Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Global Citizen » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:19 pm

I've just seen the timetable for the new Galway - Limerick rail service which begins next Tuesday (30 March). Five trains a day in both directions. The first train leaves Galway at 06.40 arriving in Limerick at 08.39 (1 hr 59 mins). The earliest train out of Limerick departs at 06.00 and doesn't get into Galway until 08.25. Taking 2 hours and 25 minutes to travel between these cities in this day and age is ridiculous. I'm sure it didn't take that long in the days of steam.
Another thing...
The last train of the day from Galway leaves at 17.25 while the last one out of Limerick departs at 18.05. Why so early?

Given the investment in this service the returns are disappointing. The west badly needs a decent rail infrastructure but this has all the hallmarks of a half arsed approach to attract commuters. It stinks of a "sure it'll do them" attitude.

The rail service will be all the more pointless when the N18 Galway - Limerick road is fully upgraded.

I'll take a spin on the train for a look when it opens next week and hopefully I'll be able to find something more positive to say about it then.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby cgcsb » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:37 pm

IÉ need to start running a direct Galway-Limerick-Cork service to get people to use the line. Double trackinga and replacing someof the more dangerous sections of track would also be nice.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby jimg » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:19 am

The whole thing is a waste of time and resources. Once the N18 is done, the current hourly (half hourly at peak times) bus service will do the trip (centre to centre) in not much over over an hour. These sort of rail routes look promising on maps but without population density they will never be viable. The other "orbital" railway - Limerick, Limerick Junction, Waterford, Rosslare carries about 15 or 20 people (mostly with free travel passes) per train and is unlikely to survive. The trains on these routes will always be slower, more expensive, more uncomfortable (commuter railcars running on crappy track following inefficient alignments) than a coach.

Terrible planning has meant that very few places outside of Dublin are suitable for rail. Rail investment in Ireland needs to be applied to where it will deliver utility - i.e. Dublin and Cork commuting routes and a few Intercity routes (Dublin, Cork, Belfast, maybe Limerick and Galway at a stretch - although Dublin/Galway is being murdered by faster cheaper coaches). Everything else just swallows resources while delivering zero utility.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Tuborg » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:56 pm

The only reason this line is being re-opened is to placate various interest groups in the wesht who have been complaining of victimisation since the dawn of time! The fact that they want the line extended to Sligo "as soon as possible" tells you just how detached from reality these people are! :o

Rail transport in this country is in serious trouble and the completion of the inter urban motorways by the end of the year will put this into even sharper focus! Our dispersed population and inability to concentrate population growth in the major regional cities have made it virtually impossible to provide a high quality, sustainable rail network! In this case, spending over €100 million to link two cities of 100,000 and 70,000 is utter madness!

The next stretch of the M18 from Ennis to Gort will open later this year and when the remaining section from Gort to the M6 is completed, the car will absolutely murder the train! The train journey is scheduled to take between two and two & a half hours, including that ridiculous turnaround at Athenry. I mean realistically, how many people are going to settle for that kind of a service? :rolleyes:
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Bago » Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:15 pm

What's mad about reopening a line between galway and limerick?? About as mad as spending how many hundred million linking tallaght to city centre! There still is alot of people dependant on buses you know. Ah wait edit, i didn't see 2.5 hours.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Tuborg » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:11 pm

Bago wrote:What's mad about reopening a line between galway and limerick?? About as mad as spending how many hundred million linking tallaght to city centre! There still is alot of people dependant on buses you know. Ah wait edit, i didn't see 2.5 hours.


The Luas did cost a lot more than it should have but in fairness, it's value to the city far outweighs the initial construction costs! Dublin still has one of the worst public transport infrastructures of any capital city in the developed world! Although could you imagine how much worse off it would be without the luas lines?

The Limerick - Galway service will probably carry less passengers in a year than the Luas does in a day! It's a pretty shocking waste of money really, at a time when the country is basically broke!

We're fairly good at getting our priorities wrong in this country. We need to get cracking on important projects like the interconnector and metro north. Instead of wasting valuable resources on unviable nonsense like the WRC just because a bunch of lunatics in the west shouted loud enough! :rolleyes:
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Bago » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:21 pm

http://www.irishtimes.com/letters/index.html#1224267342825
Vastly much more spent on the galway-limerick road then rail, hence the 1.5 hr road time. Not saying it's money wasted but if the rail got a fraction of that investment....
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Tuborg » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:58 pm

There are just so many inaccuracies in that letter. Essentially it's just a thinly veiled anti-car, anti-roads rant!

His argument seems to be that if we had spent a couple of hundred million on this rail line instead of road improvements then everyone would magically abandon their cars and use the train instead. While in the process, negating the need for improvements to the N18!

Now this guy has clearly never driven from Ennis to Galway. If he had experienced the delight of coming around one of the numerous tight bends to find a large truck on the wrong side of the road. Then he wouldn't have come out with such rubbish! The current N18 is a narrow, twisty, bumpy goat track masquerading as a National Primary Route. It can't be replaced quick enough!

Like it or not, road transport is the dominant mode of transport in this country. Primarily because of our modest population density. The fact is that the completion of the M18 and the subsequent improvements to the N17 up to Sligo will be of far more benefit to the west of Ireland than this silly notion of a western rail corridor that has no basis in reality!
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby reddy » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:16 am

Very true about the N18 but still - if we are to be serious about the proper and sustainable planning of the country, we need to think about infrastructure led development. Not always playing catch up.

Totally agree about the ridiculous journey time and ticket prices are outrageous along with an outrageous subsidy but this is at least a step in the right direction and possibly opens the route for improvement in the future and its use as a driver of sustainable densities and planning in the towns affected.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Tuborg » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:03 pm

I'm all for sustainable planning & development, it's just that I don't have any faith in this country to ever deliver on those principles!

County Councils will continue to blight the countryside with one-off houses. Further eroding any chance we might have of developing a sustainable society! This wont change either because no government will have the courage to curtail the practice as they know "rural Ireland" would be up in arms!

An express link between Limerick and Galway with intermediate stops at Ennis and Oranmore might be just about viable. But this nonsense of building stations at hamlets like Sixmilebridge, Ardrahan, Craughwell etc where about 3 people will get the train each day, just underlines what a joke this whole project is! I hear now that there is a push on to get a station built at Crusheen (Pop. c.1,000) :(

If this really was about providing a sustainable service that people might actually use. Then a new line should have been built from north of Gort, serving a new station at Oranmore and feeding into the Dublin line just outside Galway city. Instead we have this daft arrangement where the train will follow a bumpy, bendy, level crossing ridden alignment to Athenry. Where the driver will then walk to the other end of the train to continue the journey to Galway! :o
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Global Citizen » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:22 pm

Tuborg makes some valid points but demeans his own argument by resorting to insults.
The provision of a rail service has nothing to "a bunch of lunatics in the wesht shouting loud enough".
Its a pity some people cannot express an opinion without trying to stir the shit while they're at it.
As it is. The Galway - Limerick rail service is a waste of time and money. A two and a half hour journey time will never compete with the N18.
Had the initial investment in the rail service been allocated to make this possible, I'm sure it could have been successful in time.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby tommyt » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:33 pm

Anyone actually been on it yet? Is any part of the journey picturesque? Do you get bounced around like a drunken sailor like one does on the Lim Junction to Lim city commuter locomotive?
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Tuborg » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:31 pm

Wow, some people are easily offended! In fairness though, there are some things that just have to be said! :)

West on track and others have been given almost a free rein to spout their propaganda over the last couple of years. They wont be happy until the line is extended to Donegal!

Unfortunately for them, you cant just take a punt on something and spend a couple of hundred million in the blind hope that it might be successful. It needs to be backed up by facts and figures and for the western rail corridor, the figures just dont add up!

The proposed second phase of the project passes through the likes of Milltown, Ballindine, Claremorris, Kiltimagh, Swinford etc. There is simply no way that the critical mass exists to make the project economically viable. Despite what the lobby groups would have you believe!
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby foremanjoe » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:43 pm

Tuborg! Stop exclaiming lad! You'll do yourself a mischief!
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Derrick Galway » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:28 pm

Interesting that no one in this discussion has yet pointed out the rising cost of fuel needed to power all these cars that are going to use the N soon to be M18 on past Galway City. Petrol is now zooming up in price again. Quite frankly, the whole issue of infrastructural planning in the west of Ireland is being treated as a joke. Sure, the DIT/ Futures Academy/ Irish Academy of Engineering lobby would have the Irish population west of the Shannon cast off into the Atlantic. Those responsible for Spatial planning in government would want to wake up and do something before its too late (perhaps NAMA has already made it too late). Galway city is drowning in cars being used by those who choose to commute 40 to 50 miles to work in town. Many from their "once off house in the country". A resolution to reverse this imbalance is still many years off. And all we are being offered by certain developer supporting politicians to resolve this problem is a by-pass that will do nothing to help, only increase car usage into and around around Galway.

I certainly support the devlopment of a Western Corridor to offset the imbalance that has been driven in this country over the past twenty years. But it is not going to plan. Nobody is thinking it through. It is a mess. West-on Track are nice people. But there is a bigger picture here surely?
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Derrick Galway » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:49 pm

Sorry. I meant Atlantic Corridor!
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby CologneMike » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:18 pm

New Galway - Limerick Train Service Perfectly Compliments UL / NUI Galway Alliance

Over 20 members of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Limerick today used the convenience of the new Limerick / Galway rail line to meet with their NUI Galway counterparts to discuss the potential for collaboration between the two institutes in the areas of research, teaching and learning and shared services.

The new Alliance allows for the facilitation of student exchange between the universities which will be on the agenda for today's discussion between the UL representatives and members of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway whom they will meet in Galway today.


This may be valid for the NUI Galway as it is very central and within walking distance of the railway station. Whereas UL is quite a distance from Limerick’s railway station and unfortunately the city’s bus service does not operate at the railway station, thus making Limerick’s public transport a farce for its poor connectability! :o A railway station stop at the Parkway would make sense too.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Global Citizen » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:29 pm

tommyt wrote:Anyone actually been on it yet? Is any part of the journey picturesque?


Yes.
There are some nice views of the leafy suburbs of Limerick as you approach the city.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby CologneMike » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:56 pm

Global Citizen wrote:Its a pity some people cannot express an opinion without trying to stir the shit while they're at it.


Global Citizen wrote:Yes.
There are some nice views of the leafy suburbs of Limerick as you approach the city.


It’s a pity some people look down their noses on Moyross, any opportunity they get. :(
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Global Citizen » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:06 am

Fair point.
Its a pity the re-generation budget for the area is being slashed.
But it is the first impression of Limerick passengers get as they
arrive in the city on this rail service.

To balance things up, one of the more positive views from the train.
Just a drop kick away from Moyross as it crosses the Shannon.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby PVC King » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:21 pm

That is a great photo; no doubt they could make more use of the river at that location
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby CologneMike » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:39 pm

Let’s build on new train line (Limerick Post)

Letter to the Editor

Sir: THE campaign to re-open the Galway-Limerick train line and the wider development of the Western Rail Corridor, has been a long time coming.

Now that Phase One of the line is open, however, it is important that we park the discussion about the economic viability of the line and begin to drive passengers, freight, and users to it to ensure that it becomes a vital piece of transport infrastructure for the west of the country.

It is pointless to invest so much money, time, and effort into the redevelopment of the line if we are to turn round and make short term decisions about its future based on how many people use it from the off.

We should focus on the long term goal of moving toward sustainable modes of transport and shift away from our over reliance on the private car.

That is why I am a little concerned at comments from the Department of Transport that rail lines would be closed and services suspended if there is insufficient user demand. To me, that sounds like starting-off from the wrong point.

We must do all in our power to ensure that the same fate does not befall the Western Rail Corridor, as the Waterford-Rosslare line that will shortly close due to insufficient demand.
For that reason, the clear message from the top down must be to make the best of these new lines as viable public transport options. If the will to do that is there, then passenger growth should look after itself.

The last thing we need are any more ghost train lines on our network; rather we require a positive and wholehearted commitment to making rail traffic work.

Paul Mallee, president,
Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
Fitzwilliam Place
Dublin 2


I had a look at the rail / bus time journey and their adult day return fare between Galway and Limerick.

  • Iarnród Éireann: 2 hours 30 minutes ~ €20
  • Bus Éireann: 2 hours 15 minutes ~ €20
  • City Link: 1 hour 30 minutes ~ €20


Paul, Iarnród Éireann has got to clip an hour off their journey time to be competitive!
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby CologneMike » Tue May 04, 2010 9:51 am

Galway rail route beats expectations (Irish Times)

GORDON DEEGAN

PASSENGER TRAFFIC on the first phase of the Western Rail Corridor has exceeded expectations, Iarnród Éireann said yesterday.

A spokeswoman for the company said 16,000 journeys were made in the first month of the new Limerick-Galway service, which has been restored at a cost of €106.5 million.
The service was reintroduced after 34 years on March 29th.

“The first month’s operations have exceeded expectations, with significant demand experienced from day one,” the spokeswoman said.

Colman Ó Raghallaigh of West on Track said the performance on the new rail line “has confounded the critics”.

“We believe that, given the success of phase one, there is now no further excuse for prevarication as far as continuing with the next phases to Tuam and Claremorris.”

The Iarnród Éireann spokeswoman said: “The 16,000 passenger journeys recorded are on top of the existing 14,400 monthly journeys on the Limerick-Ennis service, meaning the through route has seen over 30,000 passenger journeys in its first month.

“This is a strong and encouraging start for this new service. While the initial interest was a great start, we are now seeing daily demand being sustained.

“There is little doubt that, as summer approaches, new demand – in the form of domestic and overseas tourists – will also see new rail customers taking to the line.”

The reopened line delivers a direct Galway to Limerick service and serves Limerick, Ennis, Athenry and Galway and new stations at Sixmilebridge, Gort, Ardrahan and Craughwell.

The passenger numbers comes in spite of an Iarnród Éireann business case anticipating losses of €2.4 million per annum in the new service, while a Government-commissioned study has stated that the line’s “cost-benefit analysis would suggest that the scheme is not good value for money and should not have gone ahead”.

Before the line was opened, Iarnród Éireann said the number of passengers anticipated in the business case would be exceeded.

Iarnród Éireann said: “It is an important piece of infrastructure, connecting two gateway and one hub under the National Spatial Strategy. The line will require subvention, but the investment was made on that basis.”

Mr Ó Raghallaigh said: “Clearly we are pleased but not surprised at the excellent performance of the railway to date. Anyone who knew anything about the movement of people in the west of Ireland could easily have predicted this.

“Indeed, the railway is so successful that there is a clear need for an additional evening service out of Galway after six o’clock. And we believe that Iarnród Éireann is examining the possibilities regarding the provision of such an extra ‘commuter’ service.”



“There is little doubt that, as summer approaches, new demand – in the form of domestic and overseas tourists – will also see new rail customers taking to the line.”


Could be an ideal way to meet the native folk! :)

See also “Galway to Limerick, the slow way” where Kathy Sheridan writes about her brief encounters.

Iarnród Éireann said: “It is an important piece of infrastructure, connecting two gateway and one hub under the National Spatial Strategy. The line will require subvention, but the investment was made on that basis.”


More like connecting one full gateway (Galway) to a half gateway (Limerick / Shannon) since Shannon Airport / Industrial Zone / Town is not connected to it.

See "Shannon Rail Link" post.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby PVC King » Tue May 04, 2010 10:08 am

It has to be worth asking the question; how does a brand new rail line only deliver journey times of 2 hours 30 minutes for what is 65 miles by road?

This piece of infrastructure could be very valuable with an ongoing link to Cork which already exists but there will be very limited demand until such time as this service hits journey times that are more comparable to normal intercity journeys.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby cgcsb » Tue May 04, 2010 11:16 am

perhaps now, IÉ will have later services, double track, improve journey times and extend to Cork.
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