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If you could open one railway station

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Irish Rail or Translink have been given enough money to open a railway station anywhere on the operational network. Where do you open it? The budget does not include anything for laying down new track, but will cover any other operational expense necessary.

I'm going to try to be reasonably objective and judge by town populations. The largest town passed through (loosely defined as having a station once named for it on an operational line) without stopping is Dunleer (population 2,143). I wouldn't stop Enterprises there, leaving it to be served the six trains terminating in Dundalk and seven departing from Dundalk, plus the train that terminates in Newry.

After that comes Newmarket-on-Fergus (population 1,887), which would have every Ennis and Galway train call, so nine a day each way. However, the former station site is three kilometres away from the village's centre and would slow Limerick-Ennis times further.

In third place is Kilmallock (population 1,761), which I think would be a good choice if there were regular Cork-Limerick services. But there aren't, so I'll assume a similar stopping pattern to Charleville: six from Dublin, seven from Cork.

Up next is Ballysadare (population 1,747), which is quite close to Sligo. Sligo services largely don't skip stations after Maynooth, so eight trains a day would call. Sligo trains are already slow with many stops, however.

Finally for what I'll compare is what the census knows as "Killucan and Rathwire" (population 1,574). Also being on the way to Sligo, the same service provisions would apply. There's a passing loop already in Killucan, meaning trains already stop there. However, the station is isolated, located 2.6km from the centre of Killucan. It could be relocated to better serve Kinnegad (pop. 3,064) in addition, but at best the station would be 3km from Killucan and 4km from Kinnegad, and it would then be off of the passing loop.

With the old station site actually within the town, I'd probably go for Dunleer here. But it's difficult to select one station and there are many factors that could be considered, and I could be convinced otherwise.

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On 27/4/2024 at 9:46 PM, Westcorkrailway said:

Maybe something on the limerick junction to limerick line comes to mind. Although to be fair that might cause delays for the cork train! 

The only stations in all of County Limerick are Colbert and Castleconnell (and the tip of Charleville's platforms). Both of them are in the northeast of the county. Dromkeen has the loop, though it's in the middle of nowhere, Caherconlish (the largest village) is 4.5 kilometres away from Boher (also in the middle of nowhere) and Pallasgreen and Oola are small villages of 200 and 300, though at least the stop would be in the village. I suppose it's worth mentioning the Ballysimon park and ride idea too, which could take traffic from the N24 and M7.

On 27/4/2024 at 9:49 PM, Brack said:


A town of over 30,000 with a railway line passing through, and there's no passenger service. Sure it would be a roundabout route, but I'm not going to hold my breath for the direct one to be built. Upgrading the track to have speeds of more than 25 mph is the main issue.

On 27/4/2024 at 10:01 PM, Westcorkrailway said:

Now that the tracks are going down… adare!

Considering they're going to the bother of rebuilding the Foynes branch, it would be silly not to. Will they do it for the Ryder Cup?


On 28/4/2024 at 4:36 PM, Ironroad said:

Ballyfermot by reason of population

This is probably the most sensible answer: an extra commuter station in Dublin in an area currently bypassed. Building it with the Dart upgrades would be the most sensible time to do it.

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On 29/4/2024 at 6:18 PM, minister_for_hardship said:

Kilmallock, Buttevant, Blarney.

These would be good calls for intermediate Limerick-Cork stops.

On 29/4/2024 at 9:30 PM, Branchline121 said:

Dunleer probably.

There's quite a distance between Drogheda and Dundalk and Dunleer is a decently sized town.

On 29/4/2024 at 9:51 PM, Gabhal Luimnigh said:


A fan of the SLNCR?

On 29/4/2024 at 11:32 PM, jhb171achill said:

Navan would seem by far the biggest populatuion wise outside Dublin - and the track is there!

On 3/5/2024 at 12:24 PM, irishrailways52 said:

navan. and reopen the line to kingscourt. re open gibstown halt. my grandad has memories of beet trains there. 

Unfortunately the greenways have gone into Kingscourt, so good luck getting rid of them. Navan's the largest town in Ireland without a passenger station (disregarding County Dublin and Belfast suburbs), but I won't hold my breath for the MGWR route ever being rebuilt and I don't know how much longer the GNR route will last. Hopefully the Taras come back soon.

On 3/5/2024 at 1:17 PM, airfixfan said:


I had to look this one up - it was on the Swilly. Google Street View has a nice view of it: not a house for miles!

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  • 4 weeks later...
4 hours ago, Horsetan said:

If we're including long closed routes, I wouldn't mind seeing Newport, Mulrany, and Achill Sound open for railway business again.

And a lot of Birr station is still there.

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15 hours ago, Broithe said:

And a lot of Birr station is still there.

It looks like you'd have to demolish the houses/offices built at right-angles to the platform across the trackbed, plus reinstate a few bridges along the route to Roscrea.

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39 minutes ago, Horsetan said:

It looks like you'd have to demolish the houses/offices built at right-angles to the platform across the trackbed, plus reinstate a few bridges along the route to Roscrea.

Only one end of the building is in the way and the roads are generally fairly minor, a few level crossings would do - it wouldn't be a hugely frequent service schedule.

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