Gaelic football matches see Dublin services at their peak

PASSENGER services on the former GNR(I) main line between Dublin and Belfast were at their peak on August 5 as both Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) and Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) worked to take supporters to Dublin for the GAA Football All-Ireland Championship quarter-finals at Croke Park.

NIR Class 3000s Nos. 3002 and 3003 arrive at Dublin Connolly with the 11.05 special from Belfast on August 5. In the far distance the lights of Nos. 3005 and 3001 can be seen on the approach with the next special. CHRIS PLAYFAIR

The matches between Armagh and Tyrone and Dublin against Monaghan attracted a sell-out crowd with fans travelling from every main calling point along the Belfast to Dublin corridor.

To accommodate the increased volume of passengers NIR laid on four return specials from Belfast to Dublin using six-car Class 3000 DMUs. These were then sent off to stabling locations in between turns; two headed to Drogheda, one to Dundalk and the other to Dublin.

Meanwhile, IÉ provided two additional specials between Dundalk, Drogheda and Dublin. These operated 10 minutes ahead of the booked ‘Enterprise’ services, heading south from Dundalk at 11.50 and 13.50. This relieved the pressure on the ‘Enterprise’ itself, which were all running to capacity, with standing room only.

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