Ballybrophy railway station
|Location||Station Road, Ballybrophy, County Laois, R32 DW66|
Republic of Ireland
|Owned by||Iarnród Éireann|
|Operated by||Iarnród Éireann|
The station opened on 1 September 1847 as Roscrea & Borris, was renamed Roscrea & Parsonstown Junction in 1858, and renamed again in 1871 as Ballybrophy.
Lifts were fitted to the footbridge in late 2007. Therefore, disabled passengers who cannot use steps and are boarding or alighting from trains to Cork and Limerick via Limerick Junction are no longer required to cross the tracks at ground level, as was previously the case. This was only possible when trains were clear of the tracks.
Dublin to Cork
Ballybrophy's railway station is a connection point between the main Dublin-Cork main line and the Limerick–Ballybrophy railway line. The branch line is lightly travelled, as the principal route between Dublin and Limerick is via Limerick Junction. This is faster and more comfortable due to higher line speeds. Since the introduction of a two-hourly Dublin-Limerick service in 2008, this journey does not usually require a change of train.
Up until the mid-1980s the line to Limerick via Nenagh diverged from the mainline via a junction that faced Cork. This was replaced by a siding connection when the mainline was resignalled. For trains to enter the Nenagh branch from the Dublin bound mainline requires trains to set back into the bay platform before proceeding to Nenagh and Limerick. A train travelling from Dublin to Limerick via Nenagh would need to set back from the Down mainline onto the Up mainline before pulling forward into the bay platform. Prior to 1967, the only route from Dublin to Limerick that did not entail a reversal was via Athenry and the former Sligo to Limerick line of the Waterford, Limerick and Western Railway.
Some of those who favour retaining the line have theorised that replacing the south facing connection at Ballybrophy with a new line east to the more populated Borris-in-Ossory, and joining the line nearer Portlaoise would be better for Dublin connections. However, in addition to the substantial capital cost of this work, substantial parts of the line would still need to be re-laid nearer Limerick to eliminate severe speed restrictions. It also offers no advantages over the current through route from Dublin to Limerick via Thurles and the north curve at Limerick Junction. Recent[when?] upgrading of the N7 road to motorway also dissuades rail usage.
Closure of Ballybrophy-Roscrea-Nenagh-Limerick line proposedEdit
A January 2012 national newspaper article suggested that Irish Rail was expected to seek permission from the National Transport Authority to close the line. On a trial basis an enhanced timetable was in force during 2012 however the service was again reduced from February 2013. In November 2016 it was announced the line was very likely to close in 2018 as the demand for the service is very low and CIE/IE wish to close it to save money.
- "Timetables". Irish Rail.
- "Ballybrophy station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- "Ballybrophy". Irish Rail.
- McCárthaigh, Seán (2 January 2012). "Iarnród Éireann may close rail service amid falling demand". Irish Examiner.
- "(untitled)". Irish Rail.[full citation needed]