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Destructix 12-11-2012 01:11

Clonmel station
Clonmel Nationalist


The absence of a waiting room and toilet facilities at the railway station in Clonmel has been blasted as shameful by South Tipperary county councillors.

On Monday the councillors demanded the presence of Iarnrod Eireann and Bus Eireann at a meeting to explain why the doors to the railway station are padlocked and the elderly have to wait in the freezing cold outside the building for buses and trains.

The meeting was told about a busload of American tourists who stopped at the station recently and found no toilet facilities. A businessman opposite the station came to their rescue and made his single toilet available as the forty Americans queued up to use the toilet.

Angry council members demanded that representatives of Iarnrod Eireann and Bus Eireann attend a meeting of the council to explain the ‘unacceptable’ situation.

They unanimously supported a motion tabled by Cllr. Michael Murphy calling for toilet facilities to be reinstated at the station as a matter of urgency.

“This is an absolute fiasco” said Cllr.Murphy and a solution had to be found so that the elderly and members of the public did not have to stand outside the station in all weathers to wait for trains and buses. A commercial cafe when open at least gave people access to a waiting area and a toilet but it was not sustainable even though the rent was low.

“It is disgraceful that elderly people have to stand outside in the cold with no access to a toilet or a waiting room. A solution has to be found,” said Cllr. Murphy.

Cllr. Darren Ryan said the railway and bus companies should not be expecting a private venture to bail them out from their responsibility to ensure proper services were provided for their own customers.

“It is an appalling situation that has been tolerated for far too long,” said Cllr. Ryan.

Cllr. Richie Molloy said it was wrong that people arriving in Clonmel on a bus and a train were relying on business people across the road for basic facilities.

“How do they expect people to get back to using the train services when this situation is allowed continue in Clonmel,” he said.

Cllr. Pat English said the situation had been going on for years.

“We need to get people responsible for the operation of Clonmel Railway Station before us for a meeting and get them to explain the situation. This is a busy bus and rail station and it is shameful that the very basic facilities are not provided,” he said.

The members instructed officials to write to the two companies and to contact them by phone to ask them to attend a meeting of the council.
Whilst your at it Councillors why not demand that Iarnród Éireann provide a proper/frequent train service to and from Limerick Junction. The people I talk to in Clonmel (which is my home town), Cahir, Tipp and Carrick not only want but need a decent train service. The councilors there do nothing about it, they make no representations at any of the town/borough/county council meetings. The TD's there avoid the issue.

I don't believe the Nenagh line can ever be saved and very soon it will be closed. But I do admire the effort and hard work the NRP have done to stop it from been closed, course it helps to have a Minister of State from the DOT in your constituency. This is exactly what Clonmel needs.

Alan Kelly who will be trying to get re-elected in 2016 in a unified Tipperary. If he wants South Tipperary votes my advice to him would be to put pressure on IÉ to improve services on this line.

Big changes happening in 2014. Tipperary as one county will be a 5 seat constituency with the area above Nenagh (Lower Ormond) becoming part of the South Offaly constituency. Nearly everyone who voted for him comes from that part of North Tipperary so unless he can get a number of votes in the Thurles/Templemore area (not likely Michael Lowry get nearly all the votes in Thurles, Noel Coonan Roscrea/Templemore) he will be needing votes from areas in South Tipperary.

dowlingm 12-11-2012 04:05

If Clonmel council want the station to be an open access place for buses *including non-CIE scheduled service* to stop and passengers to wait/use the facilities then the council should request that CIE make a reasonable offer of a lease to the town. Clonmel could be a prototype for a multimodal transport hub which includes non-CIE services, taxis, bikes, local bus and so on and use spaces within the station to generate income by acting as a ticketing agent, small retailer, bike hire etc. etc.

Instead councillors do what they always do - demand that Something Must Be Done and that Dublin Must Be Paying For It.

Destructix 12-11-2012 17:13

As everyone on here will agree this line has much more potential than the Nenagh line and even the WRC. Should be at least 5 Waterford-Limerick Junction services per day it would be viable, makes sense and would cost very little to do they have the trains (2800's unfortunately but they are more comfortable than the 2700 at least). Just CIE mentality to protect bus user numbers. I think it is just a waste of time to give out about the toilets and waiting rooms been locked when they could be fighting for better services on this line. I don't blame them padlocking the doors one time I was getting the bus outside this station there was a load of teenagers sitting behind the bridge up the line drinking bottles of cider.

Example of how bad this service is.

I bought a ticket on Irishrail.ie Thurles-Waterford few weeks ago. Went the normal Limerick Junction 08:50 way down to Waterford in a very dirty 2800 but compared to driving or getting the buses it was much more comfortable and faster on the way down at least. Getting the latest service I could back home to Thurles I had to book the long way home. (yes they actually sell you this ticket) I had to get the 16:50 Waterford-Kildare and wait about 35 minutes in Kildare then get a train to Portlaoise wait about 15 minutes in Portlaoise for the train to Thurles. 4 hours to get home. Of course it was a nice journey that day can't complain about it but in terms of how many stops and changes it was too much. Only cost €30 though with my student travel card. First time in my life it felt like I ripped them off taking that journey. Would be nice to have an late evening service at least to the Junction.

Inniskeen 12-11-2012 17:27

Was it worth it for the additional 10 minutes in Waterford ?

Traincustomer 12-11-2012 18:18

+ 1 - very apt points.

Café Suave that opened at the station this Spring was a good facility - clean and with a range of food on offer when I used it. It's a pity that it turned out to not be sustainable.

Facilities for CIÉ customers, both rail and bus, certainly are needed but I don't feel that there's any onus for CIÉ to provide facilities for customers who are not using their services. The newspaper article seems to suggest a tour bus rather than a scheduled public service. Whilst tour buses bring very welcome business to any town, unless the coach tour was a CIÉ Tours one there's no obligation for CIÉ to provide a facility for the coach to stop there let alone use facilities. Rather the onus falls to the local borough council.

Work on renewing the Fethard road bridge beside Clonmel station is ongoing. Should result in footpaths - possibly there's a cycleway on the cards too.

Incidentally part of the station at Clonmel is used by the Irish UN Veterans Association.

dowlingm 12-11-2012 20:58

Traincustomer - that's interesting. Can't imagine CIE asking them to pay much in rent though given the nature of the organisation involved.

I note that the Dept of Defence has foisted the care of the monuments at Kickham Barracks on the Town Council yet it would be doubtless deemed inconceivable to have a Borough Council take control of one of the key pieces of the Town's infrastructure.

Traincustomer 12-11-2012 22:16

Interesting piece from the Nationalist.

I think there are stairs in that part of the building so possibly they have the first floor too and possibly the second floor as well (tower like part of the building).

Destructix 12-11-2012 22:35


Originally Posted by Inniskeen (Post 69737)
Was it worth it for the additional 10 minutes in Waterford ?

Bus arrived back to the quays at 16:35ish so I couldn't chance booking it given the reputation buses have. Plus the train wasn't in the station when I got over there they were boarding the 16:50. Be grand if they moved the 16:40 to 18:00

richiek 15-11-2012 10:29

RE: Dublin-Clonmel Direct
Probably discussed here before but would a direct Dublin-Clonmel service using the Waterford Line not be an idea to achieve some sort of usage on at least some part of Waterford-Limerick Junction Line. Clonmel is a reasonably sized town (Approx 18,000), certainly being the biggest on the Waterford-Limerick Junction route. For a relatively small amount of investment, if some was needed at all, a direct service could be trialled. In my opinion, it may offer more potential than the Nenagh Line currently does at present.

Just wondering has this been considered before abd if not, why?

Inniskeen 15-11-2012 13:10

Would imagine Dublin to Clonmel (direct or otherwise) would be faster via Limerick Junction.

ACustomer 15-11-2012 14:13

Its not just imagine: Clonmel-Dublin via Limerick Junction wins hands down.
1. Clommel - Waterford and Clonmel Lim Jcn are more or less the same time and distance.
2. Lim Jcn to Dublin is more or less every hour: Waterford-Dublin more or less every 2 hours, so the connection opportunities with the former are much better.
3. Lim Jcn- Dublin is 90 to 110 minutes at present: Waterford-Dublin is 120 to 150 mminutes for the most part.

No contest.

Sealink 15-11-2012 19:54

There used to be a Clonmel - Heuston service on Sundays many years ago, iirc.

dowlingm 16-11-2012 03:27

If a train could be based in Clonmel overnight with local crew operating then the last train out of Waterford to Clonmel to stable for the night could offer additional connections to late Dublin trains. Long shot I know.

If the rumours are true that trains are going to start connecting to Limerick in Thurles then that's a bit of a double whammy for Tipperary town, since they will lose some of their local service and heading over the road to the Junction will mean fewer service choices than hitherto.

Mark Gleeson 16-11-2012 11:31

Saying it for ages but what you need is a train every two hours from Galway to Waterford via Limerick, provides way more opportunities

It looks like Dublin Limerick every 2 hours might be coming back which would make anyone traveling to/from points between Thurles and Heuston change at Thurles for the intermediate stops

Inniskeen 16-11-2012 11:55


Originally Posted by dowlingm (Post 69805)
If a train could be based in Clonmel overnight with local crew operating then the last train out of Waterford to Clonmel to stable for the night could offer additional connections to late Dublin trains. Long shot I know.

If the rumours are true that trains are going to start connecting to Limerick in Thurles then that's a bit of a double whammy for Tipperary town, since they will lose some of their local service and heading over the road to the Junction will mean fewer service choices than hitherto.

Thurles as a connecting point for Limerick doesn't make a lot of sense for a number of reasons

Limerick trains would have to use the mainline platforms at Thurles thus re-creating a Malahide style mess on the Cork line. (admittedly at a lot quieter location)

Signalling headways between Thurles and Limerick Junction are of the order of 7-8 minutes thus increasing the interval which would be required between the arrival/departure of Cork and Limerick trains at Thurles as compared to Limerick Junction.

Thurles might make some sense if trains were to split/join although there would still be issues in regard to signalling headways.

Destructix 16-11-2012 21:27

According to staff in Thurles they did hear about this but don't know if it is happening or not. Just got to wait for the new timetables I guess.

Was talking to my cousins partner who works in IÉ. He told me that last week there were a few of track operatives measuring that old siding near platform two in Thurles. Something is happening. Maybe they are building another platform who knows. That would come in handy for the GAA specials they could use that and platform 3 with separate exits and not cause delays for other passengers using the station.

Mark Gleeson 16-11-2012 22:04

Siding be a bit on the short side, plus you have the old shed in the way

Platform 3, aka the Clonmel branch platform is there but is not accessible for passenger services

Clearly neither option is doable currently and timetable is on a matter of 10 weeks away?

dowlingm 17-11-2012 03:27

Presumably Platform 3 only comes into play if we're talking about Limerick-Limerick Junction shuttle transfers being moved from Limerick Junction and not merely transfers between Cork-Dublin/Limerick-Dublin trains heading in opposite direction? The Network Statement quotes Platform 3 as being 122m, mind you they also quoted for Roscrea Platform 2 which is similarly out of service.

Destructix 17-11-2012 04:12

Platform 3 is easily accessible when you are coming into Thurles from Cork/Limerick side of the track and there are always locomotives and ballast tampers on it and that track was recently relaid back in 2006 wooden sleepers were removed, so safety/weight restrictions on using it shouldn't come into it. Only trains I ever seen pulled into it in 23 years going to that station was a 22k.

The GAA specials Dublin vs Limerick last year. A 3 car 22k GAA service came into Thurles (unusually on the opposite side of the track from Dublin because a few sets of 2700's followed by a mk4 a short time later were using platform 2) the 22k train pulled into platform 3 after it let passengers off on platform 1. The 2700 sets pulled into a siding just past the shed.

The chaos and frustration these GAA specials cause for locals trying to get the train. Delayed my train by 15 minutes because the 2700 took 10-15 minutes unbelievably to leave the platform and pull into the siding.

To add they also need to open the large gates when these GAA passengers leave the train. They nearly stampede you coming out the small gate. Also some passengers are intoxicated and abusive leaving the station.

Inniskeen 17-11-2012 08:31

The only platforms that can be used for passenger services at Thurles are the two platforms serving the main running lines. Signalling alterations would be required to bring platform 3 into passenger use and then only for northbound trains. Southbound departures from Platform 3 would require changes to both signalling and track layouts.

Can't see the Limerick/Limerick Junction "shuttle" being extended to Thurles as apart from the unsuitability of the track and signalling it would generate extra mileage and possibly require additional resources in terms of drivers and sets. All for no obvious gain.

I suppose there might be opportunities to split Limerick/Dublin services into two segments, bringing the service from Limerick into the southbound platform at Thurles and affording passengers the opportunity to change between a slow (Limerick/Dublin service) and perhaps a faster Cork/Dublin service. This could be done in the opposite direction as well, although the Limerick service would have to shunt into the loop to allow the Cork service pass.

As for handling GAA traffic, this is barely a shadow of what it once was and I would imagine that it would be hard to justify investment in facilities without a credible plan to substantially grow this aspect of the business. And you are right, GAA supporters are not always the most desireable company if you are not on the same wavelength.

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