Sligo Trains every three
hours from next year
Sligo Champion - Wed 1st
THE Sligo to Dublin rail line would see a considerable
investment over the next year with renewal of both track and
signalling completed, platforms extended, the introduction
of modern and more reliable railcars and enhanced service
frequencies, Iarnrod Eireann has said.
In a report to Sligo/Leitrim Deputy John Perry, the rail
company confirms that the number of services will rise from
three to five per day in each direction, offering customers
a service every three hours.
Iarnrod Eireann had invested euro90 million of capital
investment in recent years in the renewal of its rail
infrastructure on the line, it adds.
The full length of track had been upgraded to modern
continuous welded rail in line with best practice
international railway standards.
"Station platforms are currently being renewed and
lengthened at all stations along the route to provide for
the operation of higher capacity services.
"Signalling systems will be upgraded to modern standards
during 2005," the report said.
As part of these works, an additional cross-over link
would be installed at Carrick-on-Shannon to reduce a long
single line section, to improve operational flexibility.
"While Iarnrod Eireann endeavours to minimise disruption
to customers during planned renewals of the infrastructure,
some disruption is unavoidable over the next twelve months,"
Deputy Perry was informed.
Weekend services would continue to be restricted until
Spring 2005, due to a Dart upgrade, and commissioning for
the re-signalling of the line would require a ten day
closure of the line in August on the Sligo to Longford
section and a ten day closure between Longford and Maynooth
The report explains that plans are being prepared to
provide a change in the level and standard of services along
the line by December 2005.
Current rolling stock consists of both locomotives and
coaches which were thirty years old. Some stock-for weekend
only services-was in excess of forty years old, the company
"These will be replaced with modern railcars which have
multiple-engine units and will provide a higher level of
service reliability, passenger comfort and enable service
frequency improvements," the Irish Rail report went on.
"Service frequency will be enhanced from three to five
services each day in each direction, offering customers a
service every three hours," it stated.
Despite ageing rolling stock, punctuality performance
along the line for the year to date at ninety-seven per cent
of trains arriving within fifteen minutes of schedule is
consistently at a standard in excess of the agreed service
targets of ninety per cent.
"While in-service failures occur very infrequently on
average, they have high impact on customers when they do
occur, especially along the Sligo line, which has long
sections of single track making service recovery difficult
to effect without incurring long time delays," said the
The plan to replace the current locomotive and coach-type
rolling stock with modern diesel multiple unit railcars
would provide a significantly higher level of reliability
from December 2005 onwards, it added.
In the meantime, enhanced maintenance routines were being
implemented to improve the performance of rolling stock
currently deployed on the Sligo-Dublin, while it was planned
to have additional maintenance personnel based in Sligo.
"Iarnrod Eireann will implement an enhanced maintenance
regime to improve the reliability of locomotives and address
passenger comfort issues to ensure the service maintains a
high level of performance until proposed enhancements are
introduced in the December 2005 timetable," the report