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A guided tour of the ghost train (article on Limerick Jct - Waterford line)

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  • 12-05-2009 12:22pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭


    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/2009/0512/1224246310684.html

    Irish Times, Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    On the train journey from Limerick Junction to Waterford, the (very few) passengers say the service is good and the value even better. So why is this the least-used rail route in the country?


    IT’S EARLY MONDAY morning, and all that’s missing is the tumbleweed and creaking signs. I’m heading east on the 8.50am train from Limerick Junction to Waterford, officially the least-used intercity rail route in Ireland.
    This modern two-carriage train can take up to 105 passengers. This is the first service of the day on this route, which has four return trains daily, and there are only five passengers on board. Iarnród Éireann figures show that 54,000 passengers use this line annually – an average of 17 passengers per trip.
    In contrast, the Cork-to-Dublin intercity line carries more than three million passengers a year. First stop on our ghost train of sorts was Tipperary town, where two of the five passengers got off. Apart from several Iarnród Éireann workers in fluorescent jackets, the station gave little indication it was still in use.
    Of the passengers who got on, local man Michael Kinane, his wife, Noreen, and their two children made up the majority. They were on a family day out, travelling to Waterford. I asked Michael if this stop is always this quiet?
    “I wouldn’t have a clue, as I haven’t been on this train journey in decades,” he says. “I pass this station on the way to work twice a day, for the last 35 years, and this is my first time on it in that time. My little boy here wanted a trip on the train, and I’ve been promising him for the last year or so. I should be working today, but I’ve taken the day off for the kids.”
    It’s well-known locally that this particular service is under- utilised, adds Michael, and by way of reinforcing his point he relays an anecdote about the route. “I heard it said by someone once that if Iarnród Éireann took all the passengers who use this journey off it, hired a limousine to take them to Waterford and back, and then paid for their dinner, the company would still save money.”
    Part of the problem, he believes, is that the route isn’t actively promoted locally. If more people were made aware of it, then the service might pick up.
    “People going in the other direction use it as a link to Dublin via Limerick Junction, but very few people travel to Waterford or Tramore. I think it’s a terrible shame,” he says. “We got on at the station with less than half a dozen people. It needs to be promoted, because the service is very good and the value, at €5.95 return to Waterford, is great. It’s down to telling people. There are no signs around Tipperary telling people. I’ve only seen two ads for the line since the service was rescheduled two years ago.”
    The Limerick Junction-to-Waterford line is what Iarnród Éireann calls a “lightly used line”. Despite improvements to the timetable and cleaner, more efficient, carriages, this line remains the least-used in the country.
    REGIONAL MANAGER Jim Meade, a company man for almost 30 years, met me at Cahir. The station is one of several throughout the country now unmanned. The original station house is used for storage and one-half of the long platform is closed to passengers. Not so long ago, this would have been a bustling stop-off, with goods unloaded at the far end of the platform amid the hiss and screech of steam and steel.
    Improvement in the road network and the development of larger vehicles over the last three decades has meant increased competition not only for commuter rail travel, but also for commercial rail freight.
    “All these stations would have been hives of activity in bygone years, because everything moved by train,” says Meade as we tour the derelict outbuildings. “There’s an old goods store over there. The likes of cement and fertiliser would have been delivered here and, if you go back far enough, cattle would have been transported from here, too. It’s all locked up now. We use it for storage. The old station house is locked up, too. We maintain the buildings, but still, it’s sad really. But, I suppose, you have to move with the times.”
    Meade says that while this route has never quite taken off, unlike say the Ennis-Limerick service, the last few months has seen a downturn in numbers overall on the rail network.
    “I think a lot of the discretional travel has stopped and business travel is also less,” he says. “Some lines though, despite increased frequency and better rail stock, are still a challenge.”
    At Cahir Station, I changed trains and headed back towards Limerick Junction. The return journey was just as under- populated, with 11 passengers on board. Among them was a woman travelling from Waterford to Dublin. She said she usually drives to Cahir and takes the train from there to Dublin. From Cahir, she explained, the return ticket to Dublin is €24. However if she travels from Dublin to Cahir the ticket is €58 return.
    “The pricing is bizarre and might be turning people off taking the trip. It’s always this quiet. Often I’d have the carriage to myself.”
    She said Iarnród Éireann has yet to grasp fully the Ryanair model of differential pricing, which could help fill otherwise empty carriages.
    The difference in pricing by Iarnród Éireann reflects the demand in each direction. So far this year, the company says business is down 10 per cent.
    “It’s a challenge,” says Iarnród Éireann spokesperson Barry Kenny, “but everyone is being challenged at the moment. We’re not alone, and others are suffering a lot more than we are.”
    Hugh Chaplain, an expert in rail travel, says Iarnród Éireann could learn a lot from the UK experience during the 1980s.
    “In the 1980s, British Rail saw a huge reduction in patronage,” he says. “What happened was that plans to increase the number of trains were shelved. When the economy began to grow again, the rail service was unable to cope. I hope in Ireland you can avoid that. Journeys, whether it is Cork to Dublin or Limerick to Waterford, all benefit from capital spend. After that, it’s a matter of getting the frequency and marketing of the route right.”
    ARRIVING BACK INTO Limerick Junction, there were noticeable signs of the continued investment in both the station itself and the modern rail stock servicing it. The waiting area has been revamped with improved seating and refreshment facilities, as well as newly- refurbished toilet and ticketing areas.
    “We have more induction loops and markings for the visually impaired and have generally made the stations more user-friendly,” says Meade. “This station alone is over 150 years old and almost a mile in length, making it one of the longest platforms in Ireland.”
    Not everyone, though, is pleased with the modernisation of the Irish railways. New track and modern rail carriages have meant that the sound trains make while travelling on tracks has changed. There are only a handful of older lines left that have the distinctive rhythm of journeys of old. Some customers find the move to modernity something of a discomfort.
    “The clickety-click of the train signifies when we are on the old jointed track. Now we have what’s called ‘continuous welded rail’, so we have no joints and it’s much smoother,” says Meade.
    “We had one letter of complaint from a man who said that because the line is much more continuous, he couldn’t sleep on the trains. So you can’t please everyone.”
    Down the line: passenger journeys with Iarnród Éireann
    The total number of train passenger journeys last year was 44.6 million compared to 34.5 million in 2004.

    Most heavily used:

    Drogheda-Dublin Commuter: 6.581m

    Maynooth-Dublin Commuter: 4.639m

    Cork-Dublin Intercity: 2.885m

    Kildare-Dublin Commuter: 2.135m

    Galway-Dublin Intercity: 1.521m

    Belfast-Dublin Enterprise: 1.172m

    Limerick-Dublin Intercity: 827,000

    Cobh-Cork Commuter: 594,000

    Tralee-Dublin Intercity: 540,000

    Most lightly used:

    Ballybrophy-Limerick Commuter: 36,000

    Limerick Junction-Waterford Intercity: 54,000
    Tagged:


«13

Comments

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


    But the WRC will be erm, fine, right? I mean, if you build it....oh wait.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,326 ✭✭✭dowlingm


    au contraire - instead they will claim that as long as they make 36,000 they are as good as Ballybrophy and thus deserve to be kept.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭KC61


    No mention anywhere in the article of the lack of a Sunday service that more or less kills off any possibility of weekend traffic, generally the biggest moneyspinner for the railway company.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,739 ✭✭✭Bards


    and the timetable is a joke, nearly three hours from waterford to Limerick by train (06:35 - 09:15), commuters comming from Clonmel Carrick-on suir can;t get to waterford before 10:32 am at the earliest (Dep Clonmel 09:44 arr Waterford 10:32) Mon-Sat

    what does Irish rail expect, people to change their work times to suit Irish Rail??

    http://www.irishrail.ie/your_journey/printed_timetable_pdfs/2009/Rosslare%20Europort%20Limerick%2009.pdf


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,219 ✭✭✭invincibleirish


    Aren't IE only keeping this line open because the political **** storm if IE closed it wouldn't be worth it?.

    Any figures around on the costs of keeping this line open anywhere?.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭IIMII


    They really are terrible passenger figures though


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    IIMII wrote: »
    They really are terrible passenger figures though

    What do you expect? CIE/IE have been trying to kill this line off for decades. Totally useless service, attrocious journey times, no catering, no marketing, awful rolling stock.....need I go on? Amused to see that Waterford/Rosslare seems to have dropped off the map altogether as its passengers figures must be truly dire!

    The article is typical of the lazy, sloppy, light weight Pat Kenny school of journalism, that reigns at the Irish Times since Madam tookover. Not a single hard question put to any CIE/IE rep - the mindset of the dynamic management style which prevades CIE/IE was illustrated by this quote from Jim Meade, Regional Manager: Talking about Cahir Station "It's all locked up now. We use it for storage. We maintain the buildings but still it's sad really. But, I suppose, you have to move with the times."

    What the f..k does that mean?? Jesus if I had a penny for every time I have heard a Board's servant come out with crap like that I'd be a rich man! The company must hold a record for the worst motivated staff with the lowest morale of any company in the country World. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,779 ✭✭✭Carawaystick


    Damn I feel so ripped off with Irish rail screwing their passengers in Dublin. it costs me 8 euros return to get to Dublin city, while from TIpp town to Waherfrd it's only 6. Justice for the east, we need it....


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,398 ✭✭✭✭road_high


    Wow that fare from Tipp to Waterford is for nothing, that's nearly 40 miles I would say.
    Pity he did not make the full journey. He did not go very far in just going to Cahir. A morning service to Waterford is what's needed to get any sort of passenger usage. Anything else is jusgt not a runner. But then again that probabaly would not suit IE staff. Heaven forbid they might be inconvienced ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 ✭✭✭Nostradamus


    IIMII wrote: »
    They really are terrible passenger figures though

    Beyond shocking. Even worse than even I expected them to be.

    So the supporters of this line said:

    "Repair the Cahir Viaduct and they will come..." NEVER CAME

    "Add modern rolling stock and they will come..." NEVER CAME

    "Add extra services and they will come..." NEVER CAME

    and it goes on and on and on.

    Now this thing about "promote the line more!" makes me laugh - are these people who live beside this line not aware of bloody trains on it! What, do they not physically see the train until there is an ad on TV telling them about it??? The excuses never stop and still the passengers never come.

    I posted on the Infrastruture board last week that I was told on the grapevine that this line was finished. Looks like he was right as the carefuly crafted article bares all the hallmarks of an Irish Rail hit on the line. I was also told that there are no railcars for the WRC and Lim-Nenagh is history too.

    Personally the only thing that will save this line is a direct passenger service from Clonmel to Dublin. No change at the junction. That would bring in Sligo size numbers. But that's "PaleRail" and that a bad thing apparently even though it actually keep rail lines opened and busy. Can't have that now!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    Beyond shocking. Even worse than even I expected them to be.

    So the supporters of this line said:

    "Repair the Cahir Viaduct and they will come..." NEVER CAME

    "Add modern rolling stock and they will come..." NEVER CAME

    "Add extra services and they will come..." NEVER CAME

    and it goes on and on and on.

    Now this thing about "promote the line more!" makes me laugh - are these people who live beside this line not aware of bloody trains on it! What, do they not physically see the train until there is an ad on TV telling them about it??? The excuses never stop and still the passengers never come.

    I posted on the Infrastruture board last week that I was told on the grapevine that this line was finished. Looks like he was right as the carefuly crafted article bares all the hallmarks of an Irish Rail hit on the line. I was also told that there are no railcars for the WRC and Lim-Nenagh is history too.

    Personally the only thing that will save this line is a direct passenger service from Clonmel to Dublin. No change at the junction. That would bring in Sligo size numbers. But that's "PaleRail" and that a bad thing apparently even though it actually keep rail lines opened and busy. Can't have that now!

    I can't make out whether you are pro or anti-rail with your conflicting postings. Some of the above statements are pure nonsense.

    1. If the viaduct at Cahir had not been rebuilt the line would be closed.

    2. Commuter railcars while they may be 'modern' are not exactly comfortable for long journeys -still no catering whatsoever.

    3. Add extra services: Well there are extra services but no through ones (Limerick, Dublin etc.) and nobody wants to go hanging about at Limerick Junction or Waterford - two fairly inhospitable kips.

    4. Promoting the line is absolutely essential - between the near derelict appearance of stations along the line and the complete lack of marketing is it any wonder that local people hardly know of its existence. Coming from Dublin or Cork direction, the inter-city trains frequently make no PA announcement regarding connections for the SE at Limerick Junction.

    It is all a deliberate policy of neglect and the only thing that will ever put an end to the rot is the removal of CIE/IE as a rail operator. Leave them to look after the P.Way - to strict requirements - and let private or local groups operate the trains as clearly CIE/IE have not the slightest interest in running any sort of a railway. :mad::mad::mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,081 ✭✭✭fricatus


    So the supporters of this line said:

    "Repair the Cahir Viaduct and they will come..." NEVER CAME

    "Add modern rolling stock and they will come..." NEVER CAME

    "Add extra services and they will come..." NEVER CAME

    and it goes on and on and on.

    What extra services are you talking about, Nostradamus? Repairing the Cahir Viaduct was never going to get commuters onto this line all by itself. Same goes for modern rolling stock. You could run the TGV on this line, but you'll never get passenger numbers if people can't use it to get to work, which they clearly can't at the moment. Limerick-Waterford alone has no chance whatsoever of providing numbers.

    To a certain extent the same goes for extra services - I mean you could run trains at 5-minute intervals between 11 and 4 during the day and not get any extra passengers.

    The point you're missing (or ignoring?) is that the earliest train into Waterford in the morning arrives at 9.26, and the latest back out on this line leaves at 16.38. (09.15 and 17.55 are the equivalent times at the Limerick end). This basically makes the line absolutely useless for commuters.

    Personally the only thing that will save this line is a direct passenger service from Clonmel to Dublin. No change at the junction. That would bring in Sligo size numbers. But that's "PaleRail" and that a bad thing apparently even though it actually keep rail lines opened and busy. Can't have that now!

    You're right about this of course, but I would add to this that proper commuter-focussed schedules need to be put in place at either end. For God's sake, I'm not talking about the WRC and ploughing money into reopening old lines and stations here! This is a line that's already open. IE just need to operate some common-sense services on it for once in their lives.

    It's obvious though what the agenda is - you're absolutely right: they want to close the line, so they operate some useless token services and then point and say "look! we don't have the numbers to justify this line!"

    It's pathetic.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 ✭✭✭Nostradamus


    I can't make out whether you are pro or anti-rail with your conflicting postings. :mad::mad::mad:


    I am EXTREMELY pro-rail development and very much anti British trainspotters benifiting from Irish tax-payers subsidised holidays in Ireland and calling it "sustainable transport".

    That line will always be ignored because for some deeply ingrained cultural reasons Irish people see trains as either commuter services or "how one gets to Dublin".

    and frankly there is nothing wrong with this if PaleRail and commuter services creates a busy, useful, well patroned rail service.

    The supporters of the Limerick-Rosslare line are all living in an Enid Blython-esque halcyon daze of lemon curd sandwhiches, ginger beer and teenage boys in short trousers, with catapults in their backpocket cycling to the branch line station to meet Auntie Clarrisa who is waiting for them by the metal milk churns which just arrived off the 3:15 mixed goods special from 'Deluded-Upon-Jotter '(there's the title for your book Derek).

    That world never existed in Ireland, and it's long gone in the UK and never coming back. The boys in short trousers all have cars these days, condoms in their backpockets and Auntie Clarrisa goes for holidays in Florida.

    Society has changed - please deal with it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 ✭✭✭Nostradamus


    fricatus wrote: »
    What extra services are you talking about, Nostradamus? Repairing the Cahir Viaduct was never going to get commuters onto this line all by itself. Same goes for modern rolling stock. You could run the TGV on this line, but you'll never get passenger numbers if people can't use it to get to work, which they clearly can't at the moment. Limerick-Waterford alone has no chance whatsoever of providing numbers.

    To a certain extent the same goes for extra services - I mean you could run trains at 5-minute intervals between 11 and 4 during the day and not get any extra passengers.

    The point you're missing (or ignoring?) is that the earliest train into Waterford in the morning arrives at 9.26, and the latest back out on this line leaves at 16.38. (09.15 and 17.55 are the equivalent times at the Limerick end). This basically makes the line absolutely useless for commuters.

    I know and this is all valid - but in 2009 just changing a rail timetable to make it more freindly will not get decent numbers of passengers on this line.

    People a need a reason to use rail lines, lots of the trains into Dublin are at silly times and they are still packed.

    That's because as much as many people do not want to accept population is what makes railways do the biz. Limerick and Waterford are little more than towns.

    Blame all the one-off houses in the countryside at the expense of our urban areas (all of them) being underpopulated.

    Even with that CIE would never in a million years think of buying some small rail cars and running short-hop commuter services in Limerick and Waterford for 2 reasons:

    1) They are morons who lack vision, the staff are all union semi-state public transport "service" assasins

    2) Look at the types who basically set the demands/agendas for these lines. It's never about commuters. It's always about either imaginary freight trains or long jaunts across green field landscapes which make nice photos. Has WestonTrack ever come up with a plan for a short hop commuter service for Limerick? Nope it's all about a long windy trip to either Ballina or Sligo so the handful of grannies on free travel passes can bless themselves as they pass within 5 miles of Knock Basillica. Similar "solutions" have always been demanded for Limerick-Waterford and they all fail.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭paulm17781


    The supporters of the Limerick-Rosslare line are all living in an Enid Blython-esque halcyon daze of lemon curd sandwhiches, ginger beer and teenage boys in short trousers, with catapults in their backpocket cycling to the branch line station to meet Auntie Clarrisa who is waiting for them by the metal milk churns which just arrived off the 3:15 mixed goods special from 'Deluded-Upon-Jotter '(there's the title for your book Derek).

    That's probably the funniest thing I'll read all day. Thank you. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,219 ✭✭✭invincibleirish


    Even if commuter services were developed at either end of the line into Limerick/Waterford, surely the scale of the demand could be met by a decent bus service instead?

    Ennis-Limerick was carrying 600 passengers per day last year which ain't great. Ennis is larger then either Cahir, Clonmel or Carrick on Suir so its unlikely these places could produce the kind of passenger traffic necessary to make the line viable?.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 ✭✭✭Nostradamus


    Ennis-Limerick was carrying 600 passengers per day last year which ain't great. Ennis is larger then either Cahir, Clonmel or Carrick on Suir so its unlikely these places could produce the kind of passenger traffic necessary to make the line viable?.


    Probably not, but it would be more promising than the endless cross-country granny rattlers the supporters of lines view as their salvation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,081 ✭✭✭fricatus


    I know and this is all valid - but in 2009 just changing a rail timetable to make it more freindly will not get decent numbers of passengers on this line.

    In fairness, it amounts to a little more than "changing a rail timetable". It's about putting in place sensible services that people can actually use. If they don't, then they don't deserve them and the line should be closed. What IÉ are doing now though is like not buying stock for the shop, having empty shelves, and then saying that it's "uneconomical".

    People a need a reason to use rail lines, lots of the trains into Dublin are at silly times and they are still packed.

    And they have a reason: work. To be honest, I might travel to the Limerick area twice or three times a year, but if I lived in Clonmel or Carrick-on-Suir and worked in Waterford (as many do) then I'd be making 470 trips a year (return 5 days a week, 47 weeks a year).

    That's because as much as many people do not want to accept population is what makes railways do the biz. Limerick and Waterford are little more than towns.

    Blame all the one-off houses in the countryside at the expense of our urban areas (all of them) being underpopulated.

    This is where vision comes in. IÉ have no vision, which is why this line is in the state it's in. In 50 years' time, do we want more and more mansions up boreens, with their owners driving into underpopulated cities that can't attract quality jobs? Or do we want the majority of our population to be able to live in either a quality urban setting or at least in smallish towns with good transport services linking them to the nearest city?

    No doubt someone (not necessarily you Nostradamus) will counter this with the "build it and they will come" sneer, but I would argue that it's already built, and if it was just used to its potential, it would form the basis for a better way of organising how people live and travel in this country.

    How much would it cost to lay on say four commuter-orientated services morning and evening each day? Not a lot I would venture. Add to that a couple of basic stations at Kilsheelan and Fiddown to add to the Clonmel and Carrick ones. It seems like an obvious way to go for very little money.

    And sure if it didn't work out because of the factors we all know are ingrained in the Irish psyche, so what? At least it would have been a worthwhile experiment for little cost. It would help as well in underpinning a proper cost-benefit analysis of the WRC before any more taxpayer's money is put into reopening those lines.

    Even with that CIE would never in a million years think of buying some small rail cars and running short-hop commuter services in Limerick and Waterford for 2 reasons: (...)

    Both very valid reasons, which is why I too despair...:rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭IIMII


    People use trains to get through traffic jams. Maybe this line doesn't really anything the road doesn't to enough people.

    I really wish money on rail was spent where the passengers are, or where passengers want to go.

    Does this line have anything going for it in terms of potential? I mean even if they doubled the passenger figures, they would still be disasterous. Any freight potential even on it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,081 ✭✭✭fricatus


    IIMII wrote: »
    People use trains to get through traffic jams. Maybe this line doesn't really anything the road doesn't to enough people.

    Anyone travelling into Waterford from south Tipp or south KK will tell you all about the traffic! Though the new bridge being opened later this year should cure a lot of these woes (and in its own way set back the chances of there ever being a rail commuter service).

    Limerick is always on AA Roadwatch too, so presumably the same applies at the other end of the line.

    IIMII wrote: »
    I really wish money on rail was spent where the passengers are, or where passengers want to go.

    A fair point in general, but this line is not being rebuilt, reopened or upgraded. It's already open and just needs to be used, given that it's already been mostly paid for! I don't know how much it costs to maintain a railway line, so maybe someone with the expertise could inform our discussion?

    IIMII wrote: »
    Does this line have anything going for it in terms of potential? I mean even if they doubled the passenger figures, they would still be disasterous. Any freight potential even on it?

    I wouldn't see the Intercity service as being able to justify the line on its own, ditto for freight. If the line was used for commuter services though, and these were generating reasonable revenue, then Intercity and freight might be viable, since in that case the line wouldn't just be being kept open for these.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,219 ✭✭✭invincibleirish


    Perhaps if the local & national pols in the midwest & southeast spent more time focusing on developing already existing infrastructure like the Railway lines during the boom times, and spent less pushing for empty rural Motorways, then the line could have been developed.

    You can blame IE all you want for the poor numbers but have the local Co.Cos done anything to promote traffic or development along the line?(all i can find is local cllrs asking what upgrades are planned for the line). Were the local Gov ministers doing anything?

    Here's a search through Martin Cullens press release database for 'rail':

    http://www.martincullen.ie/index.php?mact=Search%2Ccntnt01%2Cdosearch%2C0&cntnt01returnid=58&cntnt01searchinput=rail&x=0&y=0


    Here's a a search using 'road':

    http://www.martincullen.ie/index.php?mact=Search%2Ccntnt01%2Cdosearch%2C0&cntnt01returnid=58&cntnt01searchinput=road&x=0&y=0

    Note where the priorities lie. I can't access Manserghs site or only thing i can find on relation to Willie O Dea and rail is a criticism from limericks FG mayor over the lack of commuter rail in T21 for Limerick.

    http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/2005/11/03/story391407669.asp

    With a programme of new commuter cars & line renewal & with improvements in timetable etc this line might have some potential, but this requires significant amounts of cash when resources are scarce.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭Cool Mo D


    I think some fairly simple improvements could really improve this line, without huge investment.

    This line gets 4 services each way a day, and one to Rosslare. Without any more weekday services, here is what can be done to improve the line.

    - Link these intercity to the WRC, for 4 Galway - Limerick - Waterford direct, no change, intercity services a day, with a 3-car 22,000 running as the flagship combined WRC service. This would take only 2 or 3 22000 trains from long distance Dublin commuter services, which can be run by the older commuter trains. It is possible to run Waterford to Galway direct in about 4 hours, which isn't too bad compared with the car, as roads are rubbish. Make sure these services include an early morning service departing Waterford and Galway before 7am, and an evening service, leaving after 6pm and both connecting with Dublin trains to serve commuters and business travel

    - Since Ennis to Limerick/Limerick Junction has 8 services a day, this proposal would take up 4 of those, and the rest would run as normal, maybe extended to Galway as commuter services to Galway.

    - Run the one train a day to Rosslare timed to meet the ferry arriving and leaving so that foot traffic is accommodated. Advertise this connection, and Sail and Rail fares properly.

    - Every train should connect to at least 2 direct services to Dublin - either at Galway/Athenry, Limerick, Cork, or Waterford, to accommodate people in Gort, Ennis, Cahir, which are decent sized towns, who want to get to Dublin.

    - 2 Sunday services each direction- one late evening, and connecting with either an evening Limerick or Cork train from Heuston. This is the peak train travel time in Ireland - of course a line will be underused if it's not accommodated.

    - In cooperation with local authorities - HEAVY ADVERTISING of the improved service, with discounted off-peak fares, and online booking.

    What do people think of these?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭IIMII


    I'd love to think it could be improved. But if you heavily advertise it and passenger figures double, it's still crap


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭Cool Mo D


    IIMII wrote: »
    I'd love to think it could be improved. But if you heavily advertise it and passenger figures double, it's still crap

    Oh, of course, I mean it'll never pay it's way, but it might actually provide a useful service, which would at least be worthwhile.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 ✭✭✭Nostradamus


    IIMII wrote: »
    I'd love to think it could be improved. But if you heavily advertise it and passenger figures double, it's still crap

    I agree completely, and yet some people on this thread seem to be missing this. Even if they quadrulpted the number of passengers it's still pretty poor patronage all things considered.

    There was something like 1 train a day in either direction a few years back on that line with the mankiest coaches hauled by clapped out locomotives. Irish Rail increases the service frequency, modernised the rolling stock, and contray to what people are saying they did market it in places like Clonmel and still the numbers are as bad as every.

    Clonmel should certainly be retained for some kind of service - preferably a direct service to Dublin or high-freq shuttle to the junction. That town is too big not to on the rail network.

    Time to face facts, the line as a whole is a dead duck. Let most of it die. Like the WRC the locals can't be bothered.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭IIMII


    Clonmel should certainly be retained for some kind of service - preferably a direct service to Dublin or high-freq shuttle to the junction.
    Does it have any direct service to Dublin?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    IIMII wrote: »
    Does it have any direct service to Dublin?

    Sorry, but I have to ask if this is your level of knowledge about the current service should you be be bothering to contribute to this thread? :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,059 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Even with that CIE would never in a million years think of buying some small rail cars and running short-hop commuter services in Limerick and Waterford for 2 reasons:

    Buy? We already have two bubble cars which to the best of my knowledge have never been used for what they're best designed for - running solo on very low load shuttle/short hop routes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 577 ✭✭✭Typewriter


    MYOB wrote: »
    Buy? We already have two bubble cars which to the best of my knowledge have never been used for what they're best designed for - running solo on very low load shuttle/short hop routes.

    Class: 2750, No. in Service: 2, Horsepower (HP): 350 HP, Date Built: 1998 - 1999
    picture.php?albumid=378&pictureid=3015

    http://www.irishrail.ie/fleet_information/commuter_and_dart_fleet.asp


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 ✭✭✭Nostradamus


    MYOB wrote: »
    Buy? We already have two bubble cars which to the best of my knowledge have never been used for what they're best designed for - running solo on very low load shuttle/short hop routes.

    Where are these potentially very useful railcars being used then?

    Sounds like they would be a gift for something like Clonmel-Limerick Jct shutteling back and forth all day.


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