22062, Portlaoise, 13-03-2017
The 3ICR eases across the crossover before heading for the first stop at Portarlington.
In many respects, the layout and signalling at Portlaoise struggle to cope with the current service pattern. Trains making this move block both lines for several minutes as the signal from the station loop also protects this crossover. In the down direction, access to the loop is controlled by a signal hidden by the train in this shot, and if the road is set for the loop has approach control, meaning that trains are brought down in speed before the signal is cleared. In this case, this can add two minutes to the travel time from Portarlington. There is also no means of an up train terminating at Portlaoise reversing without travelling the 18 mile round trip to Portarlington - something which affected the Nenagh line services when they were extended to Portlaoise during the ballast cleaning works last year, as well as when the last up Cork in terminated here for engineering work - a regular occurance.