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Here are the Irish Rail timetable changes that will kick in next month

The company wants customer feedback on the proposed changes.

File photo of an Irish Rail train.
File photo of an Irish Rail train.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

IRISH RAIL IS adding extra services to a number of train lines from next month onwards.

The timetable alterations will come into effect from 9 December, subject to the approval of the National Transport Authority.

Key changes include:

  • An increase in the number of off-peak and weekend services between Maynooth/Drogheda and Connolly, including extended morning and evening operating hours between Maynooth and Connolly on Sundays
  • Introduction of Monday to Friday off-peak services between Hazelhatch and Grand Canal Dock, via Phoenix Park Tunnel
  • An additional Monday to Friday service each way between Sligo and Dublin Connolly
  • Time alterations on Rosslare Europort/Dublin Connolly services
  • More even intervals on Dart services on Saturdays

Iarnród Éireann said, due to customer feedback received after changes to schedules in September, the following further alterations are planned:

  • A number of morning Northern Commuter services will additionally serve Portmarnock, Clongriffin and Howth Junction; and one evening Northern Commuter service will additionally serve Clongriffin and Portmarnock
  • Additional 6.52am Connolly to Malahide Dart service to provide connection to northbound Northern Commuter service for Dart customers at intermediate stations
  • Revised timings on Sligo/Dublin Connolly route services to improve punctuality
  • A number of other minor schedule alterations to improve punctuality

Irish Rail added extra Dart services in September following complaints about overcrowding and capacity issues after a new timetable was introduced. 

Customers are invited to submit feedback on the proposed revisions through this form, before 5pm on Thursday 15 November.

Full draft timetables are available here and a summary is outlined below.  

Separately, Irish Rail is also in the process of increasing capacity on four Dart services in each of the morning and evening peaks, which will be complete by the end of November.

The company expects to carry record passenger numbers in 2018, exceeding last year’s record total of 45.5 million journeys by 6%.

Summary of proposed changes from 9 December 2018

Dublin/Maynooth/M3 Parkway/Longford

  • New earlier 5.58am service from Maynooth to Connolly
  • Six additional off-peak services each way daily from Dublin Connolly to Maynooth (Monday to Friday) delivering half-hourly off-peak service during the day up to 9pm
  • 13 additional off-peak services each way on Saturday from Dublin Connolly to Maynooth delivering half-hourly service from 8am to 7pm approximately 
  • 11 additional off-peak services each way on Sunday from Dublin Connolly to Maynooth delivering: Earlier first service from Maynooth at 8am; half-hourly service on Sundays from 11am to 7pm approx
  • Services extended to 11pm approx on Sunday evenings
  • M3 Parkway hourly service extended on Sunday evenings to provide connections at Clonsilla to and from later Maynooth services
  • Alteration to running time of 5.17pm Connolly to Longford between Mullingar and Longford

Northern Commuter

  • Three additional services from Connolly to Drogheda on Mondays to Fridays at 7.50am, 9.10am and 3.22pm
  • Additional 6.52am Dart from Connolly to Malahide, to connect to northbound Northern Commuter service for customers from intermediate Dart stations
  • Three additional services from Drogheda to Connolly on Mondays to Fridays at 9am, 10.10am and 4.28pm
  • Results in increase in service to at least two trains per hour in each direction for majority of the day
  • 10.05pm Connolly/Drogheda service on Saturdays advanced to 9.45pm
  • New service on Saturdays from Connolly to Dundalk at 10:45pm
  • 11 additional services on Sundays, delivering hourly service all day in each direction

Phoenix Park Tunnel (Grand Canal Dock to Hazelhatch)

  • Hourly off-peak service on Mondays to Fridays between Grand Canal Dock and Hazelhatch during the day and up to 11.20pm

Dublin / Sligo

  • Additional service from Connolly to Sligo Monday to Friday: 6.55am and 9.05am Connolly to Sligo will operate, replacing existing 8am Connolly to Sligo
  • Saturday only: 9.05am Connolly to Sligo will operate, replacing existing 8am Connolly to Sligo
  • Additional service from Sligo to Connolly Monday to Saturday: 4.55pm (5pm Saturday) and 7pm Sligo to Dublin Connolly, replacing existing 6pm Sligo to Connolly
  • Altered running times to a number of existing services, including 7.05am Sligo to Dublin Connolly advanced to 6.40am

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Dublin / Rosslare Europort

  • Monday to Friday: 5.33pm Connolly to Wexford extended to Rosslare Europort; 6.35pm Connolly to Rosslare Europort will terminate at Wexford
  • Saturday: 9.40am Connolly to Rosslare Europort advanced to 8.05am
  • Sunday: 9.45am Connolly to Rosslare Europort deferred to 10.25am; 9.30am Rosslare Europort to Connolly deferred to 9.40am


  • Minor Saturday and Sunday time alterations

Iarnród Éireann has said it will review all feedback received from customers about the new timetable.

A spokesperson said suggested alterations which cannot be implemented as part of this timetable change “will be retained in a database for consideration at future timetable reviews”.

They added that peak frequency “cannot currently be increased, as all available fleet and infrastructure capacity is in use”.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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