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Sunday 26 March 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# going underground
Making history: 6.14 from Newbridge is first daily train through revamped Phoenix Park Tunnel
The tunnel was built in 1877 but until now it has rarely been used for daily passenger services.

COMMUTERS ON THE 6.14 from Newbridge became the first to benefit from the new Phoenix Park Tunnel line this morning.

The new services through the tunnel follow an investment of €13.7 million in upgrading the route.

The almost 700-metre-long rail tunnel was built in 1877 but until now it has rarely been used for daily passenger services.

The Phoenix Park tunnel connects Newbridge and Hazelhatch in Kildare with Dublin Connolly and Grand Canal Dock.

Seven new morning peak trains serving all stations from Newbridge/Hazelhatch to Grand Canal Dock (including Drumcondra, Connolly, Tara Street and Pearse), and eight new evening peak trains from Grand Canal Dock start service today.

It’s intended services will be extended in future to include off-peak and weekend services.

“I’m delighted to announce the opening of this key piece of our public transport service,” Transport Minister Shane Ross said in a statement.

“The Phoenix Park tunnel line is a vital part of our rail infrastructure and I know that it will prove to be of immense benefit to the travelling public,  as will other transport projects such as the Luas Cross City line which will open in 2017.”

Ross was one of the first passengers this morning, he said:

As Minister for Transport I am very proud to be one of the first commuters to travel this line and I heartily encourage others to do so. / YouTube

The €13.7 million, in case you were wondering, included:

  • Cutting stabilisation, drainage and vegetation clearance
  • Tunnel upgrade – cleaning, masonry repairs, lighting, signage, telecoms
  • Renewal of sections of track, points and crossings and components
  • Signal relocation
  • Station works – upgrade works at Drumcondra to include new ticket gates, and upgrade works at Tara St station to include new southbound lift shaft

Though the tunnel has rarely been used for daily services, it has been used for the occasional special service for GAA matches (most common prior to the construction of the Luas).

It has generally been used for freight or transferring trains between Connolly and Heuston.

Read: Have a look inside this tunnel running under the Phoenix Park >

Read: 15 gorgeous places to visit around Ireland this autumn >

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