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What to do with Irish Rail

  • 08-01-2011 11:33pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 80 ✭✭✭ d.a.r.r.a.g.h


    With the disaster that is known as Irish Rail destroying our rail services and infrastructure, reducing passenger numbers and credibility in the services it offers, I was interested in hearing what the people had to say about it, and what they think should be done about it.

    Personally, I find the practices and attitude of Irish Rail disgraceful, and if I had my way, they'd be gone.
    I have an infinite amount of problems with the current services of Irish rail and the attitude towards the development and improvement of our national rail infrastructure.

    Services on the intercity routes are unacceptable. While Irish Rail spent a fortune on the upgrading of the rail fleet, they neglected to upgrade the infrastructure their new trains ran on. The majority of our intercity main lines are still single tracked and of substandard quality with inadequate signalling, which means that while we have capable trains, our tracks can’t handle any higher speeds and are prone to delays. Punctuality is a regular problem all over the country with Irish Rail’s apparent laid-back attitude of “We’ll get you there....sometime”.

    Things just don’t work with our intercity services, and the distaste of the population is clearly evident with bus companies cleaning up the floor against Irish rail as their customers can get to any destination cheaper and quicker than by train. This just shouldn’t happen. Irish rail don’t seem to know what PR is, or advertising for that matter. Only recently have they been promoting the Dublin-Galway Line which as of late has been experiencing dwindling passenger numbers because of increased competition from quicker and cheaper buses running along the motorway. The Western Rail Corridor is a joke with travel times from Galway to Limerick at 2hrs30mins on redeployed commuter trains, while the Bus Éireann X51 route takes just 80mins.

    But besides the Dublin Intercity Mainlines, the story is quite more worrying. The other intercity lines i.e. the western rail corridor and the Limerick to Waterford line are in jeopardy as Irish Rail run them to the ground, with substandard, slow and infrequent services, and the Waterford-Rosslare line has already been closed, which seems to be the eventual fate of these other lines.

    There seems to be no end to the problems with Irish Rail, and I feel that it simply can’t continue anymore. It won’t sustain itself if it continues to destroy its already bad reputation for providing a substandard service at excessively expensive prices. The only solution I can suggest to make reforms in the transport sector is to dissolve Irish Rail (and ultimately CIE, but that’s a story for another day) and create a new entity for infrastructural maintenance and development, that would be non-profit, government run solely for the development and improvement of our railways. Then a separate entity can be set up to actually run the trains and hopefully make a profit. This system is similar to the separation of ESB Customer Supply and ESB Networks, in order to allow competition in the market, in line with European directives.

    I have plenty of suggestions of what needs to be done first to improve our rail services and infrastructure, but again that’s for another day!

    So...What do you make of Irish Rail? What do you think should be done about it?
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Comments

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




  • Registered Users Posts: 183 ✭✭ ClareVisitor


    Living in England and getting the train to work every day, I have first hand experience of your scenario outlined above with a government company maintaining the infrastructure and private companies operating the trains. I have to tell you that if you think that is the cure to all your ills then you will be sorely mistaken. The way it has been done over here means that all you get are companies with regional monopolies to run trains with no real incentive to make anything better while prices go up and up, shown in the 9% rise in the price of my monthly ticket this week. The government still gives them huge subsidies and they make a tidy profit.

    The only way I see it working is to have the whole thing government run, but to have management who will run it properly so that everything is geared towards customer service and major investment in track, signals and rolling stock. There is no short cuts or cheap way to do this, it has to be a major commitment to the railways or the current shambles.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Living in England and getting the train to work every day, I have first hand experience of your scenario outlined above with a government company maintaining the infrastructure and private companies operating the trains. I have to tell you that if you think that is the cure to all your ills then you will be sorely mistaken. The way it has been done over here means that all you get are companies with regional monopolies to run trains with no real incentive to make anything better while prices go up and up, shown in the 9% rise in the price of my monthly ticket this week. The government still gives them huge subsidies and they make a tidy profit.

    The only way I see it working is to have the whole thing government run, but to have management who will run it properly so that everything is geared towards customer service and major investment in track, signals and rolling stock. There is no short cuts or cheap way to do this, it has to be a major commitment to the railways or the current shambles.

    Here, the trains are not operated by private companies, they are operated by a state agency which acts like it has no duty of care to their customers and is dictated to by greedy and unreasonable unions. The only way I see the rail situation in this country improving is by handing it over to private companies to operate the various lines. From what I can see (and I know very little about this) the problem in England stems from the fact that the government privatised the industry by selling off the railways. The private companies, in their quest for profits, then began asset stripping and closing unprofitable routes and the government can no control to prevent this.

    I think the best option for here is to allow private companies to tender to operate the various services. It may still be necessary for the government to subsidise some or possibly all routes. Obviously the whole thing would have to be heavily regulated and ticket prices would be set by the contracting authority and not the private company. This is not to give the private companies a profit, it is subsidising the cost of rail travel for the commuter. If commuters had to cover the full cost of the service the ticket price would be so high as to deter people from using rail.

    Im sure the quality of the services would improve straight way if the contracts worked on the basis of initially the private company operates the line for 12 months and are offered the option of another 12 months without going to tender if they meet certain targets regarding trains being on time, maintaining passenger numbers, customer satisfaction, etc. This would remove a huge cost to the state which could be pumped into improving the infrastructure. It works on a similar basis to the MN PPP, except the PPP is design, build, finance, operate and maintain, these would just be operate and maintain.

    Regarding what should be done with Irish Rail, the answer is simple, they should be scrapped and never spoke of again. They and all other similar quangos should be ammalgamated into one body which is charges with developing and expanding the network and procuring and monitoring the private companies which operate the services. Sort of like a rail procurement agency but nothing like the Rail Procurement Agency. It would have no dealing with the day to day running of the services except monitoring the service provided by the private company.


  • Registered Users Posts: 183 ✭✭ ClareVisitor


    Pete, I am wondering in your scenario who is responsible for the upkeep of rolling stock? Here in England it is the train companies rather than Network Rail who manage the upkeep of the infrastruture (rails, signals etc.). If you are looking at a similar scenario then 12 month contracts are no good, even the seven year contracts given out over here meet with complaints about them not being long enough to allow the train companies to invest in new rolling stock.

    You are incorrect about private companies here closing unprofitable routes, they cannot do that without permission of the regulator. They also use various ruses to increase profits because of the various rules around peak time trains which have regulated fares and off-peak trains which have unregulated fares, they'll push the rules to the limit believe me.

    And if you think that privatisation of the rail operator will result in that money being pumped back into infrastructure, especially in the current financial climate, I would call that naive in the extreme.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Pete, I am wondering in your scenario who is responsible for the upkeep of rolling stock? Here in England it is the train companies rather than Network Rail who manage the upkeep of the infrastruture (rails, signals etc.). If you are looking at a similar scenario then 12 month contracts are no good, even the seven year contracts given out over here meet with complaints about them not being long enough to allow the train companies to invest in new rolling stock.

    Irish Rail (or whoever replaces them) would retain ownership of the rolling stock for the private company to use. Perhaps it would be better for them to have maintenance under a separate contract which covers the entire fleet. One big advantage I see in this is that all tendering companies are competing on the cost of providing the service alone and all bids are directly comparable and there are no nasty surprises. I think it is best to go with 12 month contracts with the possibility of another 12 or 24 months because it keeps the competition between the companies (with ultimately give the lowest prices) alive.
    You are incorrect about private companies here closing unprofitable routes, they cannot do that without permission of the regulator. They also use various ruses to increase profits because of the various rules around peak time trains which have regulated fares and off-peak trains which have unregulated fares, they'll push the rules to the limit believe me.

    I am open to correction here, but was it not the case that when the industry was privatised initially, the private companies were free to close route? I know this is not the case any more.
    And if you think that privatisation of the rail operator will result in that money being pumped back into infrastructure, especially in the current financial climate, I would call that naive in the extreme.

    You obviously dont know too much about Irish Rail. They are one of the most wasteful state bodies in this country, and that is saying something. See here and here. A private company could provide a much better service than they do at a fraction of the cost. There is a lot of money that could be saved every year and over the course of ten years or so, the savings could fund a project we would not otherwise have been able to afford. Even if the savings are not put towards improving the network it would still represent a saving for the taxpayer. The level of waste in Irish Rail, CIE, etc. is totally unacceptable and must be stopped regardless.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,133 Stonewolf


    There have been loads of threads about this on boards.

    The problem is not Irish Rail however, it's our entire approach to public transport in general. You can't just fix IR in isolation, you need to look at the functions of public transport as a whole and group services with similar functions into operating units instead of the current system of grouping services by mode and having them compete with each other. These functional units would then cooperate to run a network oriented service bringing people from where they are to where they want to be using services that are not neccessarily direct or all in one mode.

    One of the big problems with passenger rail in this country is that we ripped up the branch lines. There are a lot of arguments for and against this policy but one fact is inescapable which is that without feeding services from the branch lines mainline services suffered a crippling decline. Meanwhile long distance bus services arose running direct routes in competition with the railways which in failing to connect properly with the trains did not maintain the feeder principle.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 80 ✭✭✭ d.a.r.r.a.g.h


    Pete, I am wondering in your scenario who is responsible for the upkeep of rolling stock? Here in England it is the train companies rather than Network Rail who manage the upkeep of the infrastruture (rails, signals etc.). If you are looking at a similar scenario then 12 month contracts are no good, even the seven year contracts given out over here meet with complaints about them not being long enough to allow the train companies to invest in new rolling stock.

    You are incorrect about private companies here closing unprofitable routes, they cannot do that without permission of the regulator. They also use various ruses to increase profits because of the various rules around peak time trains which have regulated fares and off-peak trains which have unregulated fares, they'll push the rules to the limit believe me.

    And if you think that privatisation of the rail operator will result in that money being pumped back into infrastructure, especially in the current financial climate, I would call that naive in the extreme.

    Although I can accept some points in your argument, it has to be understood that Ireland is in few ways similar to Britain with regard to rail transport. I didn't state expressly state that the infrastructure should be publicly maintained while the services should be operated privately, at the expense of the taxpayer; Irish Rail just needs to be wound down like FÁS. It is in my opinion a corrupt and wasteful company that is nothing but a burden on the Irish taxpayer. The staff does nothing for the image of the company, who seem uninterested in doing their job with any sense of duty, and at any turn will shield themselves from any criticism behind their faithful trade unions.

    The only solution that can be considered is the dissolution of this joke. Whether a public entity should be set up or whether separate lines should be put out for tender, is just one decision in the reforms which need to take place.

    With regard to our infrastructure, it is in dire need for upgrading. Some of our intercity mainlines aren't even of capable of 100km/hr (Western Railway Corridor) and this means that in no way can the trains ever compete with the buses if they can't go as fast as them. The problem with single track mainlines and signalling systems leads to high inefficiency in the services, with delays commonplace. Irish Rail's current fetish for new and modern rail fleets is lavish, while they seem content to leave perfectly good mk3 carriages in the sidings to rot with. With Irish rail’s practices, the infrastructure is doomed to decay.

    Whatever happens, the only way to achieve a fair deal for the tax payers and passengers is the dissolution of Irish Rail and the replacement by another competent authority that will actually serve the needs of its customers.
    Stonewolf wrote: »
    There have been loads of threads about this on boards.

    The problem is not Irish Rail however, it's our entire approach to public transport in general. You can't just fix IR in isolation, you need to look at the functions of public transport as a whole and group services with similar functions into operating units instead of the current system of grouping services by mode and having them compete with each other. These functional units would then cooperate to run a network oriented service bringing people from where they are to where they want to be using services that are not neccessarily direct or all in one mode.

    One of the big problems with passenger rail in this country is that we ripped up the branch lines. There are a lot of arguments for and against this policy but one fact is inescapable which is that without feeding services from the branch lines mainline services suffered a crippling decline. Meanwhile long distance bus services arose running direct routes in competition with the railways which in failing to connect properly with the trains did not maintain the feeder principle.
    I agree with your first point. Transport modes shouldn't compete, especially between two public services (Bus Eireann and Irish Rail). I do agree that cooperation and interoperability between different modes of transport is very beneficial, as it makes commuting simpler and more attractive for the customer. Commuting in any city in Ireland is a stress. In Dublin, it is expensive, infrequent and unreliable. In any other cities, commuter rail is non-existent for the most part and any other mode doesn't operate on a wide enough scale.
    But in relation to the branch lines, the reason that they closed is because of a lack of usage due to the car. In the current climate, the reopening of branch lines wouldn't be feasible, and could be possible loss-making.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,133 Stonewolf


    You'll note I didn't actually suggest reopening branch lines. What I pointed out is that the problems with poor usage of mainline rail are related to loss of feeder services. Feeders do not have to be rail, that's the whole point of my post, feeders can be busses and bus services in rail served regions should be organised to deliver passengers to long distance rail services. Even cars can function as feeders with sufficient provision of convenient and reasonably priced parking.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 80 ✭✭✭ d.a.r.r.a.g.h


    Stonewolf wrote: »
    You'll note I didn't actually suggest reopening branch lines. What I pointed out is that the problems with poor usage of mainline rail are related to loss of feeder services. Feeders do not have to be rail, that's the whole point of my post, feeders can be busses and bus services in rail served regions should be organised to deliver passengers to long distance rail services. Even cars can function as feeders with sufficient provision of convenient and reasonably priced parking.

    Pardon my misunderstanding. Yes that is agreeable. Parking and regular, synchronised bus services to stations are a necessity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭ bazza1


    Groundhog Day!

    We have had this conversation several times...let the politicians decide if IR runs a service or runs profitable lines!

    Lots of services run at a loss to provide a service to the passengers at off-peak times. Cancel them...save money.....annoy passengers.....get local politicians up in arms...votes lost etc!!!

    The western corridor was a political decision to open and run. Expected explosions in housing and commuting evaporated with the recession. If it loses money should we close it?

    IR is undergoing long overdue restructuring and belt tightening from within. The old chestnut about privatisation always raises its head as private companies would not be profitable without a Govt subvention and /or increased fares.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 80 ✭✭✭ d.a.r.r.a.g.h


    bazza1 wrote: »
    Groundhog Day!

    The western corridor was a political decision to open and run. Expected explosions in housing and commuting evaporated with the recession. If it loses money should we close it?

    IR is undergoing long overdue restructuring and belt tightening from within. The old chestnut about privatisation always raises its head as private companies would not be profitable without a Govt subvention and /or increased fares.

    There are hourly express bus eireann services from Galway to Limerick and hourly Local Services from Galway To Limerick. I think that would show a high enough demand for a rail line, if it was operated properly and the reopening of the WRC was conducted with the future in mind. Currently the corridor is already outdated with only possible speeds of 100km/hr and redeployed DMUs from the commuter lines. Surely IÉ could have done a little better job on the reconstruction of the line and a little bit of thought about the rolling stock on this "InterCity" Service. As I have said, there are Mk3 carriages rotting all over the countries where they could be refurbished and given a new lick of paint and be as good as new. Hell, even the GM locos would have done, at least they have a respectable speed. A commuter line should have been developed from Galway to Gort with a stations at Oranmore before the corridor opened. At least there would be frequent trains to compete with the already frequent buses on the N18. The service as it is on the WRC is a shambles, and the lack of promotion of it by IÉ shows its lack of regard for operating a quality service or its interest in getting any passengers on the line. The lack of a commuter service is ridiculous with commuter towns of Gort, Oranmore and Athenry all on the line. I have also always wondered why there was never a station constructed at Renmore on the Galway-Dublin Mainline. The line runs right behind all of the estates and is only a short hop into the city centre. Also, at Castlegar, huge development has taken place there and all of the estates overlook the railway line, but have no station. If there was a commuter service in Galway, these large residential areas would be perfect candidates for a station, and would allow for the potential demand of commuters who are sick of the chronic traffic congestion in the city. It's a shame that IÉ are over it because it could have been a success had the reconstruction and reopening been carried out competently by a suitable body.


  • Registered Users Posts: 288 ✭✭ n900guy


    Living in England and getting the train to work every day, I have first hand experience of your scenario outlined above with a government company maintaining the infrastructure and private companies operating the trains. I have to tell you that if you think that is the cure to all your ills then you will be sorely mistaken....

    The only way I see it working is to have the whole thing government run,

    ...... There is no short cuts or cheap way to do this, it has to be a major commitment to the railways or the current shambles.

    I agree. Trains in England are plentiful but are very expensive, making Irish Rail's prices seem quite reasonable.

    The best model for a state railway system is probably the Swiss Federal Railways system. They have without doubt the best network and service on the planet, in my opinion.

    But, you final part is the reason: there are no short cuts, and doing things properly takes effort, patience and planning; none of these are supply at a local government or national level.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭ bazza1


    I agree with a lot of what you say. Opening new lines and building new stations would cost a lot and as you pointed out the hourly bus routes would be tough competition in the short to middle term. would this investment be prudent at this time? Dont you think that this was looked at? If there were a potential market there, do you not think that IR would jump at the chance to get a few bob in? Its about bums on seats. Refitting the Mark 3s would be costly and would not extend their working live sufficiently to justify it. Maybe you will get some 22000 class when the next set of new cars arrive in May!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,437 ✭✭✭ Richard


    Surely there could be some cross-border cooperation here. What about a new company combining CIE and Translink owned jointly between the two governments. Keep the tracks and signalling completely public if necessary, but part of the new company could be sold off.

    There could also be other companies who could run services, although I think it would be difficult to get many takers when the railway network is so small.


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 Transportuser09


    Athlone-Ballinasloe, Limerick-Limerick Junction, Maynooth-Longford, and Oranmore-Galway were doubletrack at first, so with funding could be redoubled. I fairness the other routes would require major works to widen bridges, tunnels, embankments, cuttings over their lenght to make them double track, can't that happening. Even in Britain you dont see it. Bray-Greystones could do with being doubled but it would be an engineering nightmare around the headland.

    The signalling system as been replaced on all Dublin-based lines in the last ten years or so and is on par with that used in other countries to be fair.

    Yes Limerick-Waterford/Galway should have a better timetable.

    The mk3s, a tricky one. I agree with using railcars because it reduces staff overheads (not much shunting, no generator van needed, one piece means lower maintenance costs etc...) But scrapping carriages built in the 1980s is hard to justify, its been said they want to put them on an increased Enterprise service but they cant get funding to overhaul them. But most other modern railways got rid of loco hauled trains for railcars years before Ireland did.

    What ever happens Id hate to see it handed over to private operators, they would have no interest in Limerick-Ballybrophy and if they couldnt close it they would run a bare minimum service. There are of examples of this happening in the UK where some companies are forced to run a train a week in one direction to pacifiy Westminister.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 80 ✭✭✭ d.a.r.r.a.g.h


    I'm not very familiar with the railways around Limerick, but if Direct Limerick-Dublin trains used the Balybrophy branch, and a decent service was on the Waterford line synchronised with the Cork bound trains for transfers at Limerick Junction, couldn't demand be met?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter



    What ever happens Id hate to see it handed over to private operators, they would have no interest in Limerick-Ballybrophy and if they couldnt close it they would run a bare minimum service. There are of examples of this happening in the UK where some companies are forced to run a train a week in one direction to pacifiy Westminister.

    Sometimes I wonder are you are deliberate railway matters troll or just very very innocent.

    Irish Rail, the modicum of state run rail services has no interest in Limerick - Ballybrophy and there is a multitude of evidence available to back that up since the 1970s. So you either back up the above statement or stop posting **** that invites responses that will cause untold arguments.


  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭ runway16


    I'm surprised we are still having to have this debate in Ireland - there was an EU directive quite some time ago that mandated the seperation of Rail infrastructure from rail service operation, and many EU countries split these functions. For example, the Netherlands split NS into Pro-rail to run the infrastructure and NS to run the trains, with some lines tendered out to other operators.

    I am assuming that yet again, us Irish received some sort of derogation to free us from this requirement :rolleyes:

    Nederlandse Spoorwegen, or NS, still receives a subsidy and is still mainly in government hands, but runs the sort of service we in Ireland can only dream about, although it must be said, our Intercity trains are probably superior in terms of comfort, and our commuter fleet is considerably newer. Of course, the Dutch have the advantage of having Europe's highest population densities.....

    But, in most EU countries the railways remain in state hands. So what exactly is so unique to Ireland that we just cannot get it right??


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,133 Stonewolf


    runway16 wrote: »
    So what exactly is so unique to Ireland that we just cannot get it right??

    Irish people


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    runway16 wrote: »
    I'm surprised we are still having to have this debate in Ireland - there was an EU directive quite some time ago that mandated the seperation of Rail infrastructure from rail service operation, and many EU countries split these functions. For example, the Netherlands split NS into Pro-rail to run the infrastructure and NS to run the trains, with some lines tendered out to other operators.

    I am assuming that yet again, us Irish received some sort of derogation to free us from this requirement :rolleyes:

    Nederlandse Spoorwegen, or NS, still receives a subsidy and is still mainly in government hands, but runs the sort of service we in Ireland can only dream about, although it must be said, our Intercity trains are probably superior in terms of comfort, and our commuter fleet is considerably newer. Of course, the Dutch have the advantage of having Europe's highest population densities.....

    But, in most EU countries the railways remain in state hands. So what exactly is so unique to Ireland that we just cannot get it right??

    Its a little complicated. As far as I know Ireland including Northern Ireland has a derogation from aspects of the Directives that relate to freight and international services due to our "special geographic position". These derogations run until March 2013. They also make it difficult for a private operator to run services in Ireland.However I am not aware of a derogation extension applying to the Directive stipulation that infrastructure should be separated from service provision. Apparently the European Commission launched a legal case last Summer against Ireland and other member states who have not implemented this part of the directive.

    If one is to be fair, there has been a concerted campaign to protect CIEs monopoly on Irish Railways. But realistically the only way to break it up will be via the EU.
    (1) According to Article 14a of Directive 91/440/EEC and to Article 33 of Directive 2001/14/EC, Ireland and the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland benefit, due to their specific geographical situation, of derogations from implementing certain provisions of these Directives such as the requirements to entrust to an independent body the functions of determining equitable and non-discriminatory access to infrastructure, to set up an independent regulatory body, provisions related to capacity rights, framework agreements and measures in case of saturation of the rail network as well as other provisions.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 758 whydoibother?


    Irish railways need major investment on upgrading routes and even new routes, if train travel is ever to become a really popular option. If somebody has a car sitting in their driveway, they are unlikely to go pay for a train ticket (perhaps with the exception of getting into the central Dublin area where it can beat the traffic). It has to be taken almost to the point where people don't feel the need to own a car. I don't know how realisitic this level of investment in Ireland and especially at present. It is probably only ever achieveable around cities.


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


    Years ago when I was at school I was taught by Christopher Fettes, one of the founding fathers of the Green Party, and he used to have this theory that everyone should own a car but rarely feel the need to use it so good would be the alternatives. However, with all the massive costs now associated with motoring it makes sense to make as much use of your car as possible otherwise it's a waste of money owning one. This is likely to remain the case until such time as World governments wake up to the unsustainability of the current level of private motoring or, more likely, the Second Coming.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    The OP compares the Limerick-Galway train not to the 51 but to the X51 - which only makes one stop and that only by request by an onboard passenger.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,133 Stonewolf


    The fact that people get busses and trains at all is testament to the fact that a demand does indeed exist. What we should be doing is looking at ways to take advantage of this.

    One massive advantage passenger rail transport could have, as is the case elsewhere is speed. I'm not talking about TGVs here, just a consistent 160km/hr running over as much of the network as possible. We have the big shiney impressive rolling stock to do this already, what we lack is the infrastructure to do it. Achieving these speeds is not in any way shape or form any kind of insurmountable obstacle. All it requires is a refocus of efforts and an increase in track maintainance budgets, other countries have this as a matter of course.

    Another big card that our PT has consistently failed to play is networking, and again I blame the division of services by mode rather than function. We could reschedule existing services in both bus and rail modes so that the level of service is not lessened but connectivity is vastly increased. Bus services which serve the same routes as trains should be examined to see if they offer a sufficient functional difference and those that do not should be dropped or changed such that they do. These changes would prioritise the more efficient trains over the less efficient buses and by using buses as feeders increase patronage on rail routes which increases the likelihood of profitability and therefore the justification for further investment.

    Also, it's annoying how the WRC is brought up time and time again in these threads. It's built, it's flawed, can we just get over it. No, Mk3's would be a bad idea for it, you'd need to run around at Athenry. Constantly trawling up the WRC and lambasting IR/CIE/WoT/FF/FG/IRA over it is counterproductive, solutions are the way forward not recriminations.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    WRC is supposed to be getting 3 car 22Ks I believe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 Transportuser09


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Sometimes I wonder are you are deliberate railway matters troll or just very very innocent.

    Irish Rail, the modicum of state run rail services has no interest in Limerick - Ballybrophy and there is a multitude of evidence available to back that up since the 1970s. So you either back up the above statement or stop posting **** that invites responses that will cause untold arguments.

    I never said they did have an interest in that route, it's quite obvious that they are unwilling to do much with it. It took a outside group to get something resembling a commuter service on it. What I meant was that a private operator would not neccessarily be a Godsend for it either.

    There are plenty of examples of minimal services run by private operators in the UK. They only run these services because they have to, or because it is easier than going through the closure process.
    http://tripatlas.com/Parliamentary_train

    However, as the state transport provider, CIÉ should have made more of an effort with this and the Limerick Junction-Waterford-Rosslare line over the past decades. There's no denying that. All I'm saying is that the probablity of a private operator doing any better is unlikely.


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 Transportuser09


    Stonewolf wrote: »
    Also, it's annoying how the WRC is brought up time and time again in these threads. It's built, it's flawed, can we just get over it. No, Mk3's would be a bad idea for it, you'd need to run around at Athenry. Constantly trawling up the WRC and lambasting IR/CIE/WoT/FF/FG/IRA over it is counterproductive, solutions are the way forward not recriminations.

    Very well said.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,057 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    runway16 wrote: »
    I am assuming that yet again, us Irish received some sort of derogation to free us from this requirement :rolleyes:

    We did, but I believe it expires at some point. Was to do with the island's unique-in-europe rail gauge, NIR has the same derogation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,803 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    This document could be of interest to some of you....it outlines fairly detailed information on the railway infrastructure, and in particular permanent speed restrictions!

    http://www.irishrail.ie/images/upload/sitemap/IE_Network_Statement_2011.pdf


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    I can confirm that IE do not have a derogation from EU Directives 91/440 and its amendment 2001/14 in relation to the separation of infrastructure management and service provision. I understand that the European Commission has commenced legal action against member states that have failed to implement this aspect of "The first Railway package."


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