Irish Rail turns down request to extend new Phoenix Park Rail tunnel line to Portlaoise

Opening of tunnel will have an impact on train services at Laois stations Portlaoise, Portarlington and Ballybrophy

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The opening of the new Phoenix Park rail tunnel in Dublin will have an impact on commuters who use Laois train stations but Irish rail has declined to extend the new service to Portlaoise.

Next Monday, November 21 sees new commuter services connecting stations between Newbridge and Parkwest with Drumcondra station and stations from Connolly to Grand Canal Dock via the Phoenix Park Tunnel. 

The new services follows an investment of €13.7 million in upgrading the Phoenix Park Tunnel route, funded by the National Transport Authority.

A total of 488 submissions were received from the public and interested groups as part of the public consultation. Some of these directly concerned Laois stations.

Commuters asked for Phoenix Park Tunnel services to start from Portlaoise. Irish Rail said "an extension of services to Portlaoise would reduce the overall number of services". It said connections will be provided at Newbridge/Hazelhatch as part of the timetable.

Irish Rail said people were unhappy with 17.25 Heuston to Limerick advance to 17.20. Following customer feedback, this service will remain at 17.25.  As a result, the proposed 17.25 Heuston to Portlaoise moved to 17.28, and minor time changes to 18.00 Heuston to Cork.

The company was asked to add all stops Portarlington/Heuston to the 17.20 Galway/Heuston service. Irish Rail said alternativer Kildare and Newbridge stops were added.

A small number of minor alterations to other services to/from Heuston will also take effect from this date, and the final schedules have been approved by the National Transport Authority following public consultation.

To accommodate new Phoenix Park Tunnel services, the following minor changes to timetables will take effect from Monday, November 21.

Commuter services
06.40 Heuston to Newbridge advanced to 06.35
08.30 Heuston to Portlaoise advanced to 08.25
17.20 Heuston to Portlaoise deferred to 17.28
17.55 Heuston to Newbridge cancelled
18.10 Heuston to Portlaoise advanced to 18.05 and calls additionally at Parkwest and Clondalkin Fonthill
18.55 Heuston to Portlaoise deferred to 19.05hrs
06.25 Portlaoise to Heuston operates 2 to 3 minutes earlier from Monasterevin onwards
06.30 Carlow to Heuston operates 2 to 4 minutes later from Newbridge onwards
07.20 Portlaoise to Heuston advanced to 07.17
19.30 Portlaoise to Heuston advanced to 19.17
Intercity services
18.00 and 19.00 Heuston to Cork: minor revisions to times at intermediate stations
06.45 Cork to Tralee advanced to 06.20
07.00 Tralee to Heuston deferred to 07.05
19.00 Ballybrophy to Limerick deferred to 19.05
19.38 Limerick Junction to Limerick deferred to 19.40
20.45 Limerick Junction to Limerick deferred to 20.47
06.05 Waterford to Heuston advanced to 06.00
09.25 Heuston to Galway additional stop at Oranmore
17.20 Galway to Heuston additional stops at Kildare and Newbridge