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Seven additional services in shake-up of Galway-Dublin train timetable


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Seven additional services in shake-up of Galway-Dublin train timetable Seven additional services in shake-up of Galway-Dublin train timetable

There will be up to seven additional services on the Galway/Dublin train route, with an earlier train ensuring commuters arrive in time for work in the city in the first major changes to the timetable for at least a decade.

There will also be a later train in and out of the city in the revised timetable due to come into effect on August 25.

The revisions mean the number of trains from Galway to Dublin go from 11 to 13 during the week. From Dublin to Galway it increases from 9 to 11, with an additional service out of Tullamore for commuters aiming to be at work by 9am.

Iarnród Éireann spokesman Barry Kenny said this was the first part of a long-term plan to introduce hourly trains between the cities, but this would take another two years to achieve.

“We’ve 41 new carriages in the system, so as well as the additional trains, we’ll have additional capacity. This is in response to Galway doing the best in terms of numbers,” he told the Galway City Tribune.

“The Galway trains are extraordinarily busy. Every single train from Dublin to Galway at the weekends is booked out post-Covid. Numbers are up by over 10% again this year already before the events and summer season kicks off.

“Ultimately we want to go hourly all day on the Galway/Dublin route. This is Part 1 of that. It will take two years to achieve that as have to get Dart+ programme running that will free up more intercity trains. You’ll be looking at 25-26 trains a day out of Galway – that’s our ambition.”

Passenger numbers jumped from 2.1 million before the pandemic to 2.3m last year on the route, a growth rate equalled only by the Belfast line and a record number ever to use trains between here and the capital.

There are no extra trains in the new timetable on the reopened line between Galway, Ennis and Limerick as more infrastructural work is needed.

“We are doing a study at the moment in terms of what’s needed to increase frequency because it’s also become very busy. We are progressing the second platform in Oranmore, we’ll have news shortly on a planning application for that.

“We’ll also have to create 1km of a passing track for a second line and that’s also likely to be 2026 before it’s completed.”

There will be a 5.45am Dublin/Galway service now during the week arriving at 8.36am following pleas from commuters in surrounding towns for years for a better service to allow them to leave their cars at home.

A second train leaves Tullamore bound for Galway at 7.27am Monday to Friday, arriving at 8.58am, providing an additional morning peak service into the city for all stations between Tullamore and Oranmore. This is in response to standing room only on trains every morning after a major increase in commuters going by rail following the opening of the Oranmore station in 2013.

The new 8.30pm Dublin/Galway service, Monday to Saturday, arrives at 11.06pm, giving a later train for passengers from Ballinasloe, Woodlawn, Athenry, Oranmore into Galway.

The later outbound service at 8.50pm arrives in Heuston at 11.33pm. The other mid-week service is an outbound to Dublin at 9.05am. There will be two new Sunday services, an outbound at 1.40pm and an inbound on Sundays leaving Dublin at 10.30am.

Other alterations will see the 9.30am Galway/Heuston (Mon-Fri) deferred to 10:05am, arriving into Dublin Heuston at 12.41pm and now stopping in Oranmore. The 1pm Galway/Heuston Sunday service is earlier to 12:20pm will also serve Oranmore but no longer stop in Attymon.

Green Party Senator for Galway West Pauline O’Reilly said she had been speaking with the Department of Transport on an ongoing basis around increasing the frequency our trains.

“With a new late train leaving Dublin at 8.30pm and one leaving Galway at 8.50pm coming down the tracks, it’s big news for Athenry, Oranmore and all of the stations across the county as new services are being added to get people into work for 9 am,” the candidate for the European elections stated.

“The number one issue for us in Galway is traffic. These are the kinds of changes that make it easier to get around by train. Since coming into Government, the Greens have reduced fares, put new carriages including bicycle carriages on our trains, we’re upgrading Ceannt and Oranmore stations, and now we have a massive increase in frequency.

“As a regular user of trains. I’m thrilled to see these changes coming down the tracks.”

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