Bus replacements services and transfers will be in place for music fans heading to Cork for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival while works take place at Kent station and on the track between Mallow and Cork
Irish Rail have announced there will be service disruption from Saturday, October 16 to Tuesday, October 26 with bus transfers operating between Cork and Mallow in both directions on Cork/Dublin Heuston services. The Jazz weekend is taking place from Thursday, October 23 to Sunday, October, 26,
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.
The works include a new signalling system being put in place at Kent Station, along with essential track works at a number of locations between Mallow and Cork.
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.
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.
“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.”
A spokesperson for Irish Rail explained that the works were the culmination of a major project which has been ongoing for two years and said with 11 days required for full commissioning, impact on services was unavoidable.
The planning for the works to be carried out during October had been in place for many months. The Irish Rail spokesperson also said when planning it had been understood there would be no Jazz festival this year.