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.
Last edited by Inniskeen : 17-11-2012 at 08:38.