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Limerick–Rosslare railway line

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The Limerick–Rosslare Main Line is a railway route in the Republic of Ireland that links the city of Limerick on the Atlantic coast with Rosslare Europort on the coast of the Irish Sea. It also serves the city of Waterford, and at Limerick Junction it connects with the Dublin–Cork railway line.

Limerick–Rosslare Main Line
Rosslare Europort railway station 1.jpg
2815 at the former Rosslare Europort station which closed in 2008
Overview
TypeCommuter rail, Inter-city rail
Heavy rail
SystemIarnród Éireann
StatusOperational (between Limerick and Waterford)
LocaleIreland
TerminiLimerick Colbert
Waterford Plunkett (2010–present)
Rosslare Europort (1848–2010)
Stations7
Operation
Opened1848
Closed2010 (Waterford to Rosslare)
OwnerIarnród Éireann
Operator(s)Iarnród Éireann
Commuter
InterCity
CharacterTertiary
Depot(s)Carrick-on-Suir
Limerick
Rolling stock2800 Class (Commuter)
22000 Class (InterCity)
Technical
Number of tracksSingle track and Double track with Passing Loops
Track gauge1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) Irish gauge
ElectrificationNot electrified
Route map

Year
closed
Limerick Colbert
2009
Killonan
1963
Boher
1963
Dromkeen
1976
Pallas
Oola
1963
Limerick Junction
Tipperary
Bansha
1963
Cahir
Clonmel
1967
Kilsheelan
1963
Carrick-on-Suir
Fiddown and Portlaw
1855
Grange
1963
Mallow–Waterford line
1967
Waterford West goods yard
Waterford Plunkett
1995
Campile
2010
Ballycullane
2010
Wellingtonbridge
2010
Duncormick
1976
Bridgetown
2010
Killinick
1976
to Felthouse Junct. on Dublin–Rosslare Line
1918
Rosslare Strand
Kilrane
1963
Rosslare Europort

Since 2010 there has been no service between Waterford and Rosslare Europort, and all trains terminate at Waterford. Iarnród Éireann maintains the closed section of line but runs no trains on it.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Construction of the route was begun in 1848 for the Waterford and Limerick Railway and completed in 1854. It is one of the oldest railways in Ireland, and the first to have been authorised by the UK Parliament.[citation needed] The company was renamed the Waterford, Limerick and Western in 1896 and merged with the Great Southern and Western Railway in 1901.[1]

The section between Waterford and Rosslare section remains the property of the Fishguard & Rosslare Railways and Harbours Company, which is jointly owned by Iarnród Éireann and Stena Line. It is the only main line railway in the Republic not wholly owned by the State.[2]

The line's most notable feature on the line is the Cahir Viaduct across the River Suir in County Tipperary. It was built in 1852 and has three iron spans borne on stone abutments.[3] The viaduct partly collapsed in 1955[citation needed] and partly collapsed again in 2003 (see below). Iarnród Éireann renewed the viaduct at a cost of €2.6 million, and the line was reopened in September 2004.[4]

Train services have remained infrequent for more than 100 years. By 2003 the line was carrying fewer than 100 passengers a day.[4] When IÉ reopened the line it introduced new railcars[4] and a service of three journeys in each direction on weekdays, which was a greater service frequency than the line had for much of its history. There is no Sunday service.[citation needed]

Between Limerick and Limerick Junction, trains between Limerick and Dublin Heuston also serve the line.

The speed limit on much of the line is less than 50 mph (80 km/h).[4]

In November 2016 it was announced that the section of the line between Limerick Junction and Waterford section may be closed in future along with the line linking Ennis and Athenry, part of the Wexford line, and the Limerick–Ballybrophy railway line.

Waterford – Rosslare sectionEdit

On 12 March 2010 it was announced that Iarnród Éireann would review the service between Waterford and Rosslare Europort because few passengers were using it. Ticket revenue met only 2% of the line's operating costs. About 25 passengers per day were by using the service. Timetabling was poor. There was only one train each way daily from Monday to Saturday, leaving Rosslare early in the morning and returning from Waterford early in the evening.[citation needed]

The trains made very poor connections with other rail services. They connected with the Stena Line ferry service to and from Fishguard Harbour, but due to the poor onward connections at Waterford few passengers used this. The exception was during the volcanic ash crisis of 2010, when trains were fully loaded and had standing room only.[citation needed]

The last train between Waterford and Rosslare ran on 18 September 2010.[5] Iarnród Éireann provided a four-car 2700 class diesel multiple unit for the service, instead of the usual two-car unit. The National Transport Authority requires IÉ to maintain the now-disused line.[citation needed]

Bus Éireann revised the timetable and route of bus service 370 to offer alternative passenger transport from 20 September.[6] Buses on the route are branded "370 Connect".

Notable incidentsEdit

  • In 1955 an out-of-control train crashed through the buffers in the loop at Cahir and fell through the deck of the viaduct. The driver and fireman were killed.[7]
  • In 2003 a train of 22 cement wagons was derailed on the viaduct. The locomotive and driver safely crossed the bridge, but 13 of the wagons behind the locomotive fell through the deck of the bridge into the river.[8] The Department of Transport's Interim Railway Safety Commission investigated the accident and found that timber supporting the rails was rotten, which may have allowed the rails to spread and the wagons to fall between the rails.[3]

Services resumed in September 2004 with diesel railcars, but further engineering works dogged services, requiring frequent bus replacements of the train services.[citation needed]

  • In 2012 a young girl was hit and injured by a train near Tipperary Town which was travelling from Limerick Junction to Waterford. She was taken to hospital. No-one aboard the train was injured.[9]

TrainsEdit

IE 22000 Class InterCity railcars usually operate services on the line. Between 2012 and 2013 IÉ operated IE 2800 Class railcars on the line. From 2004 until 2012 IE 2700 Class railcars operated most services. Until 2003 IÉ operated most trains with a 141 class or 181 class diesel-electric locomotive hauling Cravens coaches.[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Murray 1976, p. 107.
  2. ^ "Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company 3 1/2% GTD PRF STK (LSE:72GU) Share Price". Interactive Investor.
  3. ^ a b Redfern, Bernadette (23 October 2003). "Irish rail bridge collapse triggers network-wide inspections". New Civil Engineer. Metropolis. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Ashmore, Chris (23 September 2004). "Waterford to Limerick Junction rail link restored". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  5. ^ "`". Iarnród Éireann. Archived from the original on 2010-09-28.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ MacAongusa, p 180.
  8. ^ Hogan, Treacy; Murphy, Sarah (8 October 2003). "Train plunges into river as bridge collapses". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Young girl injured after being struck by train". RTÉ. 13 March 2012.

BibliographyEdit

  • Murray, KA (1976). Great Southern And Western Railway. Billericay: Irish Railway Record Society (London Area). ISBN 0904078051.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit