Planning application to be lodged for second rail track between Glounthaune and Midleton

It has the potential for tripling of service frequency to a 10-minute service frequency each way compared to the current 30-minute service
Planning application to be lodged for second rail track between Glounthaune and Midleton

Emma Love, Enviroment Manager, Iarnród Éireann and A.J. Cronin, Programme Delivery Manager, Iarnród Éireann loading the companies application to An Bord Pleanála onto the Dublin train for the construction of a second rail track along the 10km section of railway line between Glounthaune and Midleton at Kent Station, Cork. Picture: David Creedon

IARNRÓD Éireann is to lodge an application to An Bord Pleanála for a Railway Order for the construction of a second rail track along the 10km section of railway line between Glounthaune and Midleton today. 

An eight-week statutory public consultation period will follow commencing on Thursday November 17 and will run until January 2023.

The upgrading of the line from the existing single track to new twin track railway, along with the completion of the new Kent Station through platform and the proposed signalling and communications upgrades will facilitate, with future fleet orders, the potential tripling of service frequency to a 10-minute service frequency each way compared to the current 30-minute service.

IARNRÓD Eireann said the investment will enable a future service pattern of up to six trains per hour per direction from the current two which will increase capacity, foster better connectivity, and enhance the reliability of the Cork rail network.

The project is funded by the European Union Recovery and Resilience Facility, under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, and is an integral part of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, developed by the National Transport Authority.

A stand-alone Railway Order application website www.gmttrailwayorder.ie will be live and will feature all of the Railway Order documentation. 

Any potentially impacted landowners and occupiers of lands reference in the Railway Order Application will be contacted directly in advance of the lodgement of the order. 

It is anticipated that when the consultation period closes An Bord Pleanála will grant an oral hearing where members of the public and impacted parties can attend, make observations and ask questions of the project team.

Subject to receiving An Bord Pleanála approval and funding allocation, it is anticipated that construction will commence in 2024 with expected completion in 2026.

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D said: “Today marks an important milestone for the development of the Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme. This Government has committed €185m to the delivery of Phase 1 of the programme by the end of 2026, of which €164m is funded from the EU’s post-COVID Recovery and Resilience Plan to provide for improvements to Cork commuter rail as part of a more sustainable transport system.

"Delivery of double tracking between Glounthaune and Midleton is a key part of this programme and will help ensure that the Cork commuter network has sufficient capacity to cater for ambitious rail service upgrades planned for the future.” 

 Anne Graham, CEO, National Transport Authority (NTA) said: “The NTA welcomes the application to An Bord Pleanála for the Railway Order for the construction of a second rail line on the Glounthaune to Midleton track. 

This development, if approved, will facilitate the tripling of services on this line significantly enhancing capacity for local communities and helping in the delivery of an integrated sustainable transport network for Cork”

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