3 October 2021
By Mary Bermingham
Short term upset… but long term improvements in signalling will improve safety
- Cork to Mallow (part of the main Cork to Dublin line) replaced by bus transfers 16th to 26th October
- Cork to Cobh & Midleton (part of the East Cork service) replaced by bus transfers 23rd to 26th October
Iarnród Éireann has advised customers that it is set to commission a new signalling system, controlling services in Kent Station, Cork and on the approaching lines, this October. Essential track works will also take place at a number of locations between Mallow and Cork during this time, to minimise overall service disruption.
The €8 million signalling project will replace a mechanical signalling system – dating in part from the early to mid-20th century – with a modern, computer-controlled “solid state interlocking system.” The resignalling project will deliver:
- Enhanced safety of rail services
- Improved punctuality due to the modernisation of signalling
- Uninterruptible power supplies to ensure higher reliability
- Ability to connect to the new National Train Control Centre at Heuston, currently under construction
- The new signalling system will also facilitate the future track layout modifications for the Cork Commuter rail service improvements planned under the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS)
In addition, a further €4 million will be invested in track improvement works during this time, including:
- Renewal of two crossovers in Cork Tunnel, and associated track works
- Track excavation and relaying works at Mourneabbey
- Track excavation and relaying works at Rathpeacon
As a result of these essential works, there will be disruption to services to and from Kent Station, Cork as follows:
Saturday 16th to Tuesday 26th October inclusive:
- Rail services will be suspended between Cork and Mallow throughout the works. This will result in:
- Bus transfers in operation between Cork and Mallow in both directions on Cork/Dublin Heuston services
- Bus transfers in operation between Cork and Mallow in both directions on Cork/Tralee services
- Bus replacement service for Cork to Mallow services
- Revised departure times for bus transfers, and the cancellation of the 06:15hrs Cork to Heuston departure on weekdays
Saturday 23rd to Tuesday 26th October inclusive:
- Additionally, on these dates, Cork to Cobh and Cork to Midleton services will be suspended, with a bus replacement service in operation
Full details of revised schedules and bus transfers are available at www.irishrail.ie
Iarnród Éireann apologises to customers for the inconvenience caused. The dates of works include the October Bank Holiday weekend and October school holiday period, which traditionally sees lower numbers of daily commuters travelling.
Jim Meade, Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann, said of the commissioning
“Signalling on railways are the systems which ensure trains can move safely from section to section, and ensures trains are kept clear of each other – it’s at the heart of rail safety, providing a safe environment for customers and employees, and preventing accidents.
Signalling is complex – behind the signals themselves, which tell the driver when it’s safe to proceed, and the route ahead for their train, signalling systems tell us where the train is, control the movements of trains, and control systems such as points to direct trains.
More complex again is fully replacing a signalling system – but that’s what we will be doing in Kent Station and on the approaching lines this October.
We are pleased to be completing this crucial project – unfortunately, it does necessitate some disruption in its final phases, but customers can be assured that it will deliver to us a modern system that enhances services and safety, and will also ensure we have a system which can cater for the transformation of Cork commuter services planned into the future under CMATS.”
Customers are also reminded of ongoing requirements during COVID-19, including:
- Face coverings are mandatory on board
- Intercity travel must be prebooked at www.irishrail.ie