|Parents:||Córas Iompair Éireann|
Iarnród Éireann (or IÉ, or Irish Rail in English), a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann, is the largest passenger railway system in Ireland.
IÉ runs all internal intercity, suburban and commuter railway services in the Republic of Ireland and it operates the Enterprise service between Dublin and Belfast jointly with Northern Ireland Railways.
In addition to Iarnród Éireann, Northern Ireland Railways, Bord na Móna operates a 3ft large industrial railway - the latter system is the largest railway system in Ireland - but does not carry passengers, see also rail transport in Ireland.
Iarnrod Eireann's services are divided under two major brands:
- InterCity sector - which operates the long-distance routes (including the "Enterprise" service run in conjunction with Northern Ireland Railways).
- DART/Commuter sector - which operates routes in the greater Dublin area and Leinster. A separate timetable is published for each sector annually.
- IÉ employs 5,500 people.
- IÉ's rail fleet consists of 107 diesel locomotives; 106 electric multiple units; 64 diesel railcars; 300 carriages and 1,605 freight wagons.
- A further 12 electric multiple units and 80 diesel railcars are on order.
- IÉ's fleet is maintained at Inchicore (locomotives, railcars, carriages and wagons); Fairview (electric multiple units) and Limerick (wagons). A new railcar maintenance facility is to be built at Drogheda.
- IÉ trains run over 14 million kilometres each year.
- IÉ operates over 2,500 passenger trains per week.
- IÉ passenger trains serve 140 stations.
- IÉ carries over 600,000 passenger journeys per week.
- IÉ's annual passenger income from fares is over €105 million.
- IÉ operates over 200 freight trains per week.
- IÉ freight trains serve 33 depots.
- The ports at Dublin and Waterford are rail connected.
- IÉ carries over 3 million tonnes of freight per year.
- IÉ's annual income from Railfreight and Roadfreight is €53.2 million.
Dublin is a large interchange in Ireland's railway system, the three main intercity stations are:
- Connolly Station
- Heuston Station
- Pearse Station;
Intercity services radiate to/from;
- Rosslare Europort
Additional regional services are between Cork - Tralee as well as Limerick - Rosslare Europort.
Commuter services are also mainly radial to/from Dublin:
- Northern (Dundalk)
- Western (Maynooth/Longford)
- South Western (Kildare)
- South Eastern (Arklow).
Additional commuter services are between Ennis - Limerick, Tralee - Cork as well as Cóbh - Cork. The north-south route is also host to the Dublin Area Rapid Transit, the State's only electrified rail service - apart from the Luas light rail system.
Quality of service varies from route to route. The Enterprise service is well regarded, despite problems with punctuality. There have also been ongoing problems with excess power drain on the locomotives, with one or two locomotives overheating and bursting into flames (while in service). Breakdowns are a regular occurrance as a result. The Cork - Dublin route, also quite well regarded, was the "premier line" of the Great Southern and Western Railway, one of the biggest pre-Córas Iompair Éireann operators. Journey time and rolling stock is quite good on this route.
The company was established at midnight on February 1 1987. At that time, Iarnród Éireann referred to itself as Irish Rail, and introduced the four rails IR logo; however, the initials IR were often defaced as IRA on signage.
In 1994, the company brought the Irish form of its name and the related initials to the fore, and these remain the corporate branding today. The Irish word iarnród translates literally into English as iron road, or formally railroad.
- Iarnród Éireann's key figures