Opening of Cork-Midleton commuter rail service - with buses!
July 30th 2009
Rail Users Ireland welcomes today's opening of the Cork-Midleton commuter rail service. The Midleton line represents the first sustainable, sensible expansion of the rail network in over 100 years. Crucially, this expansion is based on best practice urban planning, to ensure sufficient demand exists to make the rail service viable.
This represents a positive model which should now be adopted countrywide in other urban areas that are not rail connected.
Spokesman for Rail Users Ireland, Mark Gleeson, said "In spite of the PR spin from Irish Rail, the residents of Midleton and Carrigtwohill still have to go a long way to go until they obtain a 21st century rail service."
"Despite a 4 week closure of the Cork-Cobh line in 2008 in part to facilitate the building of the Midleton line, the new Midleton line is not complete and will open with temporary signalling arrangements. As a result the Midleton line, together with the Cobh line will require at least 1-2 days' closure whilst the new points and signalling are installed and commissioned later this year. All of this disruption could have been avoided easily by Irish Rail if the work had been carried out in 2008."
In addition to this and despite several years notice of the opening of the Midleton Line, Irish Rail, from the very first day of operation timetabled two trains each way to be substituted by bus. The result of this will be a potential reduction in confidence in the service, as commuters paying a premium for a frequent rail service are diverted onto rail replacement buses mirroring the situation of the Cork-Cobh line which frequently suffers from this problem due to a lack of serviceable trains and engineering works.