THE significant investment in suburban rail in Cork will be “hugely beneficial” to those in the Cork East constituency in particular, a local TD has said.
The €185.4 million investment announced as part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) will support the rollout of more commuter services in the Cork metropolitan area, as set out in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS).
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said this funding will see the construction of a number of different works by August 2026.
These include a new ‘through’ platform within Kent Station to create a suburban rail network between Mallow, Midleton, and Cobh as well as the re-signalling of the suburban rail network with a view to future electrification. It will also include double-tracking of the current single-track between Glounthaune and Midleton.
Fianna Fáil transport spokesperson James O’Connor hailed the project as “transformative”.
“We’re going to see significant expansion of the existing rail capacity and once the investment is finalised it will have tripled the capacity of the existing railway network in addition to having the new platform installed at Kent Station. From the point of view of Mallow, it’s going to be transformative for connectivity for the town as you’ll have new connections serving Blarney, Blackpool and Tivoli so it’s opening up new parts of the city for the Mallow direction which is really exciting,” he added.
Mr O’Connor said he expects that there will be further announcements in terms of funding around the development of new train stations in the Cork area.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Irish Rail said the funding announcement is hugely welcome. “We already have a very successful commuter service in the Cork area, and this project will ensure that - as Cork grows as envisaged under Project Ireland 2040 - we will have the capacity on our network to meet future demand and ensure sustainable mobility. This will also enable further future works to ensure electrification of commuter rail in Cork, crucial to decarbonisation of transport.”