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The case against Metro North - is there one?

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy


    bazzer06 wrote: »
    Generally speaking, call me naive but I think DU and MN will both be built in the short to medium term, and therefore should be considered together.

    I honestly don't know about this, regardless of cost. The government have not come out and said "once planning permission is granted, enabling works will begin in April and construction will commence the year after". They continue to be evasive, and long finger the crucial decision, highlighting its progression through planning etc. When they don't have the planning to hide behind (presuming it gets permission), it'll be interesting to see what is said. I don't think there'll be any firm commitment this year beyond possibly a tranche or two of enabling works.

    The big decision may well end up in the hands of FG and Labour, and to be frank they aren't making their position clear either, with individual T.D's coming out with differing views, seemingly for their own political benefit in some cases. But the opposition have every reason to be cautious. There is a potentially large upfront cost as well as continuing costs over the course of construction and they have to be taken into account. There is a myth going around that all the money can simply be paid off after, but that isn't true at all.

    I'm not using that as an argument for or against MN itself, as I don't know what the figures will end up being. I am however suggesting that there is more than meets the eye. If the government were confident in this project, the PPP and knew that all the costs could just be passed on with little commitment, they would've surely committed to the project by now.

    I would not be surprised to see the scheme long-fingered, but we can only wait and see.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 724 ✭✭✭dynamick


    BluntGuy wrote: »
    The government have not come out and said "once planning permission is granted, enabling works will begin in April and construction will commence the year after".
    The government can't commit to the project before the final bid is made. The project is not worth doing if the price is too high. The planning process is independent and the project cannot proceed until it completes. It has been running for 2 years now. God knows what value they are bringing to the project.

    The project has been reaffirmed by reviewed dept of transport priorities that ditched MW and WRC2 & 3, by the renewed programme for government and by the Department of Finance Capital Expenditure Review this year.
    When they don't have the planning to hide behind (presuming it gets permission), it'll be interesting to see what is said. I don't think there'll be any firm commitment this year beyond possibly a tranche or two of enabling works.
    The bidders will have to consider the planning permissions conditions before they can submit best and final offer bids.
    The big decision may well end up in the hands of FG and Labour, and to be frank they aren't making their position clear either, with individual T.D's coming out with differing views, seemingly for their own political benefit in some cases.
    Kenny and Gilmore have both publicly come out against the project while their Dublin northside TDs say they are in favour. Smells like Shannon stopover to me.
    But the opposition have every reason to be cautious. There is a potentially large upfront cost as well as continuing costs over the course of construction and they have to be taken into account.
    All parties without exception are proposing multi-billion annual capital spend with labour and FG proposing various forms of public works bank / jobs fund / Super-fás mallarkey. eg Labour policy is to maintain capital spending at 5bn+/year but also to fund a €20 billion 'strategic investment bank'.
    http://www.labour.ie/download/pdf/investinginfuture.pdf
    There is a myth going around that all the money can simply be paid off after, but that isn't true at all.
    What do you mean here?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    spacetweek wrote: »
    .........But then I am an eternal optimist.

    Monument, your idea to join MN to Malahide runs through the Demesne (impossible, you'd never be allowed) and is far, far too bendy (too slow). Fuggedaboudit.

    Here, be be an optimist! :)

    Straighter ending one and straighter ending two.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    Why can't you go through the demesne?


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,458 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Why can't you go through the demesne?

    Metro would be overground by this point and I can't see Fingal CC being too delighted to have an overground two track Metro through their main park.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    MYOB wrote: »
    Metro would be overground by this point and I can't see Fingal CC being too delighted to have an overground two track Metro through their main park.

    Is continuing it underground not still an option at the demesne>?


  • Registered Users Posts: 888 ✭✭✭Telchak


    Some highlights from an NTA article in the Sunday Business Post :cool:
    With regards to Metro North, Murphy said the government ‘‘has to make decisions’’ about the financing of it, but that it was a project he wanted to ‘‘continue now and into the future’’.

    ‘‘There was a business case prepared for this, and it was independently assessed to show that it has significant benefits over costs," he said.

    ‘‘The Metro gets mislabelled as a ‘train to the airport’, when it actually is about serving Swords and the major population increase there, as well as servicing major hubs like Ballymun, Croke Park and the Mater Hospital.

    ‘‘There is a lot of debate about cost, but next year, for example, the total bill for enabling works would be €75 million, and that would raise to €175 million in 2012, compared with the annual subvention of €275 million for CIE."

    He said that people needed to understand that five million journeys were currently made every day in the greater Dublin area, and that was set to grow to seven million by 2020.

    ‘‘You can’t have high-end economic activity in a capital city where the average car speed is nine miles an hour.

    The Metro is not a stand-alone project, it is part of an overall integration strategy that is central to the development of transport corridors to make a network which is more efficient and much better connected."


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


    That's a good article! It's so rare you see something about MN composed of facts.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    ‘‘There is a lot of debate about cost, but next year, for example, the total bill for enabling works would be €75 million, and that would raise to €175 million in 2012, compared with the annual subvention of €275 million for CIE."

    The comparison to CIEs subvention, while taking account of real and up front costs for MN, is political horse ****. Successive FF governments have protected and encouraged the subvention dependent CIE culture, despite making a cut last year. The cut is a ruse that will ultimately affect passengers and not CIE itself.

    If the Government actually attempted to encourage CIE to act like a private company then the subvention would be far less and the dependent culture would be gone. Therefore upfront costs for MN wouldn't seem so alarming and may even get paid. But because of this sick marriage between the state and sick semi state that is CIE, projects like MN will always be prone to cost issues. Afterall MN and the RPA don't share the rich political tradition enjoyed by CIE.

    Bastards* are rediculed and tolerated but rarely embraced.

    * CIE are bastards of the political world.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 355 ✭✭GizAGoOfYerGee


    http://www.sbpost.ie/news/ireland/joinedup-thinking-on-transport-52314.html
    Gilmore challenged on Metro North shelving

    The country’s largest trade union, Siptu, has challenged Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore on his proposal to shelve Metro North on the grounds of cost savings.

    Siptu’s construction division has demanded that the Labour Party advance proposals for alternative capital projects that have a similar job creation potential as Metro North.

    ‘‘If this project is going to be postponed, then alternative projects that will culminate in the same job creation numbers must be put on the table," said Christy McQuillan, head of divisional organiser heading up utilities and construction.

    He said he had ‘‘a difficulty understanding the basis of deferring Metro North’’, adding that the estimated €2.5 billion cost of the project should be compared with ‘‘all the billions this government has found and committed to the banks without any billion being found for job creation’’.

    Last week, Eamon Devoy, general secretary of the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU), said the Labour leader should ‘‘revisit his views’’ about putting the project on hold.

    Siptu deemed Metro North ‘‘a strategic infrastructural project with long-term value to the country and society’’.

    ‘‘We would support the delay in certain capital projects only if others are proposed which are more advantageous from a labour point of view. If Metro North was not going to go ahead, then what’s going to be put in its place from a job creation perspective?" said McQuillan. The rail project from the city centre to Swords via Dublin Airport is expected to create 37,000 jobs when infrastructural and commercial development along the route is taken into account. It would create 4,000 direct jobs in the construction phase and a further 2,000 jobs linked to the project, based on Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) figures.

    However, McQuillan suggested alternative projects - such as the construction of hospitals and schools that were strategically vital and would create jobs - might have grounds for deferral. Siptu, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Construction Indus t r y Fe d e r at ion a r e currently examining job creation proposals with a view to a pre-budget submission.

    Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin North Michael Kennedy this weekend pledged that he would ensure Metro North was built ‘‘as long as I represent the people of Dublin North’’.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    He said he had ‘‘a difficulty understanding the basis of deferring Metro North’’, adding that the estimated €2.5 billion cost of the project should be compared with ‘‘all the billions this government has found and committed to the banks without any billion being found for job creation’’.
    Excellent point by Mr McQuillan.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 355 ✭✭GizAGoOfYerGee


    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/letters/2010/1018/1224281343780.html
    Madam, – Surely it is now time to call a halt to the absurdity which is Metro North? The country is in severe debt, our interest payments are crippling, and we have mortgaged our children’s future. And now we propose to build a very expensive metro, estimated at a cost of €5 billion or so, which will no doubt escalate to €15 billion or so.


    ....

    PETER BRUCE,
    Watson Road,
    Killiney, Co Dublin.


    Oh my God - I want to strangle this person :mad: . Shut the feck up. You have absolutely no idea what you´re talking about. :rolleyes:

    Another more postive one:
    Madam, – I wish to correct Dennis Jennings’s (October 6th) statements opposing Metro North.

    Metro North is compatible with Luas as it uses similar trams, the only difference being that Metro North is fully separated from traffic and its trams will be longer.

    Metro North interconnects with major transport hubs, including Dublin Airport, the future Metro West, the Mullingar-Sligo line at Drumcondra, the Luas Green Line at Stephen’s Green, and Luas Red Line at O’Connell Street which itself interconnects with Cork-Limerick line at Heuston Station, Bus Áras, and the Belfast-Rosslare line at Connolly Station.

    Metro North is in the right place as it connects the city centre with the Mater, Croke Park, Dublin City University, Dublin Airport and Swords, a growing city of 40,000 people, with a possible future extension to Donabate.

    Who says Metro North will cost €5 billion? Who came up with that number? Contrary to uninformed popular opinion cancelling Metro North won’t save €5 billion. Metro North might cost only half that thanks to the fall in construction costs because of the recession. This makes the cost-benefit analysis even more attractive at a ratio of 2:1.

    Most of Metro North will be funded by a public private partnership, repaid over a 30-year period, the first repayment occurring only when Metro North is operational, which won’t be for another five years.

    During the construction phase, over 5,000 direct construction and thousands more indirect jobs will be created. On completion Metro North will create over 35,000 jobs in Dublin north city and county. All of which reduces the State’s welfare expenditure and contributes vital tax revenue to our country’s depleted finances.

    No wonder Deputy Joan Burton of Labour said in April 2009, “Proceeding with Metro North as soon as possible really is a ‘no-brainer’.” – Yours, etc,
    JASON FITZHARRIS,
    Rivervalley,
    Swords,
    Co Dublin.


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


    This is good. I'm happy to see the facts being posted in public.

    I'm particularily happy with the statement from SIPTU. I would think they have a bit of sway...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,303 ✭✭✭dowlingm


    If the argument is about jobs I think that you could probably find a lot of projects with a man-year employed per million spend than Metro North. After all, the rolling stock will have no national content, the rails, signalling and electrification gear probably minimal, the construction will be largely mechanical...

    Of course, SIPTU would also be looking to extend their driver representation agreement with RPA to cover Metro North, if they didn't already do so with the LUAS contract agreed a few months back.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,065 ✭✭✭rameire


    how about we all post a letter to PETER BRUCE.

    🌞 3.8kwp, 🌞 Split 2.28S, 1.52E. 🌞 Clonee, Dub.🌞



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


    rameire wrote: »
    how about we all post a letter to PETER BRUCE.

    Why, is he not entitled to his opinion?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,065 ✭✭✭rameire


    he is of course.
    he lives at no 15.

    but there is no harm to give him more information to back up his opinion.

    🌞 3.8kwp, 🌞 Split 2.28S, 1.52E. 🌞 Clonee, Dub.🌞



  • Registered Users Posts: 569 ✭✭✭lods


    No wonder Deputy Joan Burton of Labour said in April 2009, “Proceeding with Metro North as soon as possible really is a ‘no-brainer’.” – Yours, etc,
    JASON FITZHARRIS,
    Rivervalley,
    Swords,
    Co Dublin.
    Unfortunately she said in October 2010

    "I am a well-known supporter of the Metro, but it is now a question of phasing . . . Clearly just right now the availability of funding and the ranking of funding in order is something that has to be looked at."
    Mr Gilmore's comments were made in the context of the funding "crisis" in which the Fianna Fáil-led Government had left the country, Ms Burton said.
    "Eamon was just saying that we have to look realistically at the Metro in terms of the crises we have been left in."

    Joe Costello on RTE drivetime yesterday seemed to suggest it will be pushed back.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,458 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Why, is he not entitled to his opinion?

    There is a difference between "opinion" and "being vastly and horribly wrong". I hate when people try to use the former to excuse the latter.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    MYOB wrote: »
    There is a difference between "opinion" and "being vastly and horribly wrong". I hate when people try to use the former to excuse the latter.

    With respect there is absolutely no difference. An "opinion" is an "opinion".

    The opinion in question may be inaccurate, but it is an opinion and that person is entitled to it and obviously open to correction via the opinions of others.

    If the state agencies were doing their jobs correctly, these opinions and related media articles, wouldn't see the light of day. However, the bare bones of the MN issue in relation to Joe Public come down to a figure of 5 billion and a belief that the state has to shell out for it in full. Wrong as it may be (or not) its up to the state agencies involved to create a landscape where "fact" rules as opposed to "speculation". As we all know here, state agencies are very poor at marketing yet brilliant at creating situations where misinformation abounds.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 394 ✭✭Propellerhead


    MYOB wrote: »
    There is a difference between "opinion" and "being vastly and horribly wrong". I hate when people try to use the former to excuse the latter.


    Unfortunately, and with some frequency, ignorance of the subject and hyperbole are often used as arguments against railway projects. I well remember the late Niall Andrews, son of the infamous Tod Andrews, arguing on RTE that what is now the Luas Red Line wouldn't actually serve Heuston but was somewhere in front of it.:rolleyes:

    The project was delayed by at least two years by the government that he supported.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,803 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3


    I well remember the late Niall Andrews, son of the infamous Tod Andrews, arguing on RTE that what is now the Luas Red Line wouldn't actually serve Heuston but was somewhere in front of it.:rolleyes:

    You have to laugh..... :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    The project was delayed by at least two years by the government that he supported.

    All because of the Heuston station thing?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭HivemindXX


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    With respect there is absolutely no difference. An "opinion" is an "opinion".

    The opinion in question may be inaccurate, but it is an opinion and that person is entitled to it and obviously open to correction via the opinions of others.

    I disagree. Such as thing as verifiable facts exist as well. The concept that everything is opinion is a dangerous one. People are not corrected by contradictory opinion they are corrected by facts.


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


    All because of the Heuston station thing?

    No - the delay was caused by the reluctance of the then government to build the city centre link in the face of huge opposition from the City Centre businesses, before deciding that the two lines would in fact be separate.

    This meant that the RPA also then had to replan the project in terms of providing two sets of facilities, control centres etc.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    HivemindXX wrote: »
    I disagree. Such as thing as verifiable facts exist as well. The concept that everything is opinion is a dangerous one. People are not corrected by contradictory opinion they are corrected by facts.

    Well let me ask you this. If you were to correct that particular gentlemans opinion with fact, what facts would you offer?

    This is what was quoted;
    Madam, – Surely it is now time to call a halt to the absurdity which is Metro North? The country is in severe debt, our interest payments are crippling, and we have mortgaged our children’s future. And now we propose to build a very expensive metro, estimated at a cost of €5 billion or so, which will no doubt escalate to €15 billion or so.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Well let me ask you this. If you were to correct that particular gentlemans opinion with fact, what facts would you offer?

    Well I would excise the statement that it will "no doubt" escalate to 15 billion or so.

    "No doubt" as a phrase is synonymous with "certainly". This means the man in question is saying the cost of MN will certainly rise to 15 billion or more, which is garbage.

    The fact that the final price hasn't been announced vitiates his argument just as much as it vitiates arguments which say it will cost 2.5 billion. It is more likely, though, that the cost will be far closer to 2.5 billion than 15 billion. Even if it ends up costing 6 billion it will still be closer to 2.5 billion than to 15 billion.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy


    Where has this 15 billion figure come from anyway? :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 888 ✭✭✭Telchak


    BluntGuy wrote: »
    Where has this 15 billion figure come from anyway? :confused:
    The almighty Myers. His reasoning being that Luas cost three times the original projection, so this will too :rolleyes:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 369 ✭✭weehamster


    Telchak wrote: »
    The almighty Myers. His reasoning being that Luas cost three times the original projection, so this will too :rolleyes:
    I think Myers only quoted €10b :rolleyes:. No its the other gimp, Colm Carrol, owner of Carrols Gift Shop which sells authentic 'oirish' items, (which are mainly made in the Far East) who came up with that figure in his campaign to stop the project for his own personal reasons.:mad:

    As for the original cost of the Luas, here you go Mr Myers :D
    Myth: The first Luas Lines cost three times more than the original tender amounts

    Fact: The Government authorised the Light Rail Project Office to enter into contracts to build the Luas Red and Green lines when the project had gone through the railway order process and when tenders had been received. This Government approval was for a budget of €775 million. Luas was implemented at a total cost of €728 million.


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