of that is 2 mins to Galway loop, 8.5 mins to the split signal (including a 30 second stop at Oranmore), and a further 8.5 minutes to Athenry.
What is the impact of this turnout being worked on ?
Larger turnout = larger train? This turnout always existed right ?
It's a full replacement of same.
I think they used the same turnout but just put in new base stones
Which is good, but that's if you have two trains following each other. Galway Loop is really just used to clear the platform for an incoming train (no matter how you play around it, while it may look like Galway overall has capacity for three trains on mainline movements, it can ever make use of two max). Even with there being realistically three signal blocks between Galway and Athenry it doesn't change the fact that the lowest one-way frequency possible is about 10-11 minutes, and the lowest alternating frequency is, as I'd mentioned earlier, in the ballpark of 40 minutes. It'd be a completely different story if there was a passing loop in Oranmore, but considering IE's attitude towards tracks (i.e. reducing their numbers), I can't see that happening any time soon.
The passing loop at Oranmore is definitely happening. Funding has been committed towards it.
Colour me positively surprised.
i have noticed the platform currently under construction now has a step/ramp down from the door to the platform whereas before it was step/ramp free. Does this mean the new platform is much lower than the previous version?
Photo: @FearghaloM on twitter
Today's Galway Advertiser reports that work is to start on the Oranmore loop in the autumn. There is to be one kilometre of double tracking and the addition of a second platform with lift etc
Building works are due to take 18 months with an early 2024 completion date.
Among other things it should knock some time off the galway-limerick train, thank God!
I’m afraid that the passing loop won’t really have any impact on journey times, but it will make it easier to schedule more trains between Galway and Athenry by allowing them to pass at Oranmore.