Dublin-Cork railway line

Dublin-Cork railway line

The Dublin-Cork main line is a major railway route in the Republic of Ireland. Often called the "Premier Line", it is one of the longest in Ireland, 272 km between Dublin Heuston and Cork Kent stations. Built by the Great Southern and Western Railway (GS&WR), it connects Ireland's largest and third largest cities. It connects with lines to other destinations, including Galway, Waterford, Limerick and Tralee.

Construction began in 1844, when the GS&WR built a line from Kingsbridge Station to Cashel in County Tipperary, later extended to Cork. Amalgamations between the GS&WR and other smaller railway companies in the south led to the line gaining connections to other population centres. A branch from Portarlinton to Athlone was built to connect the GS&WR with the Midland Great Western Railway to Galway.

The line is utilised by both InterCity and Commuter services. Services to Waterford branch off at Cherryville Junction, after Kildare, and to Westport and Galway after Portarlington. Although there are some direct services to Limerick, most Limerick services run either via the branch line from Ballybrophy, or from Limerick Junction. Services to Tralee run from Mallow. Commuter services run on both the South Western Commuter line between Dublin and Kildare or Portlaoise, and Cork Commuter line between Mallow and Cobh.

The line is still one of the premier routes in Ireland. Iarnród Éireann, the Irish state railway company, has invested heavily in improving the infrastructure and rolling stock. It has had both its track and signalling upgraded in the last few years thanks to funding from the government's National Development Plan - beginning in 1977, the line was upgraded to continuous welded rail, while the introduction of Centralised Traffic Control means that signalling for much of the network, including Dublin-Cork, is controlled from a single location at Dublin Connolly station. In 2006, the first of 67 new Mark 4 coaches were introduced on the route as part of a €117 million upgrade of rolling stock. These seven new 8-car sets provide an hourly service frequency between Dublin and Cork.

Although Dublin Heuston is the terminus, the line connects to Dublin Connolly via the Phoenix Park Tunnel. This route is primarily used for freight services and rolling stock movements to the main Iarnród Éireann works at Inchicore, just south of Heuston. However, it is occasionally used for special passenger services to Dublin Connolly, usually for Gaelic games events at Croke Park.

ee also

*Belfast-Dublin Main Line

External links

* [http://www.csfinfo.com/viewdoc.asp?DocID=1811&UserLang=EN&css=3 National Development Plan]
* [http://www.iarnrodeireann.ie/about_us/our_infrastructure.asp Iarnród Éireann infrastructure]

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