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Royal Canal on a Road Bike



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,752 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    Walked the stretch between Confey & Louisa Bridge a short while ago. The section from Louisa Br to the waterfall has yet to be given tarmac and is currently just a hard-core base...

    The rest looks near complete with the lights every ~30m to be completed and possibly some landscaping to compete the gaps in the hedge.

    Not sure how they will address the ramps at each end but so far they haven't been touched.

    Overall, it's a tidy job and the hedge is much the same as it was before so whoever said it was badly damaged was talking out of their hat!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,472 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    There were sections where the trees were definitely cut back. The hedge have been cut back too, but has regrown now?

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,752 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    It's possible some trees were removed and hedges cut back but I didn't see any medium or large scale destruction.

    The hedge there hadn't been managed at all prior to the works and in general was not in a good condition. Hopefully the upgrade will include proper hedgerow management including planting of native species which will allow a decent hedge to grow

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,542 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i cycled from cross guns to ashtown along the canal yesterday - didn't have to dismount at any point, which i think i had to do last time i did it (this time last year) but the gates would definitely be a bottleneck if it did become a 'full' commuting greenway. the surface is quite poor in places too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,077 ✭✭✭buffalo

    Tarmac black-top is done as far as Louisa Bridge station now on the new stretch at Leixlip.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,734 ✭✭✭tnegun

    Is that section almost complete then?

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,752 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    When I walked it recently, all I could see missing was the tarmac at the LB end and all lampposts needed to be completed (only the pole was in place) so if the tarmac is done then it shouldn't take much longer for it to open.

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,752 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    I assume the ramp at Confey still isn't done (nor will it be). I also expect that the barriers will be removed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,945 ✭✭✭D-Generate

    Apologies if it has been asked before but i was wondering if some of the more experienced users of the greenway could offer advise. I am staying in Enfield and thinking about either cycling from Enfield -> Maynooth and back or cycling from Enfield -> Thomastown Harbour and back. Could someone opine on which direction is more scenic, what points of interest are along the way and if there are any other things to note such as a difference in surface quality?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,472 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    You could also get the train to starting point, cycle both sections, and get the train back.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 105 ✭✭PhillySteak9

    I would cycle to Thomastown if I were you. Surface is largely similar, mixture of tarmac & fine gravel/dust.

    Thomastown direction is quieter, fewer pedestrians and more of a feeling of being “out in the country”

    Also Nanny Quinn’s at Thomastown harbour has a nice outdoor seating area and does good food. Great spot for a halfway lunch & pint

    Other stopping options are Fureys in Moyvalley, Moran’s at the Hill of Down and there is good coffee at Longwood (Ribbontail?) harbour at weekends

    One point of interest in this direction is where the canal crosses over the Boyne near Longwood but most of the trip is just quiet flatland with lots of nature

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,988 ✭✭✭cletus

    I'd second @PhillySteak9's recommendations. I've been out that way a few times, and either Nanny's or Fureys (or both) are worth a stop.

    There's nothing really spectacular along the route, it's all just very pleasant in a bucolic or pastoral sort of way

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,945 ✭✭✭D-Generate

    Thanks for the pointers. I will cycle to Mullingar and get the train back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,077 ✭✭✭buffalo

    View from Louisa Bridge today:

    Surface looks immaculate for the main part, nothing either end. Lots of lampposts with no lamps still.

  • Registered Users Posts: 338 ✭✭RunDMC

    I cycled Longford to Maynooth last year and came to the realisation that the canals were built to get from A to B as efficiently as possible, not to provide spectacular vistas along the way. That said, it is always a pleasure to explore without traffic, and enjoy being in nature. I did Robertstown to Edenderry last week, and while it was a bit rough in spots, it was still a pleasure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 69 ✭✭Peeling1979

    Nice one. Hope Louisa Bridge to Maynooth is on the cards at some stage…

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,472 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    Big metal barrier going in all along the viaduct there today.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,295 ✭✭✭Mercian Pro

    The section of canal from Mullingar all the way to Cloondra is anything but the shortest route and all the more attractive because of that. Some of the straighter bits east of Mullingar can be a bit monotonous but the odd lock, swan or pub soon livens things up. The Old Rail Trail can be pretty boring though!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,988 ✭✭✭cletus

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,681 ✭✭✭2011abc

    Was in Leixlip library couple nights ago and there was a draft copy of proposed new ‘Canal ‘ legislation complete with copy of the standard €150 fine for everything short of breaking wind .Have mixed feelings about tarmacking the canal bank and calling it green .Anyway it seems they are ramping up fees for the canal barges and trying to get rid of them but I’m not sure how they will get on enforcing a ban on swimming and 15kmh cycling speed limit !!!!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,561 ✭✭✭Mizu_Ger

    Cycled down the stretch at Leixlip the other day. They're putting extra infrastructure in along the way. Lighting is still to be done, but ramp at Louisa Bridge much better now (forgot to take a picture of that).

    Last pic above is at Confey Bridge. They're still working there. Not sure how they'll finish it.

    Post edited by Mizu_Ger on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,442 ✭✭✭The Davestator

    Ive done the canal before, but will be bringing a small group from Maynooth to Mullingar on an upcoming Saturday. The Irish Rail site is clear about the bikes on weekdays, but less so about weekends. I know its normally 2 bikes, but has anyone got more on?

    If not, we'll get the expressway bus but train would be better

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,936 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    are those bike stands actually near anything useful? I've noticed councils have a fondness for plonking racks in random locations where nobody would have any reason to lock up a bike.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭KevRossi

    If you're going to Maynooth with the commuter service there is no limit on the amount of bikes and there's plenty of space for them.

    The InterCity is a different matter. There are 2 bikes per carraige, sometimes 4 per train. We have gotten 5 bikes in 2 spaces, but they were all road bikes. I've also had a case where we had a couple of bikes in the hall at the end of the carraige, the conductor asked us to keep and eye on them at the stations and to get off and on again if they were hindering people. But I've also heard of people and bikes being removed.

    The early service to Mullingar/Sligo on a weekend morning is usually quite empty. I'd suggest train to Mullingar and cycle back as you'll have less competition for space. Also has the advantage that if someone gets tired they'll have more options of jumping off in Enfield, Kilcock or Maynooth and others will have the option to continue on towards Dublin if they wish.

    Bus Eireann also have limits on the number of bikes they take, but you can book a few of them in advance if you wish.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,743 ✭✭✭donaghs

    As much as I love cycling, I'm going to miss the rough semi-wild long distance trail that was there for running and hiking/walking. It really felt like being out in the countryside - now it looks like the sections near Croke Park. Cant please everyone!

    Is the Leixlip section now officially open? It was closed about November 2022. That's an incredibe amount of time to do a relatively short and and wide stretch. I'd expect them to take a lot longer then on the Deep Sinking, and up to Castleknock station.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,993 ✭✭✭✭Wishbone Ash

    .....or, as in my locality, installing bike racks along a coastal path where cycling is prohibited.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,472 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    Intercity is actually two bikes officially per train set, not per carriage. But there is rack space set up to hold three bikes.

    Some people take wheels off to fit more bikes in the double rack alright.

    Bikes in the vestibule is a safety hazard. I’ve been on the train with my bike there before, but I’d never leave it unattended myself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭KevRossi

    Thanks. Trains set is the word I was looking for. 2 trains sets = 4 bikes.

    Still an abysmal number by anybody's standards. They need carriages like these, especially at weekends. Sell specials and family tickets and encourage people to get out and enjoy the country. It's easy to convert half an existing carriage to the one below.

    The annoying thing is that the canals (especially the Royal) are the safest long distance routes in the country to cycle along and are well serviced by trains. Pity they don't get their finger out and do something to promote them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 821 ✭✭✭devonp

    from the train today , saw that the builders are dismantling their depot at Louisa Bridge for the section btw LB and Confey...nice new surface, lights not on the poles yet

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  • Registered Users Posts: 821 ✭✭✭devonp

    Update, RCW from Confey to Louisa bridge is fully closed and sealed off at both ends