Major changes proposed to the Dublin to Galway and Dublin to Westport train routes would mean an increase in trains serving both Clara and Tullamore train stations.
Tullamore would see service frequency increase from 11 trains from Dublin and 13 trains to Dublin at present, to 12 trains from Dublin and 15 trains to Dublin daily from January. Clara would see an increase in trains from Dublin from seven to eight, and services to Dublin daily will remain at 12.
On the Dublin-Galway route, major changes proposed include:
* Journey time improvements to most Dublin-Galway services of between 5 and 25 minutes. Thirteen of eighteen services will operate with journey times of between 2 hours 10 minutes and 2 hours 20 minutes.
* Extra service in each direction to increase weekday frequency from eight to nine each way. Extra trains will operate 18.30hrs Heuston to Galway and 19.15hrs Galway to Heuston
* Changes in departure times. A number of significant departure time changes are being proposed, and customers are advised to check all times as part of the public consultation process
On the Dublin-Westport/Ballina route, major changes proposed include
* Journey time improvements to all Dublin-Westport services of between 5 and 20 minutes.
* One new service (09.45 Westport-Dublin: connection from Ballina at 09.35) brings frequency from Westport to Dublin from four to five daily
* Departure time changes, which together with the additional service will give greater flexibility to customers, particularly tourists
The review of schedules has prioritised faster journey times, maintaining service levels to customers as far as possible, while reducing operating costs, and identifying opportunities for increased service levels. Journey time improvements are being achieved through low-cost and no-cost focus on targeted track maintenance works, and the elimination of speed restrictions.
The public consultation process enables customers to express their opinions on changes proposed, or any other schedule issues they wish to see addressed. These are then examined before the final timetable is adopted. Iarnród Éireann is asking customers for their opinions on the proposed schedule, which can be submitted via an online form.
Comments and concerns will be examined to identify major issues and improvements suggested by customers. Iarnród Éireann will endeavour to implement customers’ suggestions where possible. Suggested alterations which cannot be implemented at this timetable change will be retained in a database for consideration at future timetable reviews. It is then intended to implement the new schedule, incorporating customer feedback where possible and subject to the approval of the National Transport Authority, early in the New Year. Draft schedules for Connolly routes were published earlier this Autumn.
While these are the most significant changes, Iarnród Éireann encourages all customers to review the draft schedules as minor departure time changes and changes to stops on individual journeys are included on many services.
A spokesperson for Iarnród Éireann said, “our draft schedules for 2013 show significant Intercity journey time improvements for customers, which coupled with modern and comfortable trains, low online fares and free WiFi on board Intercity services ensures a better travel option than ever for customers considering rail in 2013. We have reviewed frequency on all routes, and while some minor service reductions are proposed due to reduced demand, we have also proposed additional services on a number of routes where we have identified existing demand may not be served at present.”