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Reservation Only

Who is eligible for this ticket?

  • Customers in possession of a valid open class ticket

What are the conditions of travel?

Customers who are already in possession of or purchasing on the day of travel a valid standard class ticket(s) such as Family Ticket, Day Return, Open Return, Weekly, Monthly, Annual or InterRail ticket can book on their chosen service by selecting the 'Reservation Only' option in the Passenger selection box. Customers are advised there is limited availability for seat only bookings online.

How do I buy this ticket? 

Where can I buy this ticket? 

Where do I collect the ticket? 

See our Ticket Collection section.

Free Travel Pass

Who is eligible for this ticket?

  • Free Travel/DSFA Pass Holders

What are the conditions of travel?

Customers who hold a Free Travel / DSFA Pass can book on their chosen service by selecting the 'Free Travel Pass' option in the Passenger selection box. Customers are advised there is limited availability for Free Travel bookings online.

How do I buy this ticket? 

Where can I buy this ticket? 

  • You can purchase the ticket above using our Journey Planner. Tickets can only be purchased up to 90 days in advance.
  • An allocation of bookings on all InterCity services can be reserved online without a fee for 'Free Travel Pass or valid ticket holders'. When this allocation is fully booked, all remaining seats can be reserved by 'Free Travel Pass or valid ticket holders' for €2.50 per journey. 

Where do I collect the ticket? 

See our Ticket Collection section.

At least 1 passenger is required

For more information on Online Tickets please see Ticket Information

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Wheelchair Information

There are a limited number of wheelchair accessible spaces on each train, book in advance to avoid disappointment.

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Travel Pass or Valid Ticket holder

Is an option for customers who are in possession of Free Travel Pass, a valid standard class ticket(s), seasonal ticket(s), Taxsaver ticket(s) or InterRail to book onto a train in standard class. Customers who have a valid standard class ticket but wish to upgrade to First Class should also use this selection. For more information go to Tickets Explained section.

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Signalling and Communications Upgrade

The Cork Area Commuter Rail (CACR) programme is the heavy rail element of Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy 2040 (CMATS) being undertaken by the National Trasport Authority (NTA) and Iarnród Éireann. This is a transformative rail improvement programme for the Cork Rail Network. The CACR will deliver increased train capacity and frequency, providing for more connected communities and a more sustainable transport network. This represents the largest ever investment in the Cork Rail Network.

The programme involves enhancements to the rail network from Mallow through Cork to Cobh and Midleton and will include the delivery of new rail infrastructure.

Upgrades to the existing signalling and communications is one element of the CACR programme and will allow the CACR programme to deliver:

  • Increases in capacity and number of services, with the potential to treble existing services to a 10-minute frequency on all the Cork area routes in future
  • A new computer-based signalling system across the three main Cork routes, including the Mallow, Cobh and Glounthaune to Midleton lines
  • Improvements to the reliability of the signalling system and enhance railway safety systems
  • The capability of being managed centrally via the state-of-the-art new National Train Control Centre at Heuston Station in Dublin, when operational, ensuring a more efficient and resilient service for all rail users.

What works are required?

The main works that will be undertaken as part of the Signalling upgrade project are:

  • Laying of new cabling and associated containment along the track between Mallow and Cobh/Midleton
  • Installation of new signal poles and other trackside signalling equipment
  • Installation of new trackside infrastructure to upgrade the Train Protection System (TPS) in the Cork area to European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 1 and conform to European Railway standards
  • Construction of new power supply points to power the new signalling infrastructure
  • Construction of new equipment buildings along the network to control the new infrastructure.

What are the benefits for rail users?

Along with the other elements of the CACR programme the signalling and telecommunications upgrade works will facilitate the following benefits for rail users:

  • Operation of a higher frequency service up to a 10-minute service from the current 30-minute services
  • Increased capacity, better connectivity, and enhanced reliability of the suburban rail network
  • Shorter wait times

Next steps

  • French multinational transportation specialists Alstom were the successful tenderer and were awarded the Design and Build contract in June 2023
  • Construction work got underway in January 2024.
  • Works are scheduled to be completed by Q3 2026.

Project Funding

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.

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Community Liaison Officer, Garry Keegan who can be contacted on the project helpline (086) 235 8913 or through email