I am delighted to confirm that increased frequency of trains will serve the Sallins/Naas and Hazelhatch/Celbridge Rail Line via the Phoenix Park tunnel into the city centre. Whilst the tunnel opening brought trains into stations like Pearse, Connolly and Grand Canal Dock, the initial service was really just based around rush hour. As a regular commuter myself I find the new service into the city centre very useful but it is frustrating that the return service in the evening falls off after about 6pm. This means commuters based in the city centre and D2/D4 work areas, have to get back across to Heuston to get the train home from a different station.
I am well aware that once peak times pass it is often difficult for commuters to get the train from the station they arrived in at. This will change when the new timetable takes effect. Additional services through the tunnel into the late evening and throughout the day would be a great bonus to this new offering. I have made this point to Irish Rail for some time since they began piloting the service and I am delighted they have now agreed to extend that timetable.
I have often used this service myself and come into the Dáil via Pearse street station, however returning home at 9 or 10pm I have to get back across town to Heuston station again. It is illogical and inconvenient.
The new timetable will service Sallins/Naas and Hazelhatch/Celbridge more frequently at off peak times, making better use of the Phoenix Park tunnel. Those who work later into the evening or want to go out in the city centre after work should benefit with a quicker commute home following these changes.
Having secured a reduction in train fares from Sallins by up to 50% by having the LEAP card extended last year, I continue to work closely with Irish Rail and have found them to be proactive to constituency requests. I want to thank Irish Rail for working with me on this scheduling matter and acting quickly to find a solution for rail users. I will continue to lobby them on the best interests of my constituents who travel on Irish Rail, including expanding the car parking at Sallins station where the service has become so popular there is now a strain on the car park which is the next problem for us to solve!