2 YEARS BEFORE THE STATION WAS BADLY DAMAGED BY A FREAK STORM
These photographs are of interest because they show the station as it was two years before the station was badly damaged by freak weather conditions.
During my visit the staff kindly gave me access to all areas.
In May 2023 I travelled by train to Kent Station and on the journey I met young lady from Austria and she was a train drive who was very excited about visiting railway stations in Ireland. She was surprised by the “big fuss” that Irish Rail staff made when she saw her special pass and realised that she was a train driver … this did not happen in other countries “especially France”.
Thursday, December 19, 2013: A “miracle escape” was how local newspapers described the mini-tornado which caused the collapse of a large section of the roof in Kent Train Station. The freak weather which ripped through the station moments after the Cork-Cobh train had left the platform at 3pm left a woman in her 20s injured. It was also reported that a large portion of the roof collapsed onto a train which was not in service, while the rest slumped onto the platform which seconds earlier had contained passengers bound for Cobh.
Back in 2011 the Cork to Cobh service could not be described as “good”. Today [May 2023] the service is much better and very usable.
The station offers direct intercity rail services to Heuston Station and stations in Kerry such as Killarney, Farranfore (for Kerry Airport) and Tralee. Cork Suburban Rail services follow the Cobh and Mallow lines. Since July 2009, a commuter line also operates to Midleton.
The station has three terminating platforms, numbered 1 to 3 (in the Cobh direction), and two through platforms, numbered 4 and 5. The only platform not directly accessible from the station concourse, platform 5, is accessed through a subway, unlike most other Irish stations, which use footbridges. Until the mid-1990s, the through platforms were numbered 5 and 6, as there had been a fourth terminating platform adjacent to platform 3; it was removed in 1984.
Since December 2005’s timetable change, the through platforms tend to get quite congested as commuter trains often come in together, clogging up limited space. Since the reopening of the Cork & Youghal Railway as far as Midleton, increased use has been made of the terminating platforms 1 to 3. There is also a loop line behind platform 5, which used to be used to facilitate moving locomotives from the end of arriving trains to the other end in preparation for departure. This line used to be a double-tracked freight, avoiding the line that enabled goods trains to bypass the passenger station. It is no longer necessary since all services to the station are operated either by railcars or by Mark 4 sets with a driving van trailer.
In 2017, the Cork to Dublin reached record usage of 3.15 million passengers, up 6.5% from 2016.