Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Tuborg » Tue May 04, 2010 2:14 pm

At the end of the day, rail transport has no future in this country as long as IE are calling the shots.

This pathetic excuse for a service provider needs to be abolished before it's too late.

This article provides a pretty decent insight into the culture of waste and ineptitude that exists within Irish Rail.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby PVC King » Tue May 04, 2010 2:40 pm

Whilst there have been issues at IE; you cannot fault IE for being unwilling to refurbish a fleet of carriages (held up as being totally current) that will be phased out in the UK shortly (govt subsidy to FGW permitting) or for wanting to close the Rosslare to Waterford line which only had a relevance in the pre-Ryanair era to serve as part of the boat train connection. I knew Mark quite well a few years ago; nice guy, very technically brilliant but needs to forget about Mark 3 coaches and a speed test accross the Curragh in 1983; I agree with IE on locomotive free trains.

There are huge benefits in a driver being able to walk from one end of a platform to the other and simply turn around. What IE do need to credibly address is how does it take 2 and a half hours to get a train to travel on a comprehensively refitted route that equates to roughly an hours drive.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Tuborg » Wed May 05, 2010 5:09 pm

The reality is that Iarnród Éireann is an inherently incompetent, self-serving quango that has run this country's rail service into the ground. Wasting countless millions of taxpayers money in the process.

Their latest debacle is the Kildare route project. Where despite nearly €500 million being spent to increase capacity, plans to run extra commuter services on the line have been shelved. :confused:

Just today (although it had been expected for some time) they announce that the DART Underground project will be delivered three years later than anticipated. IE have repeatedly shown that they are incapable of running an efficient rail service and they really should not be entrusted with delivering such a vital piece of infrastructure as the underground DART link.

You really shouldn't be surprised by the speeds and journey times on the WRC either. IE just don't understand how to run viable services. Despite spending hundreds of millions on new tracks, new trains & re-signalling projects, inter city journeys are slower now than they were 10 or 20 years ago. I’m sorry but that is just indefensible.

This year will see the completion of the last sections of the interurban motorway network. Once this happens, it will really become apparent just how rubbish Irish Rail's services are. The fact of the matter is that without proper line upgrades, and that means, re-building and realignments to eliminate restricted sections. Rail transport will simply not be able to compete with the new roads.

To ensure the future of Ireland’s rail service. I firmly believe that IE needs to be disbanded and a new body set up to take over the management of services and oversee a revamp of the network. Otherwise, inter city rail transport in particular is going to die a slow and painful death!
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby PVC King » Wed May 05, 2010 6:19 pm

One of our lecturers at college was a particularly sharp sort; he recalled a conversation with a colleague when in practice who when asked about the length of a journey, claimed to have driven to Cork (from Dublin) in 2 hours to attend a meeting.

The lecturer asked a slightly different question; door to door what was the journey time which resulted in a tirade about getting to the Red Cow and from the Tivoli junction the combination of which padded the journey out to 3.5 hours. Now many practitioners would bill the full 3.5 hours but luckily for the client this guys ego concerning his driving prowess got in the way.

Comparing the Dublin Cork Route of roughly 160 mileswhich lists journey times in a range of 2 hours 45 to 2 hours 58 minutes to the London Manchester Route also roughly 160 miles on which billions have been invested which comes in between 2 hours 4 minutes and 2 hours 14 minutes and it is not that slow in terms of the cost of the upgrade and the time saving delivered. On a line that has been upgraded but not expensively London to Sheffield where again the distance is c160 miles the travel times vary between 2 hours 27 mins and 2 hours 57 mins. For Dublin Limerick it appears to take 2 hours 10 mins or 2 hours 20 mins which given that the route is far from direct is a reasonable time.

What rail offers is the ability to cut out the suburban traffic, work whilst travelling and local connections permitting not worry about where to put your car. Motorways will always be quicker from the Red Cow to Tivoli but it ensuring that rail has the local connections from the railheads such as Heuston or Kent or Colbert that make it the only sustainable mode; Rail in Ireland will never be complete until the interconnector is built or for that matter a Luas for Cork.

This line however is a dispointment as the journey times are very slow.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Global Citizen » Wed May 05, 2010 6:22 pm

Tuborg wrote:
To ensure the future of Ireland’s rail service. I firmly believe that IE needs to be disbanded and a new body set up to take over the management of services and oversee a revamp of the network. Otherwise, inter city rail transport in particular is going to die a slow and painful death!


I agree, but who's gonna whisper it gently to Siptu ?
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Tuborg » Wed May 05, 2010 10:39 pm

Global Citizen wrote:I agree, but who's gonna whisper it gently to Siptu ?


Yet another reason why they need to be gotten rid of.

PVC King wrote:
Comparing the Dublin Cork Route of roughly 160 mileswhich lists journey times in a range of 2 hours 45 to 2 hours 58 minutes to the London Manchester Route also roughly 160 miles on which billions have been invested which comes in between 2 hours 4 minutes and 2 hours 14 minutes and it is not that slow in terms of the cost of the upgrade and the time saving delivered. On a line that has been upgraded but not expensively London to Sheffield where again the distance is c160 miles the travel times vary between 2 hours 27 mins and 2 hours 57 mins. For Dublin Limerick it appears to take 2 hours 10 mins or 2 hours 20 mins which given that the route is far from direct is a reasonable time.

What rail offers is the ability to cut out the suburban traffic, work whilst travelling and local connections permitting not worry about where to put your car. Motorways will always be quicker from the Red Cow to Tivoli but it ensuring that rail has the local connections from the railheads such as Heuston or Kent or Colbert that make it the only sustainable mode; Rail in Ireland will never be complete until the interconnector is built or for that matter a Luas for Cork.

This line however is a dispointment as the journey times are very slow.


In fairness though, the UK couldn't really be considered an example of a top class rail service so I wouldn't be too bothered making a comparison with them.

The train will always be the easier, more relaxing option but it's attractiveness is going to diminish if the service dosen't improve. IE missed the boat big time with it's half arsed renewal programme over the last decade or so. Instead of a comprehensive overhaul that would have allowed genuine improvements in speed. They just went ahead and laid new tracks on the same twisty alignments and dodgy foundations. As a result there are still diabolical speed restrictions on the Dublin-Cork/Limerick lines.

The new motorways along with the rebuilding of the N7 & N4 interchanges and the improvements to the M50 mainline itself means that travelling by road is much less torturous than it used to be.

I think it's inevitable that we will see an increase in the numbers abandoning the train and opting for the car/bus. The train has got a serious fight on its hands now and it'll be interesting to see how things pan out.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby CologneMike » Thu May 06, 2010 9:27 am

Another major issue that Iarnród Éireann / OPW need to tackle now is the regular occurrence of a Turlough Lake which has closed the railway line between Ennis and Limerick at least twice in recent years, for periods of weeks if not months!

When this happens they organize bus transfers for their commuters between Ennis and Limerick. If this becomes the norm, then they will lose customers in the long term to the more reliable bus service!

See “Ireland’s oldest infrastructural problem” and “December 2009 flooding” posts.

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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby saintleger » Thu May 06, 2010 12:52 pm

PVC King wrote:Comparing the Dublin Cork Route of roughly 160 mileswhich lists journey times in a range of 2 hours 45 to 2 hours 58 minutes to the London Manchester Route also roughly 160 miles on which billions have been invested which comes in between 2 hours 4 minutes and 2 hours 14 minutes and it is not that slow in terms of the cost of the upgrade and the time saving delivered. On a line that has been upgraded but not expensively London to Sheffield where again the distance is c160 miles the travel times vary between 2 hours 27 mins and 2 hours 57 mins. For Dublin Limerick it appears to take 2 hours 10 mins or 2 hours 20 mins which given that the route is far from direct is a reasonable time.

What rail offers is the ability to cut out the suburban traffic, work whilst travelling and local connections permitting not worry about where to put your car. Motorways will always be quicker from the Red Cow to Tivoli but it ensuring that rail has the local connections from the railheads such as Heuston or Kent or Colbert that make it the only sustainable mode; Rail in Ireland will never be complete until the interconnector is built or for that matter a Luas for Cork.


The AVE train will get you from Madrid to Barcelona (313 miles) in as little as 2 hours 43 minutes, so I think I must agree with Tuborg that Britain isn't where we should be looking for a model of excellence. It does cost over a hundred euro for a single though.

Rail is great if you're going from Dublin City (centre) to Cork City (centre) - it's probably faster than flying, in practice (no check in, no security, hourly departures, etc). The problem is that due to the Irish settlement patterns, many of the Dublin to Cork journeys are of the Red Cow to Tivoli type, and the Dublin to Cork train journey would need to be twice as fast as it is, to be competitive for people starting and finishing in the suburbs, or indeed the countryside. For anyone north of the Dunkettle roundabout in Cork, I think it works out quicker to drive to Dublin than to get the train.

edit: obviously not if you live witin minutes of the train station in Mallow, I think then the train would have the edge.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby PVC King » Thu May 06, 2010 1:07 pm

I totally agree with you on a model of excellence; you can add ICE, TGV and Eurostar to the impressive systems created over the past 40 years. The UK has plans to extend Eurostar spec routing to Birmingham and Manchester albeit that such projects are 20 years from completion with route selection not totally worked out.

The point that can't be overlooked is population scale between hubs; Catalans would regard Barcelona as a capital city and important European City whilst Madrid is the Capital City and National Air-Hub. When the Dublin-Cork line was rebuilt in the early 1980's it was done so to a spec that enviaged 100mph trains and a decision was made on the section of route between Mallow and Cork to be left as it was i.e. not to remove bends that restrict speed significantly.


I further agree with your analysis of settlement patterns involving edge cities and would point to work by the Urban economists of DIT in 2000 who referred to the M50 as Dublin's new main street; such was the shift in employment from the City Centre (as a percentage) to suburban retail and office parks.

If a choice has to be made between investing billions in creating an AVE spec train line or creating links from the edge cities to the main stations via commuter rail and or Luas then I certainly favour the latter. Although some funding to remove any improvements lost since the 1980's refurb would be most welcome.

I would be interested to hear your views on the effectiveness of the Midleton Rail line with particular reference to the park and ride provision. My key concern with Cork has always been the lack of provision on the South of the City which has persisted now for close to 50 years.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby saintleger » Thu May 06, 2010 5:31 pm

PVC King wrote:The point that can't be overlooked is population scale between hubs; Catalans would regard Barcelona as a capital city and important European City whilst Madrid is the Capital City and National Air-Hub.


A lot like Cork and Dublin then. :)

PVC King wrote:When the Dublin-Cork line was rebuilt in the early 1980's it was done so to a spec that enviaged 100mph trains and a decision was made on the section of route between Mallow and Cork to be left as it was i.e. not to remove bends that restrict speed significantly.


The trains never get close to 100 mph though, do they? It takes 2h20m Heuston to Mallow, about 150 miles, and it only stops 3 times.

PVC King wrote:I further agree with your analysis of settlement patterns involving edge cities and would point to work by the Urban economists of DIT in 2000 who referred to the M50 as Dublin's new main street; such was the shift in employment from the City Centre (as a percentage) to suburban retail and office parks.

If a choice has to be made between investing billions in creating an AVE spec train line or creating links from the edge cities to the main stations via commuter rail and or Luas then I certainly favour the latter. Although some funding to remove any improvements lost since the 1980's refurb would be most welcome.


The thing is, that I see Cork (they'll kill me for saying this) as essentially a rural county. Notwithstanding the status given to Mallow in the NSS, we've had housing estates built in every small town and village, not to mention the one-off houses in-between. There's as much chance of getting commuter rail or Luas to someplace like Mitchelstown or Bantry as there is of bringing the Dart to Dingle. Commuter rail would benefit the close suburbs, faster intercity rail times would benefit everyone who takes the train, and encourage those who don't to do so. (Assuming they're all heading to Dublin, that is). ;) Any increased speed wouldn't make much difference on the Mallow to Cork stretch.

PVC King wrote:I would be interested to hear your views on the effectiveness of the Midleton Rail line with particular reference to the park and ride provision. My key concern with Cork has always been the lack of provision on the South of the City which has persisted now for close to 50 years.


I'm not familiar with this at all, I'm afraid - they were just finishing it the last time I lived in Cork.

To get somewhat back on topic, wouldn't you think the Galway Limerick rail line would increase connectivity between Galway and Cork, seeing as you can already get the train from Cork to Limerick? Wouldn't that seem like a sensible goal? Well, you have to change trains twice, at Limerick Junction and Limerick, with a wait of about 20 mins each time, with a total journey time of up to 4h30. So, just like going via Portlaoise then.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby CologneMike » Fri May 14, 2010 3:54 pm

PVC King wrote: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?


Eliminating some of the 143 level crossings could allow higher speeds?

I’d imagine a share of the level crossings could be joining farmland divided by the railway line?

If so, then not a stress free situation for a dairy farmer having to ring Iarnród Éireann before moving stock either side of the line.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby CologneMike » Thu May 20, 2010 10:44 am

Iarnród Éireann to fund flood study (Irish Times)

PAT FLYNN

IARNRÓD ÉIREANN has commissioned a study into how best to address serious flooding which has closed the Ennis to Limerick railway twice in the past two years for a total of 15 weeks.

The Office of Public Works has declined to undertake work in the area of Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, and says it will not commission a study into the problem as it is only the railway line that has been affected and its resources are committed to other projects.

It is known that the flooding in the area around the line at Ballycar is resulting from a debris blockage at the point where water from a nearby lake passes underground into a local river. In times of heavy rain this can result in the excess water being unable to pass through the channel, causing a wide area to flood.

Rail services between Ennis and Limerick were suspended for seven weeks in February 2008 and for a further eight weeks in late 2009 after the railway line became submerged in flood waters. The track has been raised twice since 1995 and stands over two metres above ground level.

Iarnród Éireann has previously said that “as the railway line is not the cause of the flooding, and it affected a much wider area, the OPW will need to develop a flood relief scheme”.

However, the OPW has responded that “because the railway line is the only significant beneficiary, we will not be managing or commissioning a study or any proposed works for the area”.


It’s great to see how “pro-active” our semi-state bodies work together to solve problems. :rolleyes:
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby thebig C » Thu May 20, 2010 11:13 am

Tuborg wrote:At the end of the day, rail transport has no future in this country as long as IE are calling the shots.

This pathetic excuse for a service provider needs to be abolished before it's too late.

This article provides a pretty decent insight into the culture of waste and ineptitude that exists within Irish Rail.


Thanks for posting that Tuborg. As a rail enthusiast myself I could add a few more home truths and debunk some of the myths that Iarnrod Eireann are pushing! But that is for another forum:)
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby Global Citizen » Thu May 20, 2010 1:57 pm

[quote="thebig C"]

Is there any forum in particular?

I'd like to read such comments?
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby CologneMike » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:46 pm

CologneMike wrote:
Originally Posted by PVC King

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?


Eliminating some of the 143 level crossings could allow higher speeds?

I’d imagine a share of the level crossings could be joining farmland divided by the railway line?

If so, then not a stress free situation for a dairy farmer having to ring Iarnród Éireann before moving stock either side of the line.


Man dies in Clare train incident (Irish Times)

Mon, Jun 28, 2010

A 62-year-old man has died after being hit by a train near Newmarket-on-Fergus in Co Clare last night.

The incident happened on the Ennis to Colbert line shortly after 10pm. It is believed the man was moving livestock beside the railway lines.

A driver and one passenger were on the train at the time. The driver alerted emergency services but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Iarnrod Eireann said they were conducting an investigation into the incident.


A tragic accident and fortunately this near empty train stayed on track. One wonders what procedures are in place between Iarnrod Eireann and farmers? Like using a hot-line telephone number when cattle are moved or stray over the railway lines.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby dc3 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:15 am

Off topic but perhaps still relevant.

A visitor from Canada who used the new Cork - Midelton rail link last week mentioned to me, unprovoked, that he was very amazed to see the very low numbers using this service in the morning and evening peaks.
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Re: Galway - Limerick by Rail.

Postby CologneMike » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:53 pm

Risks at dangerous level crossing were not identified (Irish Examiner)

By Conall Ó Fátharta

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

IARNRÓD Éireann failed to effectively identify and manage the ongoing risks at a level crossing where a farmer was struck by a train and killed last year.

The Railway Accident Investigation Unit (RAIU) made the assessment after investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a farmer who was killed after being struck by the 9.45pm train from Ennis to Limerick near Sixmilebridge in Clare on June 27 last year.

As the train driver approached a manually controlled level crossing, he spotted the farmer 162 metres ahead of the train pushing a cow through the gates of the crossing.

Although the train driver applied the brake and sounded the horn twice, the farmer continued to push the cow and was struck by the train.

The train stopped approximately 200 metres beyond the level crossing and the driver called emergency services. The farmer was pronounced dead at the scene.

The RAIU identified a number of contributory and underlying factors which caused the accident including that vegetation at the level crossing may have affected the farmer’s ability to see the train.

The report was also critical of the distance required to cross the level crossing as being too great.

"It was not possible to determine at what point the farmer became aware of the presence of the train or why the farmer continued the movement across the railway line as the train approached. However, it was possible to determine that the distance across XE039 [the title of the crossing] is greater than the distance allowed by IÉ due to the skewed layout of the level crossing," said the report.

It also found that Iarnród Éireann’s "risk management system in place was not found to be adequately managing the risks" at the level crossing.

The report pointed out that a number of improvements have taken place at the crossing in response to the accident including the erection of whistleboards, improved signage, work to replace some 250 metres of fencing and the erection of convex mirrors at the site.

The RAIU recommended that Iarnród Éireann should produce risk assessments for all manually operated level crossings to identify hazards at particular level crossings.
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