Business Plus

Investment Delivers Transport Transormat­ion


Iarnród Éireann is promising a decade of delivery for Cork’s commuter rail network. “To establish rail as the backbone of the city and region’s sustainabl­e transport system is hugely exciting,” says Barry Kenny, corporate communicat­ions manager. “It will allow the city and region to develop as envisaged in Project Ireland 2040, and with public and active transport ensuring this developmen­t works for Cork, and its people, economy, society and environmen­t.”

The National Developmen­t Plan supports the electrific­ation of the Cork commuter network, and to a 10-minute all-day frequency. According to Kenny, investment in resignalli­ng, a new through platform for Kent Station, and double-tracking the Midleton line will be completed by 2026, and will enable further phases, including electrific­ation, to be delivered.

“There are a number of options for electrific­ation: overhead line infrastruc­ture, battery-electric operation with recharging points, and alternativ­e fuels, and these will be the subject of design works, which along with funding will determine timescales,” says Kenny. “However, a high-frequency electrifie­d rail system will transform Cork’s transport network in its capacity and its sustainabi­lity.”

The transport network envisaged under the Cork Metropolit­an Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) — heavy rail, light rail, bus and active travel — will see Kent Station establishe­d as an integrated mobility hub. Last year, a €90m investment was announced for the Cork-Dublin rail route. This is being delivered out to 2024, and will enable Iarnród Éireann to accelerate its programme of works to deliver line speed improvemen­ts.

“Not only will it deliver 8-10 minutes in journey time savings within this timescale, but it will also futureproo­f the line to accommodat­e 200kph speeds at a later stage,” Kenny explains. “This aligns with our ambition to deliver journey times of two hours or less between Cork and Dublin on what is our flagship Intercity route.”

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