From the weekend of February 28, Iarnród Éireann is commencing a programme of line improvement works on the Dublin to Cork line, focusing on the section between Hazelhatch and Portlaoise.
The company claims that its initial investment in 2015 of €10m in line improvements will lead to higher reliability, smoother running of trains and, with other works, will lead to consistent 160kph speeds by the end of 2016 on this section.
To facilitate these works, there will be revised schedules on selected Saturdays this year, as well as Easter Sunday and May Bank Holiday Sunday.
The programme of works commences on February 28, but the line will remain open at all times, as works will take place on one track at a time.
On affected Saturdays, services between Cork and Dublin will operate every two hours in each direction, with higher capacity on services, while services from Limerick and Tralee will operate every two hours, connecting to and from Cork services at Limerick Junction and Mallow respectively.
Iarnród Éireann said that works will not take place during the peak tourism and sporting season of July and August, or on Saturdays of other major events such as St Patrick’s Festival, All-Ireland Finals, Ireland soccer and rugby internationals, and the Cork Jazz Festival.
The works involve improving the track substructure by removing and replacing degraded crushed stone ballast which supports the railway track structure.
On affected Saturdays, a trolley service will be provided on all Intercity services to and from Heuston but first class, dining car, and restaurant car facilities will not be available.
The works are set to continue until November 14.