Iarnród Éireann has advised customers that it is set to commission a new signalling system at Kent Station this October.
Essential track works will also take place at a number of locations between Mallow and Cork during this time to minimise overall service disruption.
The €8 million signalling project will replace a mechanical signalling system that dates in part from the early to the mid-20th century with a modern, computer-controlled “solid-state interlocking system.” The resignalling project will deliver enhanced safety of rail services, improved punctuality due to the modernisation of signalling, uninterruptible power supplies to ensure higher reliability and the ability to connect to the new National Train Control Centre at Heuston which is currently under construction.
The new signalling system will also facilitate the future track layout modifications for the Cork commuter rail service improvements planned under the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS).
A further €4 million will be invested in track improvement works during this time, including the renewal of two crossovers in Cork Tunnel and associated track works, track excavation and relaying works at Mourneabbey and track excavation and relaying works at Rathpeacon.
As a result of these essential works, there will be disruption to services to and from Kent Station.
Rail services will be suspended between Cork and Mallow throughout the works from Saturday, October 16 to Tuesday, October 26 and bus transfers will operate between Cork and Mallow in both directions on Cork/Dublin Heuston services.
Bus transfers will also operate between Cork and Mallow in both directions on Cork/Tralee services and there will be a bus replacement service for all Cork to Mallow services.
Revised departure times for bus transfers will be in place and the 6.15am Cork to Heuston departure on weekdays will not operate.
From Saturday, October 23 to Tuesday, October 26, Cork to Cobh and Cork to Midleton services will be suspended with a bus replacement service in operation.
Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann, Jim Meade, said that the signalling project is important to ensure rail safety and to provide a safe environment for customers and employees, and prevent accidents.
“Signalling is complex - behind the signals themselves, which tell the driver when it’s safe to proceed, and the route ahead for their train, signalling systems tell us where the train is, control the movements of trains, and control systems such as points to direct trains.
More complex again is fully replacing a signalling system but that’s what we will be doing in Kent Station and on the approaching lines this October.p/quote]
“We are pleased to be completing this crucial project. Unfortunately, it does necessitate some disruption in its final phases, but customers can be assured that it will deliver to us a modern system that enhances services and safety, and will also ensure we have a system which can cater for the transformation of Cork commuter services planned into the future under CMATS,” he said.
Full details of revised schedules and bus transfers are available at www.irishrail.ie.