Longford rail commuters face disruption over resignalling works

05.38 Longford to Pearse and 18.15 Connolly to Longford cancelled for three weeks

Longford Leader reporter

Reporter:

Longford Leader reporter

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Longford rail commuters face disruption over resignalling works

05.38 Longford to Pearse and 18.15 Connolly to Longford cancelled for three weeks

Longford to Kilcock rail commuters are facing disruption over the next three weeks due to resignalling works. 

Iarnród Éireann is reminding customers of the temporary service alteration which will see the 05.38 Longford to Pearse and 18.15 Connolly to Longford cancelled for three weeks starting from Tuesday, October 27 to Friday, November 13 to facilitate works.

Iarnród Éireann says the final phase of its major City Centre Resignalling Project is set to commence this October Bank Holiday weekend.

The €120 million project, funded by the National Transport Authority and the European Union Connecting Europe Facility, brings significant benefits to customers through the resignalling of the DART network from Howth/Malahide to Sandymount, including

  • Increased the number of trains which can operate during peak hours
  • Improved punctuality due to the modernisation of signalling
  • Uninterruptible power supplies to ensure higher reliability
  • The new signalling system will also facilitate the future track layout modifications for the DART+ Programme and other enhancements


Earlier phases of the project have already yielded benefit, notably by providing the capacity for the introduction of Newbridge/Hazelhatch to Grand Canal Dock services, via the Phoenix Park Tunnel.

However, the final phases - covering Killester to Connolly Station, and the wider Connolly Station area, including to Glasnevin Junction on the Maynooth line - are the most complex.

This will impact on services while the new computer-based interlocking systems are commissioned, replacing relay based signalling systems which have been in place since the construction of the DART in the early 1980s, and which now regulate over 150,000 train movements through the Connolly Station area annually.

Service alterations

Service alterations during the commissioning of the works will be as follows:

Weekends: Sat 24th to Mon 26th October, Sat & Sun 7th / 8th and 14th / 15th November

  • Sligo Intercity: a revised schedule will operate between Sligo and Maynooth, with bus transfers between Maynooth and Dublin Connolly
  • DART services will be suspended between Malahide/Howth and Grand Canal Dock.  Bus operators will accept rail tickets.  DART services will operate between Grand Canal Dock and Bray/Greystones only
  • Maynooth services will operate an hourly service to/from Docklands Station, instead of Connolly, and will not serve Drumcondra Station
  • M3 Parkway services will be suspended
  • Northern Commuter services (Drogheda) will operate and hourly service to/from Malahide, with bus transfers between Malahide and Dublin Connolly
  • Belfast Enterprise: Service will operate between Belfast and Drogheda, with bus transfers between Drogheda and Dublin Connolly - note for Sat 24th and Sun 25th October, bus transfers will replace the service between Belfast and Dublin Connolly, due to separate works by Translink in Northern Ireland
  • Rosslare Intercity: Service will operate between Rosslare Europort and Bray, with bus transfers between Bray and Dublin Connolly


Weekdays: Tuesday 27th October to Friday 30th October, Monday 2nd November to Friday 6th November, Monday 9th November to Friday 13th November:

  • Commuters from between Longford and Kilcock are advised that the 05:38hrs Longford to Dublin Pearse and 18:15hrs Dublin Connolly to Longford are cancelled during this three week period.  They will be reinstated from Monday 16th November, after completion of the resignalling works.
  • DART services will operate every 15 minutes, instead of every 10 minutes
  • Drogheda, Maynooth and M3 Parkway services will operate to a revised and reduced schedule
  • Belfast, Sligo and Rosslare services will operate as normal


Weekend of Sat 31st October to Sun 1st November (works will not take place on this weekend): 

  • Sligo services will operate to a normal schedule
  • DART services will operate to a normal weekend schedule
  • Northern Commuter services will operate to a normal weekend schedule
  • Maynooth/M3 Parkway services will operate a revised and reduced schedule
     

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, and some systems prevent signals being passed when they shouldn’t be, or over speeding. 

More complex again is fully replacing a signalling system - but that’s what we’ve been doing in recent years with the City Centre Resignalling Project.

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 us a modern system that enhances services and safety, and will also ensure we have a system which can cater for the growth planned into the future under DART+.”

Anne Graham, Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority, said “The resignalling project is a key element of the investment in rail infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area. We are already seeing some the benefits of the investment with the services that are now running through the Phoenix Park Tunnel and this project will lay the groundwork for similar improvements into the future.”

General October weekend travel

Customers should check times for any alterations over the weekend, particularly on Bank Holiday Monday, October 26, at www.irishrail.ie

 

COVID-19 travel arrangements

Customers are reminded that as Ireland is at Level 5, the following arrangements apply:

All services are operating to a maximum capacity of 25%
Only those travelling for essential work purposes, as defined in the Government guidelines, should use rail and other public transport
Face coverings remain mandatory on board
Those whose journeys are essential should only sit in uncovered seats, and should maintain hand hygiene and coughing / sneezing etiquette