Thanks JamesK. In my view something which could at least be considered is for the 09.40 Connolly to Rosslare Harbour and 12.55 return (both Mondays-Saturdays inclusive) to serve Kilcoole.
The 09.40 train doesn’t pass any scheduled train south of Greystones and in my experience if it’s a few minutes late it often regains these by the time it reaches the Rosslare stations. This would give a southbound service from Kilcoole at 10.31.
On the return journey it would serve Kilcoole about 14.51 and probably just about get through the “eye of the needle” that is the Greystones-Bray section in time. The preceding DART at 14.55 ex Bray to Howth would be further ahead than at present so the train should be able to travel a bit faster and regain existing times by the time it reaches Pearse station.
Were these trains to stop it would give, for example, around three and a half hours in Wicklow and a little under three hours in Arklow.
As well as permitting southbound travel from Kilcoole to the major settlements in the county and other towns along the line, it would give a morning service from the city and suburbs to Kilcoole and a late-afternoon service into the city and suburbs which for instance would allow travel into Dun Laoghaire and the city centre for a few hours (could return on one of the evening trains). Incidentally the visitor attraction of Glenroe Farm is not very far from the station as the crow flies but presumably there is no shorter walking route from the station to there other than going through Kilcoole.
Even if it was possible to provide a limited bus service between Kilcoole and Newtownmountkennedy to connect with the Bus Éireann route 133 to Wicklow the cost of doing so would far outweigh the essentially negligible costs of stopping one train each way at Kilcoole. Also buses to/from Kilcoole generally don’t coincide with the times of trains to/from Wicklow at Greystones (a wait of the best part of an hour is usually needed) and besides this would make the journey significantly longer. Journey planners give a hypothetical/unrealistic “option” from Kilcoole to Wicklow entailing a circuitous journey via Greystones and Newtownmountkennedy with a journey time of at least 1 hour 15 minutes up to nearly two hours and the use of at least two and sometimes three separate buses.
Given the rail journey is ten minutes (say half an hour or so if a possible walk at either end is included) the existing train service is the best and most cost effective way to provide public transport connectivity between Kilcoole and Wicklow (and other places along the line).