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Unread 10-07-2009, 09:02   #74
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Location: Cork City/Midleton/Mallow
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Default Long-awaited rail line to finally open this month

Long-awaited rail line to finally open this month
By Sean O'Riordan
Friday, July 10, 2009

AFTER months of speculation Iarnród Éireann has announced it will open the €75 million Cork-Midleton rail line on Thursday, July 30.

A spokesman for the company said to mark the launch of its new service, travel on trains operating on that day will be free.

From July 30 to August 3 inclusive, trains will operate on an hourly basis only.

The full schedule of services - 21 trains in either direction on weekdays - will come into effect on Tuesday, August 4.

During weekdays trains will run half-hourly at peak times and hourly off-peak. A total of 17 trains will operate each way on Saturdays, and eight trains will operate each way on Sundays.

Iarnród Éireann has put the infrastructure in place to expand services in the future to every 15 minutes, if the demand exists.

Drivers started testing trains on the line yesterday. Two drivers were involved and further drivers will be trained on the track right up to the opening day.

The journey time will be less than 24 minutes each way and all trains will serve the new stations at Midleton and Carrigtwohill, as well as Glounthaune, Little Island and Kent Station, Cork.

Each train consists of two-carriages, with capacity for 320 passengers, including seating for 129 passengers. Platforms have also been built to accommodate future expansion to four-carriage trains.

As well as offering a strong commuter service, the new Midleton timetable will provide excellent connections to the Cork-Dublin Intercity service.

The company has revised its timetable from Midleton after it was noticed that the first train leaving there wouldn't connect with the first train leaving Kent Station for Dublin.

Midleton-based TD David Stanton spotted that the first train leaving his home town would arrive seven minutes after the Cork-Dublin train had departed.

A spokesman for Iarnród Éireann said an alteration had been made to the timetable so the first train would now leave Midleton at the earlier time of 6.45am to allow for connectivity.

The last train will depart Midleton for Cork at 10.45pm.

The first train leaving Kent Station for Midleton will depart at 6.15am and the last will go at 10.15pm.

The company also announced ticket prices: a single adult fare will be €4.40, while a return ticket is €6.50.

Adult weekly tickets cost €26, a monthly ticket comes in at €92, while the annual ticket is €920. "Monthly and annual customers are reminded that employees of companies registered with the Taxsaver scheme are entitled to tax relief on the cost of commuter tickets of up to 51%. Full details are available on," the Iarnród Éireann spokesman said.

Car parking charges will be introduced at both Midleton and Carrigtowhill station.

The charges will be €2 per day, €8 per week and €30 for four weeks.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, July 10, 2009
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