Glounthaune to Midleton Twin Track Project
Iarnród Éireann plans to upgrade the existing rail line between Glounthaune and Midleton to enhance commuter services into and out of Cork city. The Glounthaune to Midleton Twin Track project covers the area of the network from Cobh Junction to Midleton Station, a total distance of approximately 10km, and will see the upgrading of the existing line to twin track over its entire length.
The Twin Tracking of the Glounthaune to Midleton railway will be part of the first packages of work undertaken by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Iarnród Éireann to deliver the commuter rail vision as set out in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) 2040.
The project will help facilitate an ultimate tripling of service frequency along the line. Along with the completion of the new Kent Station Through Platform, the Proposed Signalling and Communications upgrades and the delivery of a new fleet, Twin Tracking between Glounthaune to Midleton will facilitate a tripling of service frequency along the line while also ensuring a more reliable service for commuters and other rail users to and from the city.
- What are the benefits for rail users?
- What works are required?
- Next Steps
- Railway Order Process
This project will see a second rail track installed along the existing Glounthaune to Midleton line. The delivery of this project along with the completion of the new Kent Station Through Platform, the Proposed Signalling and Communications upgrades and the delivery of a new fleet will facilitate:
- Operation of a higher frequency service up to a 10-minute service from the current 30-minute service
- Increased capacity, better connectivity, and enhanced reliability of the suburban rail network
- Shorter wait times
The main element of the Glounthaune to Midleton Twin Track project consists of the provision of a second track over the full extent of the line. These works will largely be contained within the existing railway corridor and will include the following:
- Addition of 2nd track over the full extent of the line;
- Addition of sidings/turn back facilities at Midleton;
- Modification/replacement of bridges and level crossings to facilitate the twin tracking
- Associated signalling upgrades and alterations;
- All associated civil works (retaining walls, boundary treatments, etc.).
All works completed as part of the project will be compatible with future electrification of the Cork Area Commuter Rail network.
While there will be some disruption to services during construction of the new track, this will be kept to a minimum.
Public Consultation for the Glounthaune to Midleton Twin Track Project concluded in August 2022. On Thursday, 10th November, a Railway Order application was lodged to An Bord Pleanála to construct a proposed second rail track along the 10km railway line between Glounthaune and Midleton. An 8-week statutory public consultation period occurred on Thursday, 17th November 2022 and concluded on Thursday, 12th January 2023. An Oral Hearing was held in June 2023.
The Railway Order documentation can be found at gmttrailwayorder.ie
The application to An Bord Pleanála for a railway order is broadly similar to the planning process.
The railway order application process is set out in the Transport (Railway Infrastructure) Act 2001 (as amended) and the application will be made to An Bord Pleanála. The Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) will detail the nature and extent of the proposed project and identify and describe the impacts on the environment. It will also detail measures which will be taken to avoid, reduce and/or monitor these impacts.
Following the submission of the Railway Order application to An Bord Pleanála, the public will be invited to make submissions which will be duly considered by An Bord Pleanála as part of the decision-making process. Any person or body may make a submission or observation in writing to the Board in relation to the railway order application including the EIAR and the Compulsory Purchase land requirements.
Further information is available on An Bord Pleanála’s website – www.pleanala.ie.
The project is funded by the European Union Recovery and Resilience Facility, under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) has been developed by the Government so that Ireland can access funding under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. Ireland is expected to receive €988 million in grants under the Facility.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the largest component of NextGenerationEU, the European Union’s response to the global pandemic. The aim is to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the pandemic and to prepare for a post-Covid Europe that is greener, more digital, more resilient and fit to face the future.