Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
There is actually rule book about this and the loop in Charleville is actually required so I'd be fairly sure they will keep it.
Rule book ?
You are right, they will probably keep the loop at Charleville and spend a lot of money to do so. The main residual requirement at Charleville is probably the facility to introduce single line working during engineering works or in the event of one or other line being unavailable for traffic. A loop adds flexibility but could hardly be described as a requirement given the present fairly sparse pattern of train movements. As for freight services there should be no difficulty fitting into to the hourly pattern of passenger services between Limerick Junction and Mallow - a freight train immediately following a passenger train from Limerick Junction would be in Mallow before the next passenger train left Limerick Junction. Same applies in the other direction.
I can think of other places more in need facilities for overtaking than Charleville - Malahide (northbound), Dunlaoghaire and Dalkey (north and southbound) immediately spring to mind !