Originally Posted by D08Dave
Thanks for the response, it helps a bit with the logistics of Athlone. However I am still wondering if a split occurs with half the train going to Galway and half to Westport? Do Irish Rail split DMUs mid journey?
The journey planner shows that Mon-Thurs the train departs Heuston at 7:35am destined for Galway. This arrives in Athlone at 8:58am, departs Athlone at 9:05am and there is a connection to Westport at 9:08am.
On Fridays the journey planner shows the train departs Heuston at 7:35am but is instead destined for Westport. What happens at Athlone is similar with the train continuing to Westport at 9:08 and there is a connection to Galway at 9:05.
It seems that on Fridays they have reversed what happens with this connection Monday to Thursday but the timings all stay the same. Also because there is a 7-10minute stop in Athlone I thought perhaps the DMUs are split there. I also found some discussion on boards to that effect.
The timetable pdf clearly shows separate trains from Dublin to Galway and Athlone to Westport, except on Fridays when they switch and there is a direct train from Heuston to Westport and a connection from Athlone to Galway.
This is purely down to the loadings being much higher on Fridays on the Westport line, particularly the return working that this train operates from Westport.
There is no splitting done at Athlone any more (that stopped some years back) - the two services are separate trains - it will be a cross-platform interchange.
As above the reason for the wait in Athlone from 08:56 to 09:05 is that the train crosses with the 07:15 from Westport there.