Port Tunnel

Port Tunnel

Postby stira » Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:57 pm

Can anyone tell me, how the problem regarding height came about. I mean seriously i just cant understand how such a trivial mistake was made. The idiots responsible for the mstake should be forced to pay for an increase in the height of the tunnel. Brennan is definetly right about increasing the tunnels height, if its for a modest some and only takes the mooted two months. The guy is such a cut above anything else in the cabinet, has anyone seen the RPA's most recent route for the metro? It drops you off at the opposite site of St. Stephens Green than the Luas will stop at. What the hell is the point in that? Brennan has told them to go back to the drawing board and come back when they have a DECENT proposal for the route. Heres the article from yesterdays indo:

THE 'cut price' €2.4bn Metro plan foundered last night after Minister for Transport Seamus Brennan threw out the latest proposals.

Plans for an integrated link between Dublin city centre and the airport should have been brought to the Cabinet before Christmas.

But Mr Brennan has rejected the new design, which was redrawn by the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA).

He has told the RPA to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new design that integrates the Metro with Luas, the Dart, suburban and mainline rail systems.

He is digging in his heels and wants the Metro to provide a direct link with either Connolly or Tara St stations.

He claims the discarded plan does not link up with either the Luas or the Dart in a way that is acceptable.

The Metro starts off on the opposite side of St Stephen's Green to the Luas.

And the RPA's proposal for a "travelator" - a moving undergound walkway link running 500 metres between a Metro stop at D'Olier St and Tara St Rail station - has been flatly rejected by Mr Brennan.

He told the Metro planners that the security risks of having passengers travel on an underground link between the two railway systems is unacceptable.

Instead he wants a connection to existing rail lines.

The decision by the minister to reject the design means that the railway agency, already embroiled in controversy over the Red 'Mad' Cow Roundabout will have to redesign the Metro.

It's another major slap in the face for the Railway Procurement Agency as the minister has already rejected an earlier cost estimate of more than €4bn.

The agency came back with a revised cost of €2.4bn, but the replacement "cut-price Metro" meant that it would not go to either Connolly Station or Tara Station and involved the travelator system.

Instead, the proposal involved a route from the airport via Ballymun, Glasnevin, Dublin City University (where it goes underground), the Mater Hospital on Dorset St, O'Connell St, D'Olier St and St Stephen's Green.

A source said last night: "It has to be integrated. There is general agreement on 95pc of the route.

"The only sticking point is where it connects at the city centre."

It would really make you wonder about those in charge of infrastructure and planning in this country. Im not even going to try and understand why you would want it to end or start on that side of Stephens Green. Morons - oure and simple!
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Postby PVC King » Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:14 pm

The problem of the port tunnel is extremely simple..

Jimmy Quinn and de boys of the Irish Road Haulage Association chose to ignore the existence of the tunnel.
They possibly hoped that the corporation would back down from the banning of trucks through the City Centre.

The Corporation commissioned the Truck Height study which was delivered in November 2002. It found that 97% of all Trailers (all cab designs in Europe will fit) fit into the tunnel. Of those 3% that won't they are also restricted from use in all EU countries except the UK.


Now lets examine what €270m would buy:

2700 hi-specification trailors for use in all 15 states

Two state of the art deepsea fast ferries that would travel from Rosslare to Cherbourg in ten hours and in all weathers.

This would have two effects, firstly Rossalre could develop as Irelands premier continental RO-RO port. taking pressure from the overcrowded Dublin Port

IT would mean that Ireland is no longer dependent on UK roads which as highlighted in the National Spatial Strategy is beyond our control. The authors of the ancilliary transport study were highly concerned about this.

€270m would build a lot of civic spaces
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Postby PVC King » Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:14 pm

€270m would build a lot of civic spaces
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Postby stira » Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:25 pm

First of all what is why is 270 million quoted, second of all, Jimmy Quinn and the boys of the Irish Road Haulage Association did not design the tunnel, whatever idiots did musnt have taken into account our biggest trading partner, where currently no limit applies. My final point is either the tunnel should be highered or ban trucks of a certain height, I would recommend 4.65 m or the same as the tunnels operating height.
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Postby PVC King » Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:29 pm

When the tunnel was designed these extra height trailors did not exist anywhere. When they surfaced they were rapidly banned accross Europe. The Tories were so busy killing each other that they missed the boat.

Just because your biggest trading partner has a Nuclear reprocessing plant doesn't mean you need one either.
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Postby BTH » Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:02 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how the media can jump on an issue and report it to death, seemingly without checking a single fact along the way. The fact is that the port tunnel is designed to a specification equivalent to any similar tunnel in Europe or indeed in Britain, and the issue of the Super - Trailers is totally irrelevant as they should and will be banned from all states in the EU, even Britain due the their excessive weight and the damage that they will cause to existing road surfaces.

Why does everyone fall for the bullshit that Irish Road Hauliage and the media (with their insatiable appetite for controversy however they may find it...) constantly spout?

On the subject of The underground link... Theres one very obvious reason why they figured that the Underground station had to be on the other side of the Green. In order to build a station on the Luas side they would first have to close the Luas stop, rip up all the tracks and dig a really big hole to accommodate it (going by the recognised and way cheaper method of Cut and Cover that will probably be used on the line...). I'd like to see Seamus Brennan or anybody else solving that problem within the budget he's set for the entire scheme..! Of course the logical thing to have done would be to build the underground section first then the Luas on top...

But Logic seems to be in short supply in the current Irish government, especially when it comes to transport management. And the fact is that the problem was known about years ago when the original idea was to run Luas straight through the city centre along Dawson, Nassau, Grafton and Dolier Streets. Still the best option in many people's eyes, although the government decided to shelve those plans due to complaints from southside traders that their businesses would be disrupted by the construction... Seems Abbey St. traders didn't have as much clout eh? And what did they do when the plans were shelved? Did they have a valid, sensible alternative? No, they decided to worry about it later and go ahead building the Luas so it would be all nice and shiny and new, just in time for the next general election...

And of course the RPA has to pick up the pieces of this purely political decision and attempt to make some sense of the nonsense of having people travelling North through the city having to get off their trams and transfer to another system at Stephen's Green. The more you think about it the more stupid it seems. So before you go praising Brennan, spare a thought for the decisions he and his cronies made in the recent past that have caused this mess. And for more information on Dublin's transport system and how politics has strangled the city you should read the infrastructure chapter of Frank McDonald's "The Construction Of Dublin". Or try http://www.platform11.org which is great for showing up how woeful the system in Dublin actually is and comes up with some fascinating and seemingly very feasable alternatives.
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Postby stira » Tue Dec 09, 2003 8:35 pm

Hi BTH, ive read alot of the articles on platform 11's website, and also Brennan has not initiated any luas or metro projects so far, the luas was initiated under O'Rourke. I wouldnt blame him for the mess, also why was the luas not put underground? Are the same fools who campaigned against it running underground in the city centre going to do the same for the metro, or would they prefer more of the same chaos? Also really hope the National Infrastructure Board is Introduced, major projects should be under construction 24hrs a day and not have machinery woth millions lying idle, i also think the public and interest groups have far too much input into the planning process, just looking after their own interest, the common good should be looked after. I also agree with the system in Spain where any land 10m from the surface is owned by the state. What does anyone think of the idea of a NIB? I support the idea a 110% but im sure some people with nothing better to do will object.
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Postby PVC King » Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:12 pm

The National Infrastructure Board was raised again after the Mayo Bog Slide, sorry the sensible refusal by An Bord Pleanala to give Shell via their Enterprise Ireland vehicle permission to build a pipeline across lands that were found by Geo-Surveyors to not have the carrying capacity for such a project.

The National Roads Act 1993 ensures that Local Authorities must consult the National Roads Authority before making a Development plan to ensure that essential infrastructural projects can be built.

Two things spring to mind when I think of infrastructural development pantomines:

Firstly the IFA refusing to deal with the CPO system of land acquisition, thus holding up every road project on the books.

Secondly Loughrea District Council rezoning lands to be used on the new Dublin-Galway Dual Carriageway. To have industrial strucures placed upon the lands.

To say that An Bord Pleanala do not do a good job, is unfair. To say they should be replaced so that important decisions are taken behind closed doors is not wise.

Having looked at the Decentralisation 'DIVY-OUT' this week have we learned nothing.
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Postby BTH » Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:15 pm

Well I have to agree with you there Stira... I guess I'm just tarring all the bloody politicians with the same brush (sometimes they deserve it!)... However just lookin back over old articles I guess I should give Brennan credit for actually questioning the insane sums that were being thrown around for the metro to begin with and forcing a rethink.
Personally I would have preferred a proper underground system for the city centre as well, however I wish they'd just have bitten the bullet and went for one or the other. The Luas/Metro interchanges will be a mess (Stephen's Green bein the prime example) and its hard to see how they are going to connect Tara St. to the system without some major additional tunneling and track laying! All your other points are totally valid as well, and a National Infrastructure Board is the only way we can take these projects of supreme importance out of the hands of about 4 different organisations each with their own vested interests (CIE, NRA, etc...) and actually get them finished!
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Postby stira » Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:43 pm

Heres an idea, the st. stephens green to sandyford line is to be upgraded to a metro as most of us have probably heard, so why not tunnel to stephens green from the airport or wherever it is on the Northside and then continue on tunneling until you reach where the Luas now currently has to go on street when coming into town, that way you have one line running from Dublin Airport to Sandyford. When the tunnel reaches where the Luas currently dosnt interact with traffic, let the metro ascend on to the current track. As for the trams they can be used on other lines, the other thing is, the Luas is going to be bursting from the seems from day one, Id say the dart will have nothing on the Luas in terms of overcrowding!
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Postby PVC King » Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:16 am

If the original DTO plans were followed we wouldn't be in this mess. Thier metro is simple and works.

Spencer Dock - Pearse- Stephens Green-
Christchurch- Heuston

The underground can go from Spencer dock to the airport.

To unlock massive funding move the Enterprise terminus from Connolly to Spencer Dock. Thus the metro connects Belfast with Cork via Heuston.

The Cork-Belfast rail link was the one link selected by the EU as one to be funded outside normal criteria along with 40 other European projects.

What I want to know is why the DTO original Routes were not followed?

I suspect it is because Mary O'Rourke was Spun by the Neo-Liberal ideology that mistakenly believes that the state has no function in providing public transport.

Despite the fact that our great American 'freemarket' model uses Transit widely and retains it under government control.

It is time that people woke up and saw that America is not a wasteland devoid of public sector innovation. The fact that it is concentrated in a small number of states is irrelevant for those except Mary O'Rourke who believes that Larry Hagman is a typical American and that Dallas is the model of good practice in urban planning.
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:20 pm

Of course the very idea of eventually building a city centre link from the Green entails connecting with the Green station.
Hence - other than building a Luas line as the connection, how the hell did they think that any other link, ie, underground, would not completely wreck whats currently being built?!

On the issue of the Port Tunnel - its not quite as black and white with regard to banning the largest of the trucks.
What the IRHA stress is that the extra foot or so in the height of the trucks results in something like a third to a half more capacity in the vehicle. Now I don't know who's to blame with regard to the issue being pointed out etc, but its worth noting.
Not least in the context of every cornflake in the country coming in from the UK, who use these trucks.
Tell them where to shove their big trucks - don't know it's that simple...
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Postby kefu » Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:21 pm

I totally agree that the two Luas lines should be integrated. At the same time, I wonder how much of a difference it would make. The vast majority of public transport journeys begin in the suburbs and terminate in the city centre. And nobody has any problem walking from Stephen's Green to O'C St or vice versa. How many people are there travelling from Dundrum to Bluebell or Tallaght to Sandyford? And even if you were, a car would always be faster than a two leg Luas journey. When the lines are complete, they will function perfectly and do their job very well.
I can't understand your point Graham about how anything is being "wrecked".
Even if the Luas lines were integrated, one will have to travel underneath the other (and a simple escalator would provide the connector). You can't run rail tracks into each other.
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Postby niall murphy » Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:44 pm

Are you mad. It is essential that public transport lines link in a city. The idea of such a system is that people can travel easily around a city. Imagine being on the metro in Paris, then realising it was a stand alone line and you'd a ten minute walk before you can get your connection. It's totally absurd.

I mean say somebody out shopping for the day as an example. They should be able to get on at Jervis Station, Get a connection to metro at o'connell street and then continue their shopping trip at the new Dundrum Centre.

As rightly pointed out above the metro shouldn't terminate at Stephens Green. It should go the extra 2km to Ranelagh and connect with what is now luas line B. Perhaps the existing street tram lines could link with future luas lines and provide local on street services.

Anyway as far as I'm aware luas line B from the canal onwards is practically metro standard anyway.

My main point is that it is essential that lines link in order to provide a citywide transport network
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Postby stira » Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:09 pm

With line B being upgraded to metro in due course, does no one else think the platforms and everything else will have to be chaged, powerlines altered etc.?
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Postby stira » Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:20 pm

Another point, i think i read that McCreevie said the line would be unviable, i.e that from the airport to the city centre. It might be at present, i really doubt it though, but by the time it gets built Dublin airport will and has to have another terminal plus pier D etc. The airport is handling over a million extra passengers a year as it is, imagine what it will handle when the other facilities open! Not just that but imagine the amount of development in a reasonable proximity to the line if it were to be built. They really are short sighted here. Build the bloody thing, the only thing i think about Fianna Fail is that they are the only ones in Gov. with the balls to do anything big and drastic.
If you asked the other parties what they intended to do regarding public transport, theyd probably say run more buses, get more people to walk and cycle etc. A fantastically cheap, conservative and ineffective option i think youll agree.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:24 pm

I seem to remember reading somewhere that the UK may ban the supercube trailers as well - ergo no problem
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Postby stira » Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:28 pm

Great if they ban them there theyll definetly ban them here, we seem to be great at following the english sytem over here!
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:49 pm

I think the replacement of the word airport with Ballymun is needed here, or at least the use of the two. It is crucial for Ballymun to be served, esp with the 'new town' developing, as well as all of the private development due to take place.

I don't know what you mean Kefu about ecalators at the Green - if a Luas line was used as the city centre link, it would simply continue on with the existing line, like the current lines B & C.

Why we are even still talking about going underground in the city centre I don't know, as the WS Atkins report, which massively held up Luas project to 'sort the issue out once and for all', overwhelmingly rejected underground in favour of overground through College Green etc - and this was when we were drowning in Exchequer returns.
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Postby stira » Wed Dec 10, 2003 5:34 pm

Basicly you cant run a dart or metro onstreet can you? The Luas is a joke as far as im concerned, with a capacity not even worth talking of. The only way to go is a full blown metro, and Brennan and all the others on this board are right, intergration is key. To get people to use public transport it has to be attractive. Getting a dart. metro or luas to somewhere and the having to walk 10 mins and then getting another train would be a real pain in the arse. Another thing is WS Atkins an irish firm? if so i would do the opposite of what they recommend, get consultants and firms from the continent in to do the job, that actually have experience and know what their talking about.
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Postby Rory W » Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:10 pm

On the above argument

Basicly you cant run a dart or metro onstreet can you?


Yes you can - as a Luas, trams seem to work elsewhere in the world

The Luas is a joke as far as im concerned, with a capacity not even worth talking of.


The capacity issue is one that has been bandied around by the road lobby obviously it is only going to serve a small amount of the population as it only runs through a certain catchment area i.e. you are not going to drive from Blanchardstown to use it. If there was a Luas in Blanchardstown you may use it and not the car.

intergration is key


Yes it is - but may I remind you that it was the FF Minister Mary O'Rourke who decided the lines would not meet

Another thing is WS Atkins an irish firm?


No - international

get consultants and firms from the continent in to do the job, that actually have experience and know what their talking about.


see above.

If there was a coherant plan from the government eg DTO report the consultants could react suitably to it - but with the dithering by the central government we have got what we voted in.
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Postby niall murphy » Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:25 pm

Are you actually thinking straight saying luas has adequate capacity. The DART really only has a catchment on one side, it has 6carriage trains which are bursting at the seams at peak times.

The Luas line B which will hopefully incorporate metro to the airport has large population catchments on both sides, serves the city centre better than the DART and your claiming that sufficient capacity can be provided by 2 carriage tram units???

GET REAL!!
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Postby Rory W » Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:37 pm

The Luas has greater frequency than the dart every 3 mins at peak which is at least 5 times the frequency of Dart (I'm a commuter I know these things) which has to share mainlines and each 40 metre unit has a capacity of 250 (I think) as opposed to 800 for a Dart

So 250x5 = 1250

1250 greater than 800

REAL!
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Postby stira » Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:40 pm

That is exactly the point im making Niall, i mean im sure you have seen the amount of development along the line, especially around Dundrum and Ballinteer. Its also serving Sandyford Industrial Estate, which is rapidly growing. Oh well, lets just wait and see when it opens shall we. But my point is this, as Niall said the Dart only really has a catchment area on one side, plus the capacity of Luas cant be compared to the Dart.
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Postby stira » Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:52 pm

Each Luas line will have the capacity to move 2600 people per hour heading in to town and the same number heading out at peak times!
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