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Western Rail Corridor



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,393 ✭✭✭Eurorunner

    I agree 100% with the above.
    @ishmael: much of what you refer to in terms of how rail is utilised in ireland at present may not draw a rosy picture. But its not a case of stopping at providing a service. There are many things that have to change. Andrew has refered to some of them. eg. ticket purchase, frequency of service.
    A higher level of service must be achieved - because it has been achieved by many of our european counterparts - therefore, it is possible.
    You quite rightly point to population density/critical mass when making a comparison with other european countries. However, i still believe that a scaleable service can be put in place. There may be a few stops on the western corridor that are questionable but these can be reviewed in terms of what direct and indirect value they bring as the service develops. Otherwise, linking limerick ->ennis->galway->sligo can only be a positive thing.
    I'm sure you have noticed that theres an imbalance in the country in terms of development. A project like this one is a positive development that addresses this issue in some way - which BTW will ultimately be best for both east coast and west coast.

    We could be posting here in a few years time with this project being a big success or a flop - but the important point is that it can be successful - its just a case of whether theres competence or incompetence in providing the service.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    As I have already said, comparisons to “all over the world” do not take account of our position as a small island with a low density of population. Flat assertions to the effect that train wins over bus because its more comfortable ignores the plain fact that in Ireland people are willing to pay the market rate to travel by bus, but need a heavy subsidy to travel by train over the same route.

    There is an environmental issue related to road, but the point is that our population distribution means that rail is unlikely to be the solution.

    The third point, point regarding journey times, flies in the face of research done for the National Spatial Strategy which suggests that any residual advantage that train has will be lost in the coming years. Commuter traffic – which in this country mainly amounts to DART (indeed, as we have seen, rail in Ireland chiefly amounts to DART) –does have a role.

    Maybe the Cork-Dublin-Belfast line has a future, as it joins major centres of population. The rest of the rail service is a dinosaur requiring heavy susbsidy that could be usefully employed elsewhere.

    As to establishing services in the hope that this will create its own demand, I'd like to see some examples of where 'infrastructure first' projects have actually succeeded in promoting development, instead of diverting resources away from where they were actually needed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,569 ✭✭✭maxheadroom

    @ishmael - Just to bring you up on one point. You said that people are willing to pay the "market rate" to travel by bus. I presume that you are talking about private coach operators (like the galway-dublin airport service). What you need to consider is that the companies providing this service do not have to pay for the cost of building and maintaining the infastructure that sustains their service, namely the national road network. This is not true for rail, where IR are responsible both for infrastructure and services.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    True, but this cuts both ways. If you have a road network, it can be used by all kinds of people and not just buses. On the other hand rail can only be used by train service providers. (Incidently its not just private operators who can run profitable bus routes - Bus Eireann also report that their more popular routes are profitable, and partly cross subsidise their social obligation routes.)

    From what I can gather road usage yields about €1 billion in excise duties on fuel, something around €500 million in VRT and €720 million in motor tax. (The AA say motorists pay €4 billion, but I cannot find what this figure is based on. I take it they're adding in VAT and PAYE from related enterprises.) NRA budget for national roads seems to be about 1 billion a year. €477 million is the allocation for non national roads, the highest allocation ever as this is an election year. So road expenditure seems well covered by related tax receipts. Rail requires revenue to be raised elsewhere.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 540 ✭✭✭Andrew Duffy

    Are you assuming that users of the rail service pay no tax? The money I save by not running a car is spent on other things, each purchase taxed at 21% on top of income tax.

    You are also adamant that people will not pay more to use an efficient rail service. I would certainly pay substantially more than current rates for a seat on an express service to any of the cities and I'm certain that there are many more who would.

    You insist that population density precludes decent rail service. Why are all those buses running if there is no demand? What about the National Spatial Strategy, which we knew on release to be nonsense and has been confirmed as such by plans to decentralise the public service to an entirely different set of towns, suggests that rail will become increasingly less viable than road transport? Perhaps if it is starved of investment, allowing service to further deteriorate and more speed limits to be introduced over crumbling bridges and around tight bends. Why would our population density prevent railways from working effectively when the similar density and distribution in the similarly wealthy Finland does not? How is it that all over Europe small towns and cities in rural areas are linked by modern, high-speed and high-frequency rail services if such services cannot be made work?

    There is nothing to stop us treating the railways like we do the roads - to remove them from the ownership of any one entity and give them back to the state, to give them their own budget for expansion and maintenance. Of course, any operator wanting to use them, including Irish Rail, would need to pay to do so. One slight change would be needed to make this work - the motor tax system would need to be changed so the operators of trucks and buses pay for an amount of the road building and maintenance costs that is proportional to the amount of use they make of them and the amount of damage they do. A similar contribution from all transport providers based on the amount of enviromental pollution created would also be required. At the moment, private motorists pay for trucks and buses to compete with the railways on terms that the railways cannot beat.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    I think you are in denial about the taxation raised by road. Let’s just accept the objective position that roads are self financing.
    I take it the prices for rail services are set with an eye to their competition. I assume you are not suggesting that rail is a Giffen good, i.e. if prices are higher demand will increase. Why are you so certina that ‘many more’ would pay extra for rail service – as in three times what they pay at the moment. Its just I’ve spent a little time gathering information for my case above, and I think it needs to be answered by more than wishful thinking.

    You ask why there are all those buses running if there is no demand for rail, to which I ask why are all those people travelling on profitable bus services when there is a directly competing rail service available at a heavily subsidised fare.
    Its not a matter for here, but I agree that way in which the National Spatial Strategy has been ignored in the plans to decentralise the public service is appalling, and if proceeded with we will be paying the cost for many years to come.
    You ask, again, about services throughout Europe to which I can only repeat, again, that comparing a rail network that serves several hundred million people to one that can, at best, serve five million is not valid.
    Even separating the network from the service providers (which might be a little pointless for the small scale or our operations) the point remains – roads are just more flexible. Private motorists may be footing the bill for others, but on the other side of the coin we want to encourage people out of cars and into buses so this is likely to be a feature of road user taxation for the future.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    There’s a very poor article in today’s Independent on the Westen Rail Corridor. It tries to present the question as an example of neglect of the West. This is clear nonsense, when it is routes like the Westport line that get the lion’s share of existing subsidies. There’s a real air of unreality about this stuff, and the comparisons to investment in Dublin’s services are off the wall considering that DART accounts for more passengers that all the other existing rail services combined. There’s no case for blowing €250 million on additional rail services, where the existing lines can only exist with massive subsidy. Its not so much a case of Dublin not listening, as the West not making sense.

    Irish Independent
    Thursday February 26th 2004
    by Marese McDonagh
    There is a growing "them and us" syndrome between Dublin and the rest of the country and people who live outside the city are mad as hell about a lot of things.
    If the campaign to re-open a disused rail link through the western part of the country doesn't get the green light, it's going to be perceived as yet another indication that nobody is listening in the capital city.
    A Sligo-based IFA official, Joe Coulter, warned recently that the country might just "topple into the Irish Sea" if a serious effort is not made to correct the population imbalance.
    He was speaking in advance of the Minister for Transport, Seamus Brennan's visit to five railway stations on the Sligo/Limerick line, which closed to passengers in the 1960s.
    There is grass growing on the track at most of the 20 stations on this route. Colman O Raghallaigh, spokesman for the lobby group West on Track, said that when they closed it down the government of the day "pulled out of the west and told the people they could go to America or England".
    But, as the Minister was told, they may have closed it down but thanks to the Minister's intervention in the late 1980s, when he held the same portfolio, they never took away the line and the thoroughfare is still in public ownership.
    Consultants believe that as a result, the capital costs of restoring the service would be just under euro250m.
    Minister Brennan is insisting that no section of the line can be reopened until the sums are done because it is taxpayers' money which is at stake. Kiltimagh man Joe Kelly wondered if there was such rigorous value-for-money examination of projects like the Luas and Metro.
    Luas gets mentioned a lot in the context of the western rail corridor. The consultants who examined the project pointed out that the 114 miles of rail between Collooney, Co Sligo, and Ennis, could be made operational for the equivalent of five miles of Luas or 2.5 miles of Metro.
    The Galway-born Minister may have felt he was on home ground when he went west recently but on his visit he was effectively welcomed to one of the colonies.
    Father Micheal Mac Greil, a sociologist in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, explained to Minister Brennan that for several years now, people living in the west, the Midlands and parts of Ulster have started to believe that they are a colony of the expanded Pale. Father Mac Greil has spent 25 years hounding successive governments about this rail project and took the opportunity to educate the relevant Minister about a condition he dubbed "post-colonial attitudinal schizophrenia".
    Interestingly, after Minister Brennan walked the line at five stations in counties Sligo, Mayo and Galway, his audience seemed equally divided between those who believed he had delivered nothing and those who can already hear the commuter trains whizzing between Athenry and Galway.
    The Minister's promise to set up a working party to examine which sections of the line might be considered first, was greeted with snorts of derision from his political opponents. Sligo/ Leitrim Independent TD, Marian Harkin, a former chair of the Council for the West, said she was dumbfounded by the lack of a financial commitment, especially given the euro37m to be spent to allow Luas "cross the road" at one Dublin roundabout.
    Fine Gael's Michael Ring said the country was full of reports. "What we want are euros," he insisted.
    West on Track have derided the "negative spin" put on the Minister's words, but Father Mac Greil, with no pun intended, had to "read between the lines" to find the positive news. And while the battle-hardened campaigner insisted that agreement in principle had now been delivered, Father Mac Greil said he had also hoped that "a bit of track would be delivered in the short term".
    The Minister did make a pointed reference to the potential of a commuter service between Tuam and Athenry and O Raghallaigh believes that work on this section of the line will begin in 2005.
    The Minister's comment that the line would not be built on sentiment or emotion alone clearly nettled some of those who had already done their sums and believe the line will generate more than enough income to pay its running costs.
    But as with all great rail lines there is sentiment attached. Dozens of local people, many of them elderly, turned out to meet the Minister when he and his entourage crowded into stations in Claremorris, Kiltimagh, Charlestown, Tubbercurry and Tuam .
    In Kiltimagh, 79-year-old Henry King said that as a temporary postman he had witnessed many tears being shed in the station when he delivered mail to the train in the 1950s. "A lot of people left from that station and went across channel and they never came home," he said.
    West on Track believes what is needed now is a commuter service for the thousands of workers who do not have to emigrate but who cannot park their cars in cities like Sligo and Galway. Traffic congestion is now costing Galway euro1.8m every week, with the volume of traffic on the N17 from Tuam up nearly 40pc in the last five years.
    All week local radio stations have told the stories of those whose lives could be changed by a decent public-transport system. As one business man in Mayo said: "We do not want to be seen as whingers. We are just here to make our case."

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 173 ✭✭P11 Comms


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 173 ✭✭P11 Comms

    Is it worth spending €300 Million on reopening it while there is still no rail connection of any kind to Dublin Airport?

    Argument's for and against:

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 ✭✭✭BrianD

    Why is P11 obsessed with the rail link to Dublin Airport?

    Can one not make the 10Km journey from the city centre by bus? While a rail or tram link is desirable I think other projects around the city should get priority.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    There is a previous thread on this topic above.

    Given the heavy subsidies needed to keep current rail services in the West going, the case for the WRC is weak. There are plenty of alternative uses to which 300 million could be put, not necessarily even in the transport sector.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 173 ✭✭P11 Comms

    Platform11 has withdrawn its support for the reopening of the entire Western Rail Corridor in favour of what we believe are more intelligent and deserving schemes around the country including Interconnector, Metro, Athlone-Mullingar, Dublin-Navan and Cork-Midleton. There is a heated and interesting exchange on our message board if any body would be interesting in coming over and adding their two cents.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,107 ✭✭✭John R

    Why is it Cork- Middleton and not Youghal?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    Platform 11 are to be congratulated on their responsible approach to the WRC. Too many lobby groups just blindly advocate any and all positions connected to their cause, however impractical. Clearly rail development should take place on the basis of where we see the greatest need.

    Group opposed to Sligo rail network
    Posted on April 6, 2004 at 06:43:55 AM by P11 Comms

    Group opposed to Sligo rail network
    Chris Ashmore - Irish Times

    The national rail transport pressure group, Platform 11, is opposing the reopening of the Western Rail Corridor (WRC) linking Sligo with Galway and Limerick.

    The group maintains that the estimated €300 million it would cost to reopen and upgrade the link along a mostly disused line could be better spent on other rail projects, such as the Cork-Midleton, Dublin-Navan and Athlone-Mullingar lines.

    The group's spokesman, Mr Derek Wheeler, said €300 million would go a long way towards securing the future of existing regional rail routes such as the Limerick-Waterford line.

    Mr Wheeler said that Dublin remained the only capital city in the EU still without a rail link of any kind to its airport.

    Platform 11, he added, did not believe that the WRC would deliver value for money to Irish taxpayers. "Rail transport in the west of Ireland would benefit more from increasing the frequency of current services into the region, which would, by default, also create viable commuter services in the west and midlands."

    He said there was no major population centre north of Tuam which was not currently served by rail.

    Regarding road-traffic congestion, which may justify a WRC rail commuter service, he maintained that this currently exists only between Tuam and Galway city.

    However, a spokesman for the West on Track campaign expressed surprise at the Platform 11 position.
    He pointed out that the campaign to reopen the route was supported by three regional authorities and local-development and tourism groups.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    Desperadoes waiting for a train.

    The WRC is a little like Dracula. The bones are in the coffin with a stake through its rib cage when some eejit like Enda Kenny comes in, pulls out the stake and its off again to spread havoc about the country.

    FG wants Western Rail Corridor re-opened
    29/04/2004 - 4:22:33 PM

    The Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has said the Border, Midlands and West Region is losing out under the National Development plan.

    Deputy Kenny claims it is largely due to the Government's failure to follow through on funding commitments made to the region, and its over-prioritisation of the East Coast.

    He has said his party supports the re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor as an urgent priority, which would have tremendous benefits for the BMW region.

    The Fine Gael leader has said the €250m cost is modest, as it compares to just five miles or Luas or two and a half miles of Metro.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,001 ✭✭✭✭Flukey

    One of the elements in tackling Dublin's transport problems is to build up the infrastructure around the rest of the country. If that was improved more business and people would be encouraged to live around the country. So doing things like opening the Western Corridor, for both rail and road, would help. There are a huge range of other such projects that should be undertaken. Ireland's road and rail systems are predominantly radial, extending out from Dublin. There should be more road and rail links linking other parts of Ireland to each other. This would all help to take the pressure off Dublin and help the rest of the country develop. So by all means open the Western Corridor and don't stop there.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    I would be glad if anyone could point out how the Western Rail Corridor will relieve pressure on Dublin. Bear in mind that this proposal has lost the support of Platform 11, who back the development of rail services generally. The more likely outcome of the WRC, if proceeded with, is it will simply divert resources from other more pressing needs.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,393 ✭✭✭Eurorunner

    @ishmael: So your position is no investment in ANY form of infrastructure in the West of Ireland.

    The west of ireland should not be punished because Dublin doesnt have a rail link to its airport.:(

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,001 ✭✭✭✭Flukey

    Dublin's infrastructure as such is fine. The problem is that there are too many peope using it. Businesses are not so keen to set up in other areas because of the lack of infrastructure. With better infrastructure around the rest of the country it would make other areas more attractive for business and people. A lot of the business that is based in Dublin could work just as effectively in other regions, particularly things that involve communications, where physical location is not so important. Good infrastructure around the rest of the country is one of the things needed to develop the rest of the country. There is a disproportionate amount of people living in the east of Ireland. Better infrastructure would take some of those people away and have a better spread of population.

    If you got something like 50,000 people living in and around Dublin and had them spread around the rest of the country that would be good for Dublin. De-centralisation of government is not a good idea in the manner being put forward at present but some general decentralisation of business and people from Dublin and the east, would be good for the country. That won't happen if the infrastructure is not there. Rail and motorway from Cork up to Derry through Limerick, Ennis, Galway, Sligo, Donegal, Letterkenny or something like that would help. Motorways from Sligo to Rosslare or Galway to Belfast, instead of just motorways from Dublin to everywhere else, would be far better. They might not get much traffic now but with the other supporting services there could be growth in these regions. I am a Dubliner and I think it would be good for Dublin for the rest of the country to be properly developed and help take some of the traffic off our streets by having more people living and working elsewhere.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    The essential point you are making relates to the national spatial strategy, which is latest attempt to plan on the basis of creation of a few centres outside Dublin on which regional development would be centred in the hope of creating a critical mass that might be able to compete with Dublin as a location. This, and previous attempts to create such centres, have failed because every small town sees itself as a potential centre. The result is resources are spread too thinly to make any effect and Dublin grows by default. The WRC does nothing to address this.

    Your other contentions are very questionable. Your statement to the effect that infrastructure will create its own demand has no real substance, and is usually used as a smokescreen in the hope of avoiding any realistic evaluation of questionable projects such as WRC.

    Your statement to the effect that Dublin's infrastructure is fine but there are too many people using it seems very dubious. But, in any case, it makes equal sense to say Dublin has the right amount of people but too little infrastructure.

    Finally, can I suggest that the reason Dublin is a centre for growth is chiefly because its population gives it critical mass. Regional development advocates would do well to consider this when deciding on the focus of their campaigns. The West would benefit more from a policy of restricting planning permissions for one-off houses in the countryside than from the WRC.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,133 ✭✭✭Slice

    The WRC should be reopened, if not entirely then in part. Studies have shown that the Cork-Limerick corridor is identified as the only other viable economic counterweight to the Dublin-Belfast corridor.

    To be honest the arguement that Dublin is the only place of critical mass that's worth investing in is a somewhat questionable position anyway. It's not a theory but a fact that improvements in infrastructure have resulted increased investment in the areas that benefit from the new infrastructure. Before services on the Cork-Cobh line were improved to today's standards it was a concern that the improved service would be under-used, and yet it's currently a possibility that the service will be improved again to cope with the passenger numbers now using the line. Improvements in services in the west will be to the benefit of Dublin

    Those who argue that investment should be concentrated in Dublin might want to take note from the point made in Frank McDonald's Dublin Under Construction. He highlighted a study in London where one of the main bridges accross the Thames was closed for over a year for engineering works. It was expected that the increase in traffic crossing alternative bridges would be equal to the traffic crossing the closed bridge, and yet that increase didn't materialise - the traffic simply dissapeared. So maybe we just have too much infrastructure in Dublin, maybe if we close some of the main roads and open a railway in the west people will actually move there//

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    Originally posted by Slice
    It's not a theory but a fact that improvements in infrastructure have resulted increased investment in the areas that benefit from the new infrastructure.

    I'd like to see this point substantiated to see if we're talking about the same thing.

    If we're deciding to invest in this or that project, the decision should be based on what brings the greatest benefit. The "strangle Dublin and they'll have to move West" approach is what has been tried, and failed, in the past. Infrastructure has only grudingly been provided in Dublin in recent years, as the need is now undeniable.

    I would advocate the apparently controversial belief that we should plan on the basis of things doing what they're meant to do, ie railways should be built where we feel they will carry passengers, not on the basis that every acre of ground has an equal right to have a railway even if there's no-one around to travel on it.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 145 ✭✭West Briton

    It shouldn't be controversial to suggest that railways are best used to alleviate existing overcrowding on the roads. Road congestion is not something that needs to be tolerated. It has a cost to the economy and makes Ireland an unattractive place to do business in.

    On that basis the strongest case can be made for the Tuam - Athenry section to be reopened as a frequent commuter railway to Galway. I am not convinced that providing trains on the section between Sligo and Claremorris is of any benefit, except to the vocal campaigners for West On Track that appear to be based there. Sligo - Claremorris was closed as long ago as 1963 and the rest of the service (run as a Limerick to Ballina service) limped on until 1976, with a skeleton service that did little or nothing to attract passengers.

    For any rail service to be viable it needs to be frequent and at regular, predictable intervals.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    I have no difficulty with proposals for rail services based on identified national needs. If a commuter service to Galway can be justified on this basis, fine.

    I do have a problem with the idea that a rail service should be provided in the absence of demand, in the belief that once its there eventually enough people will gravitate to its catchment area to use it. Firstly, its wishful thinking. Secondly, some WRC advocates have talked of being willing to wait for years for customers to turn up. The idea of empty rail carriages rolling up and down the West while people in other parts of the country need them now is simply obscene.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 173 ✭✭P11 Comms

    from the P11 Message Board:

    Re(4): Dublin's Rail Network at the Point of Meltdown - Irish Polticans in Charlestown and Knock
    Posted on May 4, 2004 at 09:26:56 AM by Ballyglunin Rant
    Galway-Limerick-Cork intercity service is in my opinion highly desirable and worthwhile investment.

    [end quote]

    The logic of this portion of the WRC or ARC is reasonable. Linking the 3rd and 4th largest cities and the potential of commuter travel (as population increases) between Ennis and Galway is an argument worth making. The difficulty I and most reasonable observers have is with WOT's instance on the prioritisation of routes north of Galway (and some might say close to the residences of a number of the most vocal WoT members.

    I live in the much mentioned Ballyglunin (population about 150). It might be "nice" to have railway access to Galway. However, in order to get to Ballyglunin train station I have to walk 2 miles or drive or cycle. This is the case for the majority of people who live in this area. That much I could make an argument for. However, if I were to commute to Galway I (and the vast majority of those who work in Galway) would then have to find a way of getting from the city to the industrial estate where I work. This will give me a total journey time of in excess of an hour. I can drive in 35 minutes. It simply doesn't make sense.

    I am a native of Cork and travel to Cork regularly. At the moment I have to drive. It would give me enormous pleasure to be able to leave my Car in Athenry and hop on a train to Cork.

    My point is, and I realise that it may have been lost in here somewhere, we need Strategic Rail Development not have arsed, politically driven, blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the West kind of development. Proper intercaity services between Dublin and Galway and Cork -Limerick - Galway would indeed be a blessing. Unfortunately, WOT are doing more to damage the chances of that than anything else.

    Seamus Brennan said that the major factor in his decision to open Oranmore and double-track it was the industrial estate opening there in the coming years. Athenry is scheduled for a similiar development. So goodness sake I hope the minister has the good sense to employ logic in all future decisions.

    1. Give us a decent Dublin- Galway service
    2. Once that is achieved, Open Ennis Athenry.
    3. As time proceeds and when the demand is shown, open a commuter service between Athenry - Galway.

    When all of that is done then we can look at the other elements of the WoT plan.

    Sorry for the rant but this is all getting a bit much.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,133 ✭✭✭Slice

    Well this is hardly a comparable example but if you're looking for instances where demand has followed supply then you only need to look at London Underground's Metropolitan line where whole parts of the city took shape around the line's very existance.

    If any proof was needed of examples closer to home then the Enterprise service has shown that an improved service results in increased demand (I have the misfortune to experience this increase on most weekends). The Dart is another example. Even though in both Irish cases a railway line has existed prior to both services being introduced, the service on the Dublin-Belfast line before the Enterprise was so woeful that it was about as useful to those living along the line as the link between Limerick and Galway is now.

    I really think there is a case to be made for a direct link between Cork and Limerick, and even Limerick and Galway, the people it wont benifit - I suspect - are the ones opposed to the idea.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    Originally posted by Slice
    Well this is hardly a comparable example ..........

    Exactly. The London Underground was hardly built in a rural area, any more than the DART, and the Enterprise connects two small cities. So I take it that I'm right to question if there is any precedent for the idea that infrastructure creates its own demand, i.e. a rail service in an unpromising location will not, by its existence, create a demand for its own service any more than putting a Spar in the Gobi Desert will create a local demand for breakfast rolls.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,608 ✭✭✭✭sceptre

    Originally posted by ishmael whale
    Exactly. The London Underground was hardly built in a rural area
    No but quite a bit of the Metropolitan line was, including parts of what we now call the Hammersmith and City line (which used to be part of the Met & about half the line is shared).

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭ishmael whale

    I think the name is a bit of a giveaway, at the same time:

    Metropolitan \Met`ro*pol"i*tan\ a. [L. metropolitanus: cf. F. mtropolitain.] Of or pertaining to the capital or principal city of a country.

    I’d be delighted to be proven wrong, but I don’t think that the WRC is expected to grow until it carries 2 million passengers a day, or 567.6 million a year. I take it the equivalent of the Metropolitan line in Ireland would be something like the rail line from Dublin to Dundalk or Mullingar.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,133 ✭✭✭Slice

    The London Underground was hardly built in a rural area

    Just to clarify - London's Metropolitan Line was mostly built in what was at the time a predominantly rural area - the city grew around the line, regardless of what that line may be called.

    Prior to the new Enterprise service being introduced it could have been argued that the improved service was not necessary because demand for the existing sevice did not suggest that an improved service was required - and yet when introduced passenger numbers increased significantly. Just because there is demand for a better service doesn't mean that people will settle for an inferior service in the meantime - therefore it isn't always reliable to judge from the existing demand of a inferior service what kind of demand an improved service would generate.

    Because of Cork and Limerick's proximity and their relatively large size a service between the two cities would no doubt meet necessary passenger numbers for it to be viable - but of course unless a train running from Limerick to Cork somehow managed to travel via Rathgar or some such place then it will never be politically popular.

This discussion has been closed.