Gazette viewers, take note – Iarnród Eireann’s Bank Holiday arrangements including DART Southside Closure 

by Rose Barrett
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Iarnród Éireann has reminded customers of May Bank Holiday weekend rail service arrangements, from Saturday, May 4 to Monday 6 inclusive.

Customers are advised to check times before travel for service alterations, and to book Intercity travel in advance, particularly at busiest times, at www.irishrail.ie and the Iarnród Éireann app.

In particular, customers should note major works resulting in the line being closed between Grand Canal Dock and Bray from Saturday to Monday inclusive.  Bus operators will accept rail tickets to/from affected areas, with strengthened  capacity in place on Saturday afternoon / evening on for travel to/from the city centre for Leinster rugby at Croke Park.

Grand Canal Dock to Bray works, Saturday 4to Monday, May 6

Three major sets of works will take place across the weekend at multiple sites over the May Bank Holiday weekend, which results in the line being closed between Grand Canal Dock and Bray.  We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause.

For DART customers, Dublin Bus and Go Ahead will accept rail tickets, and provide significant additional capacity, particularly for Saturday’s Leinster v Northampton semi-final at Croke Park. There was also be limited supplementary bus services operating from Bray and Dun Laoghaire Stations to Grand Canal Dock before the match and from Grand Canal Dock to Dun Laoghaire and Bray Stations after the match. It should be noted that this supplementary bus capacity is limited. 

For Dublin Connolly to Rosslare Europort customers, bus transfers will operate between Connolly and Bray for all services in both directions.

Works information Q&A

What works are taking place?  The works taking place at multiples sites are:

  • Train protection system (safety system that prevents signals passed at danger and over speeding, that is a prerequisite for new DART+ fleet operation)
  • Track renewal
  • Overhead line renewal

When were these works scheduled? These works were planned in December 2023, as part of our 2024 works programme, and included on our website since January. 

Why aren’t these works taking place at night? While the vast majority of our works take place overnight without causing disruption, certain major works do unavoidably involve service impacts, in this instance with track being replaced, overhead lines being replaced, and new TPS systems being installed.

Why was the May weekend chosen? In planning our works programme, we examine all major events, and the May weekend at the time of planning (and up to just over two weeks ago) had no major sporting fixture / concert taking place.  There is a very significant number of events throughout the summer, including Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Pink concerts, Malahide Castle / St Anne’s events, All-Ireland series, Bloom and others that mean we do very few disruptive works throughout the summer.

When the Leinster rugby semi-final was scheduled, why weren’t the works cancelled? Unfortunately, when the Leinster rugby was scheduled, to defer works at that time would result in a cost significantly over €500,000 as both we and contractors have a range of commitments.  More critically, the Train protection system project is on a critical path, and losing time on this would impact the testing programme.

What alternative public transport is in place for rugby fans? Since the Leinster fixture was confirmed, we have worked with the NTA and our fellow public transport operators to ensure there is additional capacity on bus and Luas services, to ensure that those who wish to travel to the match by public transport can do so from the affected areas.   Extra services will operate on the following bus routes:

  • Dublin Bus 7 Route Dun Laoghaire to Mountjoy Square
  • Dublin Bus 155 Route Bray Station to O’Connell Street
  • Go Ahead 45A Route Bray Station to Dun Laoghaire Station
  • Supplementary buses running from Bray and Dun Laoghaire stations to Grand Canal Dock pre match and from Grand Canal Dock to Bray and Dun Laoghaire  post match. This capacity will be limited. 

What are the other rail arrangements associated with the rugby? 

Iarnród Éireann itself will be providing a comprehensive service from Howth/Malahide to city centre and Grand Canal Dock, and extra services on the Maynooth line (directly serving Drumcondra) and northern commuter services.

Other Bank Holiday arrangements

On Sunday 5th May and Monday 6th May, a revised timetable will operate on all routes – check times before travel at www.irishrail.ie and the Iarnród Éireann app.  For DART and Commuter services, this will be a Sunday service.

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