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Iarnrod Eireann Happy Train Traffic Nearly 40% Down

  • 15-03-2011 2:33pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    http://www.galwaynews.ie/18288-iarnr%C3%B3d-happy-rail-figures-despite-failure-reach-target
    Galway-Limerick passenger numbers more than 30% below projections



    Figures provided by the Department of Transport in response to a Freedom of Information request show that passenger numbers between May and September last year averaged 4,800 a month on the route between Ennis and Athenry, which is the first phase of the corridor which opened nearly a year ago at a cost of €106 million.


    and



    “This translates into an annual figure of between 62,400 and 67,158 which is well below the 100,000 trips assumed in the business case,” an Irish Rail official wrote according to a report in the Irish Times.


    Figures provided by Iarnród Éireann show passenger numbers from October to the end of December dropped, with a monthly average of 4,330 travelling on the route.The business plan anticipated the service would require an annual subsidy of €2.4 million to operate.


    The business case referred to in the documents was one compiled almost five years ago, which assumed there would be seven services a day and in a very different economic climate when there were thousands more workers in the region. It also assumed there would be a station at Oranmore, which has yet to open.

    Iarnród Éireann spokesman Myles McHugh said the company was happy with the number of passengers who were travelling.


«13

Comments

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    No surprises there. The entire thing never should of been opened the way a handful of trainspotters (most of them from the "mainland") and clerical groupies in Mayo demanded it be opened. For a nice choo-choo day out and not a public transport corridor.

    Anyone who dared point this out 5 years ago - that the rebuild was future proofed for failure were attacked and scorned for telling the truth.

    Bottom line: never let another trainspotter have any say in Irish public transport plans. They are as bad as gombeens - bring both together as the disaster above is all they can produce.

    I can bet if the rural hamlet stations were never built and the direct curve at Athenry had of been flipped to face Galway (and not towards a priest in Claremorris) that this line would had a chance. The way they rebuilt it was doing everything wrong possible. Which a part of me thinks this may well have been the reason...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭ D.L.R.


    Its depressingly predictable isn't it. Double tracking the Galway mainline would've been a better use of those resources.

    Its the "knacker wins lotto" mentality that a lot of the Tiger money was lost to. Gold teeth and rims. And western rail corridors.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,464 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    If you look at it though, the current service is useless for a lot of those who would like to use it to get to work in Galway.
    The first train lands at 8.25 so if working anywhere outside of the immediate city centre, you dont get to work till 9 at the earliest.

    The very last train leaves for Gort direction at 5.25 from Galway, meaning having to leave work at 5 or before, which at the end of it isnt even an 8 hour day working straight through without a break or only a 7 hour day if you have an hour lunchbreak.

    And as for trying to get to beyond limerick!
    To get to Cork you must change at Limerick AND Limerick junction.
    Or take the alternative and simply walk 10m outside the doors of the station in Galway and get a bus direct without any need to lug your luggage from one place to the next.

    I hate busses for long journies, but if the only alternative is to do more pogoing (with luggage on your back) than a hyperactive 4 year old, then the bus wins out!!
    (or car rental. Which at non peak times is only 14 euro a day and gets you from door to door with the minimum of messing or encounters with smelly or noisy people on public transport)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    The original Times article was carried last thursday

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0310/1224291779125.html

    However the shortfall is nothing like the Nenagh - Limerick shortfall

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0326/rail.html
    t was hoped at the time that over 360 passengers a day would use the service. However, Iarnród Éireann said today that the number of journeys per day is averaging at 80.

    Down 75% . :eek:

    Overall passenger numbers on rail dropped 2% in 2008 , the first decline in years and by 13% in 2009 and god knows by what in 2010 ...we will know in the summer.

    customerJourneys.gif


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Overall passenger numbers on rail dropped 2% in 2008 , the first decline in years and by 13% in 2009 and god knows by what in 2010 ...we will know in the summer.

    I'm nearly sure Barry Kenny was on Today FM in the last month or so saying that there's a good chance the figures will show an increase.

    Remember 2009 is when the Broadmeadow bridge was out of action. A downturn and the loss of Commuter services and the Enterprise.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,511 ✭✭✭✭ FreudianSlippers


    The problem with IE for me is that they either need to make the train cheaper or faster.

    I cannot see the point in taking the train if I can drive there faster and for almost the same price.


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


    Sponge Bob - I don't see how this thread title helps. Where in your quoted piece is Irish Rail "happy"?

    As for Nenagh - it would almost be shocking if numbers weren't awful. After all, this is a service that turns back at Birdhill in the evenings when the train is empty and has slower timings than the bus because they laid CWR north of Killonan without finishing the job and severe speed restrictions have been placed on bridges in that section.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 878 rainbowdash


    Of course Ennis - Athenry was already a functioning line. What would it have cost to do a 40mph upgrade on the cheap?

    I doubt its any faster than if it had been relaid on the cheap.

    The ghost stations should never have been built either, so a basic upgrade and a stop at Gort only would be as fast as what we now have but a lot less money spent.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,044 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    dowlingm wrote: »
    Sponge Bob - I don't see how this thread title helps. Where in your quoted piece is Irish Rail "happy"?
    .

    Its in the title of the article!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    Of course Ennis - Athenry was already a functioning line. What would it have cost to do a 40mph upgrade on the cheap?

    I doubt its any faster than if it had been relaid on the cheap.

    The ghost stations should never have been built either, so a basic upgrade and a stop at Gort only would be as fast as what we now have but a lot less money spent.

    The line was in bits really. Drainage was a major problem A complete rebuild was needed and would of been a good idea if they had done it the way they did Midleton and Dunboyne.

    But alas...


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    The line was in bits really. Drainage was a major problem A complete rebuild was needed and would of been a good idea if they had done it the way they did Midleton and Dunboyne.

    But alas...

    This is the danger of local head bangers insisting on retaining the actual track. Since 1981 the campaign has been ongoing to deliver what we have now. By keeping the rusty rails in the ground so long, they afforded Irish Rail and Government, the opportunity to reopen on the cheap aka 1911 style!

    Well done!


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


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    This is the danger of local head bangers insisting on retaining the actual track. Since 1981 the campaign has been ongoing to deliver what we have now. By keeping the rusty rails in the ground so long, they afforded Irish Rail and Government, the opportunity to reopen on the cheap aka 1911 style!

    Well done!
    Not to mention that such a rebuild would be made a mockery of the "we can do it for buttons" talk from WoT types. The official line speed per the network statement is 60mph - which is interesting considering a majority of it has speed restrictions listed.

    MYOB: strictly speaking the article's title was "Iarnród happy with rail figures despite failure to reach target" - a slight artistic licence by the OP.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    The thrust of it remains the same though, Irish Rail are stating they're perfectly fine with atrocious passenger numbers.
    Iarnród Éireann has reaffirmed its commitment to the Western Rail Corridor despite figures showing passenger numbers are well below initial projections.

    I hope our new government look very carefully at this. I would be incredibly dissappointed if it was under Leo Varadkar's belt that more chunks of a project which is a failure in nearly every single possible category were to plough ahead while more important projects rot on the scrapheap.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Leos biggest problem is that he will do the right thing but will probably announce it in the most cack handed way.

    He would be well advised to quote Frank Fahey who said long ago that the WRC north of Athenry would not happen and to thank Frank for being upfront on the matter 3 years agoand to thank Niall O Brolcháin for everything he has ever done for the WRC as well :D

    Then the Mayo FG TDs can say the WRC was killed off long ago by a pair of Galwegians not by them.

    But I am doubtful that Leo is that sensitive and expect him to cause a veritable sh1tstrom in Mayo....maybe he should announce the much needed Ballaghadereen bypass first eh!! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,070 ✭✭✭ SeaSlacker


    Why isn't this on the Western Rail Corridor thread in Commuting & Transport?

    Trolltastic thread title BTW.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    You linkee poos it for us so!!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    SeaSlacker wrote: »

    Trolltastic thread title BTW.

    No it is called reality. Go to westontrack.com or irishrailwaynews.com for magical thinking on the WRC if the reverse argument is more your taste.

    and besides, the reason why this rail line failed is because of its retarded (both literally and metaphorical INFRASTRUCTURE).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    I still do not understand why they did not double track the Athenry (with a large carpark there) to Galway line and make a station at Oranmore and maybe around GMIT

    As some-one pointed out already rail at the moment is inadequately suited to commuting to-from Galway
    you could cut commuting times in morning from 40 mins to 15 or so easily


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


    Per SeaSlacker's comment I also think this should go to C&T.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    ei.sdraob wrote: »
    I still do not understand why they did not double track the Athenry (with a large carpark there) to Galway line and make a station at Oranmore and maybe around GMIT

    Ah, that one again ! That would be because Iarnród Éireann quoted a cost of €180m ( page 5) simply to Dual Track 21km of line from Galway to Athenry including some necessary land acquisition east of the Oranmore N18 Level Crossing ( West of that spot was dual track from as early as 1850 until 1920 ) . €10m a Km or so, €10k a METRE if you will.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    €10m a Km or so, €10k a METRE if you will.

    Jesus 10K a meter :eek: what is the rail made of gold or something


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    ei.sdraob wrote: »
    Jesus 10K a meter :eek: what is the rail made of gold or something

    The truth about the creative tendering at Irish Rail will come out one day I am sure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭ Aard


    Why do they bother saying such high prices if people know it's bull?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Once the Newport - Mulranny track was taken off IE it cost €1.6m to make 18km of it into a Greenway. That was around 1% of the cost that IE quoted to dual track Galway - Athenry ( where they own half the land already) and a still hefty €89 a metre. Much better than €10k a metre though. :)

    IE have a sociopathic tendency to overspend on capital projects and to come back claiming they need more cash to 'finish' the job. Sadly for them the local media they use to spin their capex requests is online nowadays and we can see it for the shyte it is :)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    To put the previous €100m 40km Athenry - Ennis expenditure into perspective.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6723888.ece
    About 300 miles (480km) of line will be upgraded at a cost of £1.1billion ( then around €1.3bn) , including tracks from Didcot to Oxford, Reading to Newbury and Liverpool to Manchester.

    This to retrofit electrification on these lines...including the severn tunnel.
    Network Rail has identified 113 structures, mainly bridges and tunnels, several of which were built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, that would have to be altered on the 150-year-old Great Western Mainline because of lack of headroom for overhead wires. In some cases tracks can be lowered but other structures will have to knocked out and replaced.

    There are no tunnels between Galway and Athenry...and hardly any significant structures of any sort to alter be they under or over the line.

    They won't do that for £1.1bn either but it is an instructive comparison nevertheless :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    The €100 million supposed cost didn't include electrification either did it? I'm also assuming they didn't factor in removing level crossings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭✭ NITransport


    Most projects wildly over-estimate the potential ridership anyway. It's the only way they get funding. It's the same story over and over again in GB. I for one, am happy that money got spent on something socially beneficial. And I'm sure the people 60%+ that use it regularly are happy too!

    I think the route does require better timetabling and a marginal increase in speed, express services or limit stop services might also be better first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening.

    We also have to think that the Government intended for decentralisation, to stop concentration of everything being on the east coast. Hopefully if this continues post recession and productivity increases, we'll see the passenger numbers rise over the predicted levels, and perhaps well above it. And guess what... we'll be glad we invested when we did.

    But in the immediate to medium term future, I would like to see money being concentrated on Dublin - Belfast (As it's appalling. DRDNI need to catch themselves on too!), Further improvements to the speed of the Dublin - Cork service, and a better Cork - Limerick service (or maybe a Cork - Galway service!)


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


    I'd make two points re: Athenry.

    First, it doesn't need to be *fully* D/Ted. I suspect some of the 180m would have been go away money for development allowed get too close to the line. Even a couple of extra passing loops, properly signalled - say one at Renmore for a future station plus one at Oranmore - would make a difference and the lack of one in the day one Oranmore scheme is outrageous.

    Second, as long as services are operating in the same direction then distant signals are sufficient but the reality is that with the new services and only two platforms in Galway and two in Athenry it does not good to have trains waiting at either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    At 18 people a train on average, bearing in mind there's 50+ seats on a coach and >18 on a minibus, which could serve the route faster; the whole thing looks like an inbs style waste of money.

    60% of 18 people is what ten, eleven people?

    Close to a hundred million is wasted to enable these regular commuters a worse dearer less frequent service?

    Wait til it rains badly and the line is closed for another month. How will those 5400 journeys be made then? Oh No! the sky will fall and the west will close down.

    Or maybe people already use the faster, more frequent and cheaper bus service; which as an earlier poster pointed out lets you log on to the website and buy a cheaper fare.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,070 ✭✭✭ SeaSlacker


    Before I talk about the subject at hand, I think non-rail posters need to know the context of most of the posters who will, most likely, become the main posters here.

    Half of the posters here have posted thousands of posts over 5correction, 7 odd years about this single subject,.

    Some have been kicked off of other sites for posting their opinions on this very subject with the kind of vitriol you'd never even get away with on After Hours, (not because of the opinion, because of the vitriol)

    In the Western Rail Corridor thread, in Commuting & Transport, it got explained that boards.ie had become a refuge for railheads who opposed the Athenry-Limerick link, as there was a mod that shared their views on the WRC and would adopt a laissez faire attitude to the vitriol which he agreed with. Any one offended by it would be explained away with "this is the internet. conversations are not civil here."

    So the direction of this thread is a foregone conclusion. Anyone apart from a WRC hater will be set upon like a Christian posting in Atheism & Agnosticiam, or the reverse.

    (I predict next post will say it's justified because the "WRC is bad" using arguments that have already been lined out in posts before this, but will be repeated in full many times before this thread is over)


    That aside,

    If numbers aren't better in 3 years, it will need to be looked at. I'm annoyed trains don't serve 9-5 commuters or connecting to dublin trains well, and stations in Renmore and Oranmore are badly needed.


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