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Irish Rail To Restore Onboard Catering On Thurles Rail Line.

Thurles Railway Station

Irish Rail has confirmed their intension to restore its onboard catering service, with effect from the end of March 2023.

This reinstatement of the service will begin on a phased basis, same commencing on the Dublin-Cork line, latter servicing stations Portlaoise, Portarlington, Thurles, Limerick Junction and Mallow.

The sale of refreshments was halted on Irish trains three years ago, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and when restrictions were lifted in February last, the company which supplied the service, were forced to withdraw, claiming staffing issues and their failure to get an agreement with regards to sought after increased costs.

The closure of shops at train stations, and the discontinuation by Irish Rail of onboard catering services during the Covid-19 pandemic, resulted with commuters only being able purchase tea, coffee or sandwiches if there was a shop within the railway station.

Same resulted in Irish Rail considering the installation of vending machines, thus enabling passengers to buy food and drink. However, Irish Rail have now confirmed, today, that a new supplier had been secured and a “well-known brand” of service would be in place at each station over the coming weeks.

Irish Rail have failed to confirm details regarding the new vendor, and have refused to be drawn further on the matter.


Rail Works Affecting Thurles Train Services This Halloween Holiday.

Thurles Railway Station

Major rail works, currently being undertaken, are expected to bring disruption to train journeys this coming Halloween Bank Holiday weekend.

Due to a series of track and signalling works taking place, Iarnród Éireann have warned customers that a revised timetable will come into effect this October Halloween Bank Holiday weekend, and those expecting to travel, using the service, are being advised to book in advance.

These major works will be taking place, affecting Cork, Kerry and Limerick services, from Saturday afternoon to Monday morning.

The line between Portarlington and Thurles will be closed from 14:30 on Saturday.

All services between Dublin and Cork, Kerry and Limerick will be part-replaced by bus transfers, thus resulting in this revised schedule.

Note: Services between Cork and Dublin (Heuston) will operate on a revised schedule, with bus transfers between Thurles and Kildare set to operate in both directions.

People are being asked to please check time schedules before making essential journeys with full details to be shown online at www.irishrail.ie.

Direct services between Limerick and Dublin (Heuston) are cancelled. Journeys between Limerick and Dublin Heuston, involving a change at Limerick Junction, will have bus transfers between Thurles and Kildare, in both directions.

Direct services between Tralee and Dublin (Heuston) will operate as follows:

Saturday: 17:05, Heuston Station, Dublin to Tralee will operate between Mallow and Tralee only.

Sunday: 08:30 Heuston Station, Dublin to Tralee will operate with bus transfers between Thurles and Kildare. Commuter services between Portlaoise and Dublin Heuston will involve bus transfers between Portlaoise and Portarlington in both directions.

Irish Rail apologise to their customers, in anticipation of any inconvenience brought about by these essential repairs and updates.


Large Decrease In Air Pollution From Traffic In 2020 Due To COVID-19.

  • While air quality in Ireland in 2020 was generally good there are worrying localised issues.
  • Air pollution from traffic fell at all monitoring stations, particularly at urban roadside locations, as a consequence of reduced traffic volumes due to Covid-19 restrictions.
  • However, Ireland was above World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines for particulate matter (PM), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone at 52 monitoring sites, mostly due to the burning of solid fuel in our villages, towns and smaller cities.
  • Fine particulate matter from the burning of solid fuel remains the biggest contributor to poor air quality in Ireland, responsible for an estimated 1,300 premature deaths per year.
  • The choices we make in how we heat our homes and how we travel directly impacts the quality of the air we breathe.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today launched its annual air quality report ‘Air Quality in Ireland 2020′. The report shows that, while air quality in Ireland is generally good and compares favourably with many of our European neighbours, there are worrying localised issues which lead to poor air quality.

EPA monitoring shows that Ireland was compliant with EU legal limits in 2020, largely assisted by the significant reduction in traffic due to Covid-19 restrictions. Air pollution from traffic – nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – fell at all monitoring stations, but most notably at urban-traffic locations where levels fell by up to 50%.

However, air quality levels were above the WHO stricter guideline values at 52 monitoring stations, largely due to the burning of solid fuel for home heating.

Air quality has an impact on people’s health and there are an estimated 1,300 premature deaths in Ireland per year due to levels of fine fine particles (particulate matter) in our air. Levels of this pollutant are of growing concern and are particularly high during the winter months, when people’s use of solid fuels such as coal, turf and wood impacts negatively on-air quality, especially in villages, towns and smaller cities.

The EPA air quality report notes that any movement towards cleaner home heating choices and less smoky solid fuel choices will result in a subsequent improvement on air quality.

Launching the report, Air Quality in Ireland 2020, Dr Micheál Lehane, Director of the EPA’s Office of Radiation Protection & Environmental Monitoring, said,
“The EPA’s air quality monitoring carried out in 2020 has shown that there were dramatic and immediate decreases in air pollution in our urban areas due to reduced traffic volumes associated with COVID-19 restrictions. As we now start to travel more we must not lose sight of the obvious link between our journey choices and levels of traffic derived air pollutants. Pollutants from traffic have a negative impact on people’s health and our actions, as individuals, do impact the air we breathe.

Pat Byrne, EPA Programme Manager, said,
“Ireland still has issues with poor air quality due to the burning of solid fuel in our villages, towns and smaller cities. Ireland is above WHO air quality guideline values at many locations and it is imperative that we each, as individuals, make cleaner air choices when deciding how to heat our homes, as this can improve our local air quality and have associated health benefits.”

The Government has announced that new regulations on the use of solid fuels will come into force in 2022 – all coal products sold will be required to be low-smoke and all wood sold for immediate use must have a moisture content of 25 per cent or less. This is a positive step for air quality, which will need to be supported by clear communications to ensure public engagement and the best outcome for air quality and health.

The ‘ABC for Cleaner Air’ campaign, launched by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, highlights some simple steps we can all make and help reduce pollution from solid fuels. The EPA’s home heating infographic also identifies what changes people can make to home heating choices to improve air quality.

The ‘Air Quality in Ireland 2020’ report is available on the EPA website. The EPA continually monitors air quality across Ireland and provides the air quality index for health and real-time results online HERE.
Results are updated hourly on the website, and people can log on at any time to check whether the current air quality is good, fair or poor.

Further information: Niamh Hatchell/Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office: 053-91 70770 (24 hours) and media@epa.ie


Passengers Report Open Use Of Cocaine On Dublin-Cork Train Service.

Two passengers were “doing lines of cocaine” off the table on a train travelling through Thurles, from Dublin (Séan Heuston Station) to Cork (Thomas Kent Station), according to one of some 26 complaints lodged with Irish Rail in the past 18 months (January 2020 to June 2021).

One of the longest railway lines in Ireland at 266 kilometres (165 mls); in 2018, 3.46 million passengers travelled on this same Dublin /Cork line.

In all the complaints received of antisocial behaviour on this Irish Rail route; indeed several relate to drug use. A similar complaint said two passengers had a number of plastic bags and drugs on a table, which they were consuming, quite openly.

The other reports received involve details relating to drunkenness, harassment and threatening behaviour, latter which in the case of one lady; saw a report that one passenger threatened that he would hit her on the head with a bottle and machete (long flat bladed knife), if she did not talk to him.

Mr Dermot O’Leary, (National Bus and Rail Union), has called for a dedicated transport police force to be setup.
“The Cork-Dublin line is like a drug route at this stage. Our members certainly know who the drug-dealers and mules are; carrying these drugs,” Mr O’Leary stated.

Irish Rail have confirmed that the Dublin to Cork line passing through Thurles town is their busiest route; with the vast majority of journeys occurring without incident.


Anti-Social Behaviour Halts Train In Thurles.

Gardai were requested to attend at an incident in Thurles Railway Station yesterday evening.

A train coming from Cork, bound for Dublin, was forced to halt when anti-social behaviour broke out on board.

We understand that the 16:30 train from Cork to Heuston, carrying passengers who had embarked at Cork, was forced to halt at Thurles, when disruptive behaviour caused a technical issue on board.

The passengers were eventually accommodated on alternative services, causing minor delays to other services passing through the Thurles station, as a result of this 16.30 public transport failure.

From May 2020 to the end of April 2021, there have been 37 incidents of antisocial behaviour on Cork rail services or at Cork stations, with incidents ranging from non-compliance with Covid regulations, vandalism, possession of drugs or alcohol, theft and loitering.

We understand further Garda enquiries are now being processed.