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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Un-rail year on the tracks

Wednesday, 12th February, 2020 3:52pm

Almost four million passengers travelled on the Cork/Dublin rail line in 2019. 3.66 million passengers took the route, the highest ever figures recorded. This represents a six per cent increase on 2018.

Record numbers and strong growth were also recorded on the Cork/Midleton route with passenger numbers up almost ten per cent from 437,000 passenger journeys to 480,000. Cork/Cobh also performed strongly and was up seven per cent from 908,000 to 971,000.

The Cork Dublin service continues to be Iarnród Éireann’s flagship Intercity service, with 31 services a day operating. The opening of a new platform at Limerick Junction during the year greatly improved efficiency of operations and has also improved connectivity between Cork and Limerick.

Economic improvements, greater numbers of people in employment, and record tourist numbers have all contributed to the increase in journeys.

In 2020 a major track renewal programme on the Dublin to Cork route will commence. This will see replacement of track along the route over the coming years, which will future proof services and equip the route for higher frequency in the future.

Nationally, Iarnrod Éireann recorded its highest ever number of passenger journeys in 2019, with 50.1 million passenger journeys made across Intercity, DART, and commuter services. This represents a 4.4 per cent growth on the previous year.

Commenting on the figures, Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann Jim Meade said: “Cork is and always will be our flagship Intercity route, and also now sees an ever-strengthening commuter network. The figures show that the people of Cork are choosing rail as an efficient and sustainable option for traveling Intercity and for commuting.

“The renewal of track on the route, which commences this year, will further improve the quality of our service to our customers, and the ambition outlined in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) published in 2019 shows how our commuter network can develop with more stations and more frequent services.”

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