30 October 2023
By Bryan Smyth
Iarnród Éireann is pleased to announce the commencement of construction work on the Kent Station Through Platform Project, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing development of its railway infrastructure in the Cork region.
The new platform 6 will increase passenger capacity at Cork’s Kent Station and facilitate through-running commuter services between Mallow and Midleton/Cobh.
The project, which is set to be completed by year end 2024, is essential to increasing passenger capacity at Kent Station. Contractor John Cradock Ltd. has mobilised on-site, and construction work which will take place entirely within the existing railway corridor on Iarnród Éireann land.
Works will include:-
- A 220-metre long, 6-metre wide, double-sided extension to Platform 5, facilitating the creation of a new Platform 6 and ensuring seamless integration with the existing station.
- Reinstatement of the eastern access to the existing underpass, enhancing accessibility and convenience for passengers.
- Installation of canopies on the new platform, ensuring comfort and protection from the elements for customers.
The Kent Station Through Platform is the first in a series of separate, but interrelated projects to reach construction phase being progressed under the Cork Area Commuter Rail programme.
The programme is a transformative rail improvement programme for the Cork rail network. Delivering increased train capacity and frequency, providing for more connected communities and a more sustainable transport network, the project represents the largest ever investment in the Cork network and will deliver the vision set out by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS).
Jim Meade, Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann, said “this is a hugely significant milestone for the expansion of Cork rail services, and I congratulate our project teams for bringing us to the beginning of construction. We have over the past 15 months increased off-peak Cork commuter services, leading to passenger numbers in excess of pre-COVID levels. Now, we can start building our network for the major expansion to meet the sustainable transport needs of the future.!
Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority Anne Graham: “I’d like to welcome the progress being made on the refurbishment of Cork’s Kent Station. The investment in the through-platform will facilitate direct services between Mallow and Cobh/Midleton and will facilitate increased frequency and capacity on the commuter network through the city. This project is a key element of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy and will put Kent station at the heart of public transport in the city and the region.”
This project is largely funded by the European Union Recovery and Resilience Facility, under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). The investment will provide for the construction of the through-platform at Kent Station, double-tracking between Glounthaune to Midleton, and re-signalling of the network. These projects will facilitate the future electrification of the Cork commuter rail network.
The Plan NRRP was developed to spur a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic supported by the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. Ireland is expected to receive €988 million in grants under the Facility.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the largest component of NextGenerationEU, the European Union’s response to the global pandemic. The aim is to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the pandemic and to prepare for a post-Covid Europe that is greener, more digital, more resilient and fit to face the future.