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Western Rail Corridor

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,786 ✭✭✭antoinolachtnai


    Rail (see Luas) is much better than bus at converting car users to public transport.

    It depends on the rail service really. A good, frequent, comfortable, well-marketed predictable bus service is better than a crap rail service.


  • Registered Users Posts: 919 ✭✭✭jbkenn


    The general trend is for tax to be raised on the East coast and distributed throughout the country, including the West. This does not mean that the East needs to pay a tithe to the West every time it needs to build some infrastructure. You seem to be saying that the West should get a chunk of rail just for being the West, without any justification for why a rail service is necessary. That’s bad economics and an unreasonable expectation for the political system to deliver.
    No, contrary to popular belief, taxes are raised on a nationwide basis and distributed throughout the country.

    jbkenn


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


    Sorry, that wording was a little loose. Here's a more precise statement. According to the Central Statistics Office 60% of net tax paid by households is raised in the Dublin area, which increases to 80% if the Mid East region (Meath, Kildare, Wicklow) is added. Cork contributes about 10%. The rest of the country combined contributes the remaining 10%. Net tax contribution is therefore chiefly raised in the Dublin and Mid East region, and distributed throughout the country.

    Just as a little footnote on the WRC. The AA online route planner suggests that the journey time by car between Limerick and Ennis is 30 minutes. They estimate Galway to Sligo by car is two hours.

    West on track’s sample timetable suggests Galway to Sligo by train will take 2 hrs 20 minutes (as against 2 hrs 30 minutes by bus.) Westontrack suggest Ennis to Limerick by rail can be scheduled at 30 minutes. However, the actual real life service seems to be scheduled at 40 minutes.

    To give some point of comparison, the AA say Dublin to Cork by car takes 3hours 30 minutes. Train seems to be in and around 3 hours, depending on the precise service. Bus is 4 hours 30 minutes. So train promises a faster Dublin-Cork journey than car, and a substantially faster journey than bus.

    €300 million for a rail service that offers no time advantage over car and precious little advantage over bus needs some justification.

    http://www.theaa.com/travelwatch/inc/planner_main_redirect.jsp
    http://www.westontrack.com/timetable01.htm
    http://www.buseireann.ie/site/home/


  • Registered Users Posts: 919 ✭✭✭jbkenn


    Sorry, that wording was a little loose. Here's a more precise statement. According to the Central Statistics Office 60% of net tax paid by households is raised in the Dublin area, which increases to 80% if the Mid East region (Meath, Kildare, Wicklow) is added. Cork contributes about 10%. The rest of the country combined contributes the remaining 10%. Net tax contribution is therefore chiefly raised in the Dublin and Mid East region, and distributed throughout the country.
    Stands to reason with the greater population density located in the region
    Just as a little footnote on the WRC. The AA online route planner suggests that the journey time by car between Limerick and Ennis is 30 minutes. They estimate Galway to Sligo by car is two hours.
    Have you driven the route lately? I have.
    West on track’s sample timetable suggests Galway to Sligo by train will take 2 hrs 20 minutes (as against 2 hrs 30 minutes by bus.) Westontrack suggest Ennis to Limerick by rail can be scheduled at 30 minutes. However, the actual real life service seems to be scheduled at 40 minutes.
    It takes 25 minutes from Ennis to Longpavement level crossing (I timed it yesterday, the gates at longpavement were closed, so the train had to stop, the operation of the level crossing at Longpavement is carried out by an IE employee driving from Colbert station, why, when they spent so much time ghouling around with it during the recent upgrade they could'nt have installed an automatic level crossing is beyond me, and, dont tell me it would cost €700,000, its a pair of electric barriers, not a space shuttle) and 15 minutes for the remainder of the journey to Colbert station which necessitated another stop at Ballysimon, which I presume was to allow another train to clear the track
    To give some point of comparison, the AA say Dublin to Cork by car takes 3hours 30 minutes. Train seems to be in and around 3 hours, depending on the precise service. Bus is 4 hours 30 minutes. So train promises a faster Dublin-Cork journey than car, and a substantially faster journey than bus.
    The AA journey planner is not a good source of comparison. theoretical and actual journey time can vary considerably.
    €300 million for a rail service that offers no time advantage over car and precious little advantage over bus needs some justification.
    You dont seem to take account of the people who are not car owners, or car owners who would take the train if it were an option.

    jbkenn

    http://www.theaa.com/travelwatch/inc/planner_main_redirect.jsp
    http://www.westontrack.com/timetable01.htm
    http://www.buseireann.ie/site/home/[/QUOTE]


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 823 ✭✭✭MG


    Victor - I'll try to quote properly, might learn something new today!
    You don’t seem to be suggesting any appropriate way of evaluating the Limerick Ennis line.

    I would suggest evaluating it against the targets which IE set for it and on which the initial go ahead was given for it. The noises from IE are positive. I’ve already shown that comparison with the LUAS is inappropriate and difficult. Comparison with Bus Eireann on the same route is valid but also difficult to appraise. As one previous contributor mentioned, a train ride is more pleasant. It is less prone to traffic delays, a phenomenon heightened during rush hour. It is also much more successful in shifting away from car usage than buses. I have often found that train commuters are content with the train, but bus commuters aspire to owning a car. Furthermore, I am not aware of bus routes having any noticeable effect on good planning practice & area development in the same way as rail.

    Calling this analysis ‘next to useless’ is simply avoiding the very obvious conclusion that this rail service is poor value for money, and a fair indication that further development along the WRC is not justified.

    Not sure of what logic you are applying. What I am suggesting is that inappropriate analysis results in inappropriate conclusions.

    Just to get a flavour of how high the Limerick Ennis costs are, consider this. According to the DTO there are 280,000 peak hour car commuters in Dublin. If we targeted to get even 20% to initially shift to rail, 56,000 per day, or 112,000 journeys, the Limerick benchmark would justify an outlay of €26 million * 250 working days or €6.5 billion. If we targeted 40% it would be €13 billion. To justify such overfunding compared to benefits I think we need a bit more than knowing this ‘could’ be an important development corridor at some unknown time in the future.

    In 2001, the DTO aimed to reduce the peak hour car commuters in Dublin by 70,000. The cost of this was to be 21.9 billion. This is something which can be easily spun either way as there are lots of variables and assumptions – different plan to the IE plan, multi modal, 2001 prices, first year Limerick Ennis figures etc, etc
    neither Limerick Ennis nor the WRC offers no significant apparent advantage over road..

    Rail offers many advantages over road some of which I have noted above. Rail also has many advantages for roads as congestion is reduced, journey times improved and fewer accidents.
    (As I understand it the WRC proposal tabled by West-on-Track relates to reopening the line from Ennis to Sligo, and that is what there cost estimate relates to. )

    Their cost estimate relates to Ennis Sligo but I have scaled it back as per their report detail, pro rating where necessary, for Ennis to Galway (inc. double tracking Galway-Athenry which has wider network advantages). I think the SRR figure for Ennis to Galway only was €290 but I am subject to correction on this.

    Finally, on the tax, could you quote a source for this. My source suggests that Dublin contributes 37.6% of national household tax, rising to 48.9% including Kildare, Meath and Wicklow (CSO: County income & regional survey)


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


    We are completely in the dark as to what targets IE have set for it, or how they compare to targets set for other projects. We have no information other that IE’s ‘positive noises’ which, on examination, don’t seem that positive. You are asking us to buy a pig in a poke.
    You haven’t shown that comparison with the LUAS is inappropriate and difficult. You’ve simply tried to talk past the point that evaluating the known costs and benefits suggests that the Limerick Ennis commuter service performs badly in terms of value for money, and, unlike other routes, offers no benefits in terms of time saved over competing forms of transport. Really, the key things that tell you if a particular public transport service cuts the mustard is people carried, cost and journey time.
    The bottom line is Limerick Ennis costs a multiple of the Luas in terms of the key result – number of people carried. Yet the spin is Luas very costly, Limerick Ennis great success.

    You have listed some general theoretical advantages relating to rail, rather than assessment of the benefits of the WRC. The WRC does not offer any significant advantage over road, as I have outlined above.

    I’m not sure exactly how you are arriving at your cost for Ennis Galway, but I’ll take it at face value. The key point is Limerick Ennis does not seem to be such a thundering success that suggests further investment is justified. Equally, a little disclosure of the costs and benefits of Limerick Waterford would help public debate.
    MG wrote:
    Finally, on the tax, could you quote a source for this.

    http://www.cso.ie/publications/finance/regincome.pdf
    Table 11 on page 23 reveals the following:
    Total household income for State = 76,365 m
    Total household income for Dublin = 26,578 m (35% of total)
    Total household income for Mid East = 8,026 m (11% of total)
    Total household income for Dublin/Mid East = 34,604 m (46% of total)
    Total household income for Cork = 8,390 m (11% of total)
    Total household income for rest = 33,371 m (43% of total)

    Now lets look at the net tax take – that is, the tax paid by residents of a particular county, less any social transfers paid to them, such as children’s allowance, state pensions etc.

    Net tax paid by households in State = 14,834m tax – 11,113m transfers = 3,721 m
    Net tax paid by Dublin = 5,576m – 3,355m = 2,221m (60% of total)
    Net tax paid by mid East = 1,674m – 925m = 749m (20% of total)
    Net tax paid by Dublin/mid East = 2,221m + 749m = 2,970m (80% of total)
    Net tax paid by Cork = 1,633m – 1,286m = 347m (9% of total)
    Net tax paid by rest = 5951m – 5547m = 404m (11% of total)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 823 ✭✭✭MG


    To reiterate, the projects cannot be compared so simplistically because they are different systems, operating in different markets. I agree with you that IE should be more open with their statistics but I can’t do anything about it. The history of IE is to close lines not to reopen them and they have stated that it is exceeding targets. That’s all we have to go on.
    You have listed some general theoretical advantages relating to rail, rather than assessment of the benefits of the WRC. The WRC does not offer any significant advantage over road, as I have outlined above.

    Tell that to the people stuck in traffic every morning. Galway and Limerick would both benefit from reduced road congestion. For example, congestion in Galway is estimated to cost the city €93.6m per year. Commuters need real choices. Wouldn’t you agree?

    My cost for the Ennis Galway comes from the WOT track survey. It is mostly broken down by track section allowing calculations on the Ennis-Galway section. The part which is not broken down can be apportioned. This would therefore come to about €100 by my calculations. The SRR costs this section at €290 I think. This seems high to me but I am factoring it in to my thinking.

    Thanks for the source on the tax, I can see where you are coming from now. That is the system we have in this nation state. It’s not perfect. We may not always like it but it can often lead to an unbalanced distribution, especially with a centralised seat of government, (It would be interesting to see the invisible transfer from having a centralised government). I can see the argument for balanced regional development as having long-term benefits for Dublin too. But never mind that argument, it’s a sideshow to this point. Let’s take your point as being entirely fair and work with it.

    If 3.69 bn is needed for both the Dublin rail plan and Ennis to Galway, then that is fine. Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow contribute 80% of national net household taxes, Limerick, Clare and Galway contribute 9%. To divide the 3.69 bn fairly in these ratios, it looks as if €290m for Ennis-Galway is achievable with some change to spare.


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


    MG wrote:
    To reiterate, the projects cannot be compared so simplistically because they are different systems, operating in different markets.

    If the markets are so different, maybe rail just isn’t the solution. Available information suggests that rail offers no time advantage. (Yes, I accept AA and CIE timetable data are just estimates subject to time of day, operational problems, whatever, but they at least represent some kind of objective information. Clearly any calculation of average journey is, hem, an average.) I would therefore expect few people to use the service and that seems to be borne out by events. You need to be able to point to some concrete benefit that justifies the cost, something that suggests that local people just haven’t coped on to what a great service it is. But it just doesn’t seem to be there.

    Bear in mind Luas offers people who used to grind through traffic the prospect of getting into town in twenty minutes from Sandyford and forty from Tallaght. (Its not scientific, but I’m amazed at some of the confirmed motorists who have finally given up their cars to use it.) By comparison, Limerick Ennis just doesn’t seem to have that kind of selling point.
    MG wrote:
    Galway and Limerick would both benefit from reduced road congestion. … Commuters need real choices.

    Indeed commuters need real choices. But rail may not be suitable to Western conditions, which is actually what Limerick Ennis suggests. What’s the point of spending €300 if it does nothing to reduce congestion?
    MG wrote:
    We may not always like it but it can often lead to an unbalanced distribution, especially with a centralised seat of government.

    Indeed, so long as we are clear that the city hosting the centralised seat of government is the one paying the lion’s share of net tax. There’s a lengthy thread discussing the government’s nutty decentralisation proposals at http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=166556.1
    MG wrote:
    Limerick, Clare and Galway contribute 9%. To divide the 3.69 bn fairly in these ratios, it looks as if €290m for Ennis-Galway is achievable with some change to spare.

    This is a variant on the idea that the West deserves a tithe. Put another way, do you think we should close the Westport service because Mayo is a net recipient of State funds?
    If Dubliners took this attitude then large tracts of the country would never see any State provided services other than income supports. No Garda, no road maintenance, no rail, etc etc.


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


    Looking at this article, you’d feel the paucity of information on passenger numbers for Limerick-Ennis was a conspiracy. “14 trains a day use the route” but there’s no indication of how many people are on those trains.

    I take it if the WRC does get the go-ahead we can look forward to similar propaganda. Even if the daily passenger load consists of a man and his dog we’ll be told that it’s a tremendous success, exceeding expectations and confounding the nay sayers. And if he brings his wife with him it’ll be announced as an 100% increase in passenger loads, utterly confounding the critics.

    http://www.unison.ie/tuam_herald/stories.php3?ca=38&si=1331441&issue_id=12026
    “Tuam-Athenry line could be opened in just four months
    Tuam Herald 3 february 2005
    THE Tuam-Athenry railway line should take just under four months to repair if it gets the go ahead from the Minister for Transport.
    According to railway experts within Galway County Council even through the track would have to be rebuilt, the foundations of the railway line are good making it the most economically viable section of the Western Rail Corridor (WRC)……….
    Members of the West on Track campaign previously said they believe this section of the line will be opened by next summer, and lines from Tuam, Athenry and Claremorris will prove as popular as the newly reopened line from Ennis to Limerick.
    The Ennis to Limerick line became Iarnród Éireann’s first track to be re-opened, having been closed for over a year. Renovation works on the 23-mile line cost over €13 million, and 14 trains a day now use the route.”

    For anyone interested, there’s a wee discussion at Platform11 about this article. Among other things it reveals what is meant by "railway experts within Galway County Council"

    http://platform11.hyperboards2.com/index.cgi?action=display&cat=welcome&board=transitplan&thread=1107432657


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,351 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    According to railway experts within Galway County Council
    Interesting, does GCC run railways now?
    even through the track would have to be rebuilt
    I wonder who's going to do this. I presume Irish Rail's permanent way department is booked out for the next while.
    the foundations of the railway line are good making it the most economically viable section of the Western Rail Corridor (WRC)……….
    I wonder just how economically viable this really is with a town of 7,000 at the end?
    MG wrote:
    In 2001, the DTO aimed to reduce the peak hour car commuters in Dublin by 70,000. The cost of this was to be 21.9 billion. This is something which can be easily spun either way as there are lots of variables and assumptions – different plan to the IE plan, multi modal, 2001 prices, first year Limerick Ennis figures etc, etc
    Now, now, lies, damned lies and statistics. Didn't this investment allow for something like 400,000 public transport journeys?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 823 ✭✭✭MG


    If the markets are so different, maybe rail just isn’t the solution. Available information suggests that rail offers no time advantage. (Yes, I accept AA and CIE timetable data are just estimates subject to time of day, operational problems, whatever, but they at least represent some kind of objective information. Clearly any calculation of average journey is, hem, an average.) I would therefore expect few people to use the service and that seems to be borne out by events. You need to be able to point to some concrete benefit that justifies the cost, something that suggests that local people just haven’t coped on to what a great service it is. But it just doesn’t seem to be there.

    Maybe rail is the solution (or part of it) but just that light rail such as the LUAS is not. I’m sure a LUAS system would get far more patrons but may not be worth the cost of laying new lines when there are existing lines for the other type. The cost benefit may simply be better for heavier rail. That is to say, if a LUAS type system is not possible in Limerick then it is not a suitable benchmark. Rail is part of the traffic solution for most cities, especially when the routes are already there. I’m not sure Limerick is so different from anywhere else (except for Thomand Park which is). The beauty of reopening the Limerick to Galway line is that it actually strengthens the existing Limerick-Ennis section. Moreover, the Limerick commuter rail network has the potential to easily expand and achieve critical mass. The LUAS is a great development, as are the plans for rail in Dublin. As you said yourself, people start using it, many give up the car. Rail has shown that it is significantly better at encouraging a modal switch from car to public transport than buses. But the LUAS was probably the most heavily discussed piece of infrastructure in the history of the state so hardly surprising that lots of people tried it out. Contrast that to Limerick Ennis, I wonder how many people heard that discussed on Joe Duffy or the Last Word day in day out for years? JBKenn seems to think that IE need to do some advertising for Limerick to Ennis. I bet that hasn’t got the publicity the LUAS has. He also notes that there is great potential for development along the line and as this happens and some of the intermediate stations open, usage will increase all the time. It’s great that it can be done now, rather than many times more expensively in twenty years time. As he lives in Limerick, I suppose he is the person to ask whether rail has a part to play in reducing traffic congestion in Limerick.



    Indeed, so long as we are clear that the city hosting the centralised seat of government is the one paying the lion’s share of net tax.

    I Broadly agree. As tax rates do not distinguish between regions, part of the disproportionately large tax take in Dublin is merely the result of the almost arbitrary allocation of the seat of central government. It is the redistribution of this tax which is the compensation for this almost artificial enrichment of Dublin. This implies that the west does deserve, to use your rather pejorative term, a “tithe”. However, it’s clear that the counties in question, Limerick, Clare and Galway (and Cork too, I suppose) are not looking for a “tithe” anyway.

    It’s very difficult to find any IE figures for any line. Their operating profits were up last year due increased investment apparently but I have yet to see the figures to analyse. They have said passenger numbers are above expectations. JBKenn mentioned 80% occupancy on his trip. These are positive signals for the Limerick to Ennis line.

    So far all we have established is that the transport system in one city may offer better value in the short term than the transport system in another city. I’d wager that there are other systems in other cities offer better value for money than the LUAS. This does not mean the LUAS should not have gone ahead. This is not proof of anything and far from proof that we should forget about the WRC based on Limerick to Ennis experiences.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 823 ✭✭✭MG


    Victor wrote:
    Now, now, lies, damned lies and statistics. Didn't this investment allow for something like 400,000 public transport journeys?

    “To reduce peak hour car trips from 250,000 to 180,000 (i.e. 28%) in 2016.” – Platform for change DTO.

    Lies, damn lies and statistics – my point exactly. I think if you look at my next sentence it reads “This is something which can be easily spun either way”. If one contributor is abusing statistics to reach dramatic and dubious conclusions, I have no compunction in doing the same to highlight the folly of it.


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


    MG wrote:
    The cost benefit may simply be better for heavier rail.

    The point is that Limerick-Ennis brings plenty by way of cost and very little by way of benefit.
    MG wrote:
    Rail is part of the traffic solution for most cities, especially when the routes are already there.

    This is simply statement of general features of rail transportation. You are not looking at the reality of the Limerick Ennis service, which is making no great contribution to moving people between the two locations.
    MG wrote:
    IE need to do some advertising for Limerick to Ennis.

    You’re not addressing the key point. The Limerick Ennis rail service offers no real time advantage over road. Add more station to the route and it will be even slower. Luas provides a time advantage over road. That’s why it has overcome its bad publicity and is patronised within weeks of its launch. Limerick Ennis has, on the other hand, received a number of write-ups where its described as a success. But the substance isn’t there, so it isn’t getting the business.
    MG wrote:
    It’s great that it can be done now, rather than many times more expensively in twenty years time.

    Paying for a rail service we don’t need on the off-chance someone might us it in twenty years time is not rational.
    MG wrote:
    As tax rates do not distinguish between regions, part of the disproportionately large tax take in Dublin is merely the result of the almost arbitrary allocation of the seat of central government…..

    I can’t really follow this part of your post. My feeling is it’s a bit of a rant, reflecting a discomfort with the reality that Dublin is both the nation’s capital and Dublin and the Mid East region households are the main source of net tax take. Get over it.
    MG wrote:
    However, it’s clear that the counties in question, Limerick, Clare and Galway (and Cork too, I suppose) are not looking for a “tithe” anyway.

    My comments in this area have been in response to statements to the effect that projects like the WRC should proceed because the West deserves a share of whatever the East is doing, even if there is no pressing need for a service. That’s a tithe in my book.
    MG wrote:
    So far all we have established is that the transport system in one city may offer better value in the short term than the transport system in another city.

    What we have established is the cost of Limerick Ennis is considerably higher than Luas in terms of passengers carried. An objective assessment would be ‘do more stuff where the Luas is and less where Limerick is because the demand just isn’t there.’


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 823 ✭✭✭MG


    Let’s just review IW’s arguments and my responses/observations:

    We should forget about the WRC because:

    · There are other priorities – unproven, other priorities for whom?
    · Limerick – Ennis is unsuccessful compared to the LUAS– unproven, not enough information available though there are some positive signals, not comparing like with like
    · Limerick – Ennis offers no advantage over road – the times can certainly be improved but time is not the sole consideration, there are other like parking, cost & hassle
    · The WRC would prevent plans for Dublin proceeding – very doubtful, the WRC Galway Ennis is a drop in the ocean compared with the finance Dublin requires. No reason for one to stop the other.
    · There isn’t enough money to pay for it from limited fixed funds – there is plenty of money to waste on voting machines for instance, funding for rail does not need to be fixed
    · Dublin should not pay for the West’s little fancies – actually it should transfer some wealth but this is entirely irrelevant as the counties in question are actually paying for it themselves
    · “do more stuff where the Luas is and less where Limerick is because the demand just isn’t there” – unproven, there is a need for log term planning as well as short term demand based reactions, also see above
    · “Get over it “– there are many ways to deal with an argument like this – ignore it, use insults, use sarcasm etc. I have decided to highlight it to the person who used it, take it as my cue to leave the stage and ask the contributor to reflect on the issue with an open mind. Feel free to have last word.


    One final thing I would like to say. I know some people feel that there is a lot of pro-WRC propaganda around but I think people should also realise that there is also a considerable amount of unfounded anti-WRC propaganda too.


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


    It is a simple fact that Limerick-Ennis costs more to deliver, and brings no real benefits over road. The lack of advantage over road, and the weakness of any other perceived advantage, is confirmed by the lack of punters. I’m not the one saying Limerick Ennis is a waste. The people of the Mid West are voting with their feet.

    Any use of resources for one project necessary implies resources denied to another. I’d take it as read that demands on the public purse exceed supply, and I frankly don’t understand how you expect a request for ‘proof’ of this to have any credibility.
    MG wrote:
    There isn’t enough money to pay for it from limited fixed funds – there is plenty of money to waste on voting machines for instance, funding for rail does not need to be fixed

    I’m glad you see the link between wasting money on E Voting and wasting it on the WRC.
    MG wrote:
    Dublin should not pay for the West’s little fancies – actually it should transfer some wealth but this is entirely irrelevant as the counties in question are actually paying for it themselves

    The data clearly shows that significant wealth is transferred from Dublin and Mid East to national finances, to the benefit of the West and other regions. You seem to feel that no other county has any obligation to contribute to national finances.

    Thankfully Dubliners don’t share this parochial perspective, or large parts of the country would have no services other than income supports.
    MG wrote:
    “Get over it “– there are many ways to deal with an argument like this – ignore it, use insults, use sarcasm etc. I have decided to highlight it to the person who used it, take it as my cue to leave the stage and ask the contributor to reflect on the issue with an open mind.

    Read the relevant part of your earlier contribution, to which my comment responds. Your distaste for Dublin’s position as the capital, and discomfort at the simple fact that Dublin contributes far more to national welfare than it takes, is clear to see.
    MG wrote:
    One final thing I would like to say. I know some people feel that there is a lot of pro-WRC propaganda around but I think people should also realise that there is also a considerable amount of unfounded anti-WRC propaganda too.

    I don’t doubt there is, but that’s hardly relevant to my contribution to the debate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,351 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    MG wrote:
    Moreover, the Limerick commuter rail network has the potential to easily expand and achieve critical mass.
    The railway lines in Limerick are actually in areas that are mostly undeveloped. For it to work (a) those areas would need to receive high-density development (b) Clare county council would have to remove it's pro-rural development policies and re-focus development into towns and villages along the line (c) it's probable the Limerick city boundaries would need to be re-drawn to stop Clare and Limerick county councils from poaching development.
    JBKenn mentioned 80% occupancy on his trip.
    But note that the equivalent DART or Luas peak-time journey might have 150%+ occupancy


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭Yoda


    11:55, 3 March 2005

    Colmán Ó Raghallaigh in Claremorris is reporting that the government has set some money aside for some sort of development with regard to rail in the west. I don't have the details but will ring Colmán and ask him.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,455 ✭✭✭dmeehan


    there was some item on the news about this last night
    cant remember if it was RTE or TV3


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


    WOT put this on their website:

    http://www.westontrack.com/news115.htm
    “The West on Track Community Campaign has warmly welcomed the announcement by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in the Dáil this morning, that financial provision has been made by the Government for the re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor. Speaking during Taoiseach's question time, in response to questions from Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte, Mr Ahern said: "We have been supportive of this all the way through. The report is to identify how it can best be achieved. The finances for it are already with the Department and, from presentations we have received, I know it will be part of the ten-year rail plan. Therefore, provision has already been made for it."…..”

    The original Dail statement is at the link below. WOT are leaving out the bit where Bertie said ‘As much as we can, it makes sense to support and engage in what is viable, based on expert advice.’ So it depends on the extent to which the present review deems a reopening or partial reopening to be viable.

    Clearly WOT are hoping to create an expectation that this statement amounts to a funding commitment, which it clearly isn’t yet.

    It would be a bit of a pisser if money gets spent on an unneeded project in the West, ahead of other projects that would actually serve a purpose.

    http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DZoom.aspx?F=DAL20050 302.xml&pid=Bertie
    “The Taoiseach: Information Zoom I am advised that the report by the chairman will be ready in April. The Minister, Deputy Cullen, tells me he believes it will be in early April. We have been supportive of this all the way through. The report is to identify how it can best be achieved. There will probably be arguments about the viability of where the western rail corridor starts and ends. I have heard the arguments about whether Sligo is the best location, as Deputy Kenny said, but I am not an expert in such matters. As much as we can, it makes sense to support and engage in what is viable, based on expert advice. The finances for it are already with the Department and, from presentations we have received, I know it will be part of the ten-year rail plan. Therefore, provision has already been made for it. What is not clear from the discussions is where they should start, where it is viable and where it is not viable. It has been stated that technically the way to return to a proper rail link in the west is to proceed on a phased basis. …….”


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,351 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Hmmm .... like the €15bn NRA roads programme was financed (with €5bn).


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


    The WRC has attracted a lot of dumb arguments in support, and you derive no amusement from slagging them off you need read no further. Here’s another from Bev, suggesting it would be good for third level students.

    They’re third level students. They’re only there for part of the year. What do you do with the rail service for the rest of the year? Presumably only a fraction of the 55,000 live along the route of the WRC. Some of them will attend colleges not in the Western region. Some will already live close the college they attend.

    If there’s truly a pool of students in Claremorris who want to commute to Galway every day, what’s wrong with a bus? It’ll get them there in the same time as the proposed WRC, and if there’s a demand for it the service might actually break even.

    Do WRC advocates get some perverse pleasure from wasting other people’s money?

    http://www.westernpeople.ie/news/story.asp?j=24874
    Wednesday, April 20, 2005
    West rail corridor would benefit third level students

    The potential of the proposed Western Rail Corridor as a facilitator for third level education in the West has been highlighted by Mayo TD, Beverley Flynn.
    Deputy Flynn said that at present there are more than 55,000 people availing of third level education in the West and Mid West regions. The counties of the Western Seaboard continue to have the highest level of student uptake for third level education in Ireland.
    “The potential of the market could be a significant factor in boosting rail resources when the Western Rail Corridor is opened”, she said.
    “While on the other hand, the benefits of commuting for third level students would mean substantial savings for them in terms of accommodation expenses”.
    Deputy Flynn said that there would be significant potential for students from centres such as Claremorris and Tuam to travel to Galway on a daily basis, returning home at night.
    Similarly, with hundreds of North Mayo students travelling to Sligo, the provision of quality train services at suitable times and at attractive student rates would be a major benefit to students and their families.
    “With accommodation and living expenses running as high as €7,000 per year in most cities, cheap and effective commuter transport would be a welcome financial relief for students and their families,” she added.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 79 ✭✭PandaMania


    How about building a Maglev from Claremorris to the National Ploughing Championship?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 79 ✭✭PandaMania


    "Similarly, with hundreds of North Mayo students travelling to Sligo, the provision of quality train services at suitable times and at attractive student rates would be a major benefit to students and their families."

    Ballina to Claremorris by Train = 40 mins
    Claremorris to Sligo by train = 1:30
    Total = 2:10

    Bus from Ballina to Sligo = 25 mins (no change at Claremorris)


    Did a spaceship land in Mayo recently?


  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭enterprise


    [QUOTE=PandaManiaBus from Ballina to Sligo = 25 mins (no change at Claremorris)
    [/QUOTE]

    Pretty fast bus you have there! Consulting my Bus Eireann Timetable I find that an Expressway service takes 1 hr 25 mins while a local service takes 1 hr 50 mins.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,351 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Are there actually 55,000 student in the West & Mid-west? Just how many actually study within the region and within commutinh distance?
    returning home at night.
    Won't Mammy love that, especially the 10 miles [strike]hike[/strike] 4x4 trip to the train station in the middle of milking :rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 79 ✭✭PandaMania


    sorry that should of been 1:25 mins for the Ballina-Sligo bus which I can see now is still off the mark.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,222 ✭✭✭Scruff


    i read an article where it said the government had approved money only for the fincially viable part. ie limerick-ennis-galway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Scruff wrote:
    i read an article where it said the government had approved money only for the fincially viable part. ie limerick-ennis-galway.
    Unfortunately for the people of this region, WoT are determined to hell or to Sligo! They care little for people who live in the larger population centres and want every pissy village to have a railway station like in the 1940's when the road alternative was not an alternative. It is today and we need to be sensible and balance funding. Utterly pointless waste of money. (Cork)-Limerick-Galway IC services, that's the future coupled with commuter routes along this axis.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 79 ✭✭PandaMania


    murphaph wrote:
    Unfortunately for the people of this region, WoT are determined to hell or to Sligo! They care little for people who live in the larger population centres and want every pissy village to have a railway station like in the 1940's when the road alternative was not an alternative. It is today and we need to be sensible and balance funding. Utterly pointless waste of money. (Cork)-Limerick-Galway IC services, that's the future coupled with commuter routes along this axis.

    one-off rural railways.


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


    Victor wrote:
    Are there actually 55,000 student in the West & Mid-west?

    http://www.hea.ie/uploads/excel/DESIrishFTCounty03.xls

    According to this, there’s 19,000 third level students from Connaught. 9,000 of them attend college in Galway, but 5,600 of them actually come from Galway. (Note: I’ve a feeling these figures don’t take account of the Castlebar campus of GMIT, as there seems to be no figure for students from Mayo who attend college in Mayo. GMIT Castlebar accommodates 900 students). Limerick and Clare would add about another 10,000 so, yes, its hard to see where the figure of 55,000 comes from.

    Taking Bev’s core example, there’s 4,700 students third level students from Mayo. 2,000 of these attend college in Galway (this may include some attending GMIT Castlebar). 650 attend college in Sligo. So her target audience is maybe 1,500 to 2,500 – well short of the 55,000 she was spouting about. We don’t know what portion of these actually live close enough to a rail station to access the WRC as a commuter service, but given the spread of population in Mayo I think we can take it that the answer is not a lot.


This discussion has been closed.
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