Saturday, October 16, 2021



A view of Laois Train Care Depot

Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail has opportunities in one of its major fleet maintenance centres, in Portlaoise.

The national rail company is hiring 10 new electrical and mechanical craftworkers at its Portlaoise Train Care Depot, to meet the expanding need of the business with new vehicles being ordered and ongoing heavy maintenance requirements of the current stock.

Portlaoise Train Care Depot is Iarnród Éireann’s centre of engineering excellence responsible for the total maintenance support of the company’s largest Train Fleet, the Intercity Rail Cars (ICRs).

The centre marks 14 years in operation this year, having been built on a large greenfield site close to the M7 Motorway, and opened in 2008.   Originally planned to service and maintain 120 carriages, it has now expanded to service 234 carriages each of 23 metres in length. With a further order of 41 vehicles due in 2022 the team are once again flexing and adapting to meet the challenge and requirement.

A team of 110 Iarnród Éireann staff and specialised contractors complete all tasks required to present clean and safe and reliable trains to operate across the entire Iarnród Éireann network, with the fleet seeing intensive usage but still achieving industry leading fleet utilisation levels and reliability

Highly skilled craftworker teams maintaining the fleet consists of Electricians, Fitters, Mechanics and Coachbuilder – Bodymakers who are trained to provide the range of multi-skilled competencies required to undertake all aspects of modern train maintenance. Duties include routine running maintenance and servicing, defect repairs, modifications and heavy maintenance overhaul across the full range of specialist high tech systems on the fleet including propulsion systems, diesel engines, transmissions, electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, air conditioning and can bus control technology.

Lean management and Continuous Improvement is core to the operation of the facility and International Best Practice is evident throughout, for which the depot has received numerous awards.

The depot at Portlaoise is a regular host to international visitors for maintenance and knowledge sharing.  Iarnród Éireann are also notable trendsetters in this industry and were also the first to be accredited with the new EU Entity in Charge of Maintenance for Passenger Rolling Stock Fleets

The fleets themselves, as well as providing excellent customer facilities on board, feature a wide range of complex and modern computer based technology. Each vehicle is powered by an individual Diesel PowerPack comprising of the engine, transmission and generator which supplies all Traction and Electrical Power for each carriage. A purpose built Powerpack overhaul and test bed facility allows for on-site overhaul and testing of the assemblies.

As this fleet is still relatively, new there are numerous Environmental Initiatives emerging to help reduce Carbon Footprint including a program to upgrade transmissions to a new 6 speed energy efficient type and another program to upgrade the Powerpacks to feature the latest in Emissions Technology (Stage V of on road mobile machinery directive) and incorporating Hybrid energy recovery capability.

The site itself is 36 acres. Within the large shed towards one end of the site are 3 elevated roads designed to permit access to complete maintenance and inspection under the vehicle. There is also 1 road where the full train can be quickly lifted into the air to allow modular parts to be removed from underneath. Roof access is also available where staff can access the roof and roof mounted components such as HVAC. A crane provides a convenient method of removing roof mounted components if required. An underfloor computerised CNC wheel lathe is installed to reprofile wheels on the train when required.

If you are a qualified in an applicable trade and are interested in a new and challenging career in the Railway, please apply now on


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