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Limerick-Foynes Rail Line

  • 11-06-2011 5:11pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    I was talking to a local politician down this way this morning trying to get her to look into turning the WRC into a cycyling path. She is still completely deluded that trains will be running from "Cork to Derry in a few years". Anyways just as I was about to leave and have a deep insightful discussion concerning the political undercurrents contained within 1950's Italian neo-realist cinema with a cavity block lying on a piece of waste ground, she blurts out. "Sure the line to Foynes is about to be opened by a private rail company."

    I looked on C&T board and something about Stobart paying for it. But there is nothing in terms of media or anything to confirm this.

    Personally I would see IE dynamiting Boyne Viaduct before allowing a private operator on their nextwork. Even a closed line. They are so psychologically twisted and deranged I could not even imagine such a suggestion even being indulged by CIE/IE even if it was real.

    Anyone got info on this?


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    its astonishing that a Public Representative can really think that anyone in Ireland would have the money to re-open this or any other line.

    The Foynes line is quite long and in quite poor condition, even allowing for the lower standards for a freight only line, how can anyone think that a retuern on such a huge investment could be had?


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


    We would be better off opening up the old routes as cycle routes. It allow for development of "Cycle tourism" without people been worried about taking their lives in their hands by venturing on bikes onto "National roads".


  • Registered Users Posts: 912 Hungerford


    corktina wrote: »
    The Foynes line is quite long and in quite poor condition, even allowing for the lower standards for a freight only line, how can anyone think that a retuern on such a huge investment could be had?

    The investment involved would only be €7 million, which would probably repay itself in terms of the country's ability to meet its carbon reduction goals and reduced wear and tear on the road system. IE's previous investment estimate - around €30 million - was allegedly based on rebuilding it to TGV standards.

    In addition, there is already one major potential customer who wants to use it and the country badly needs any economic activity.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    we dont have €7 never mind €7 million


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    Hungerford wrote: »
    IE's previous investment estimate - around €30 million - was allegedly based on rebuilding it to TGV standards.

    In addition, there is already one major potential customer who wants to use it and the country badly needs any economic activity.

    I am not surprise IE wanted to over engineer the build - typical of these maniacs.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    corktina wrote: »
    we dont have €7 never mind €7 million

    Not really. If as Hungerford says there is a customer - the costs would be covered in a couple of years.

    Once this is all for real and not more trainspotter pillow talk.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,361 ✭✭✭ Itsdacraic


    The Foynes line would need a lot of work to open it. I have relations living beside a stretch of it and in spots it is almost impassible even on foot.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    Itsdacraic wrote: »
    The Foynes line would need a lot of work to open it. I have relations living beside a stretch of it and in spots it is almost impassible even on foot.

    If it were just for freight trains travelling at 15 MPH you would be surprised what you can get away with.

    I was working in Alabama in 2000 and a 'mom and pop' short line delivered plastic pellets to a factory near were I was working a couple of time a week. The locomotives and freight wagons in the USA are GIGANATIC compared to ours here and the track this line was using was about the same condition as the Athlone-Mullingar section is now. Was in bits. But the locomotive moved along it slowly. That's the key.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    Not really. If as Hungerford says there is a customer - the costs would be covered in a couple of years.

    Once this is all for real and not more trainspotter pillow talk.

    and if the customer pulls out after 6 months?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    Oh and what about rolling stock costs? Im sure IE havent got any left!


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    corktina wrote: »
    and if the customer pulls out after 6 months?

    Why are you being so negative. There is such a thing as a business contract. This is not like the WRC being reopened for passengers and social justice or to get some priest a special pass through the Pearly Gates and requies massive on going subsidy. This is a business deal. Business is just business. If indeed a private company is serious it is to make money not to get votes in Castlebar.

    Foynes has in its favour a deep water berth for unloading bulk materials. If some business thinks it might come in useful for bring bulk materials into the country then what's the problem?

    As for rolling stock, IE have loads of locos sitting around and container pocket wagons can carry everything except timber logs.

    I don't get why you are so negative. IE have and still find countless ways to waste 7 million quid on far less. Is some business people are serious about this then indulge them and sweat the existing assets.

    I got news for you, as against the Northern Half of the WRC as I am. If a vast mining potential was discovered in the Ox Mountains I would say to hell with the cycle path and reinstall the train line. There is no way things like heavy minerals and ore should be going long distances by road. This kind of heavy bulk traffic should always be taken to the nearest railhead.


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


    corktina wrote: »
    and if the customer pulls out after 6 months?

    In the past Shannon Foynes Port Co. offered to pay for the repairs/reinstatement itself; and now Stobart are offering to DO the work itself (they have a permanent way division). No costs to IE.
    corktina wrote: »
    Oh and what about rolling stock costs? Im sure IE havent got any left!

    They have about half the fleet of 201s lying up and were even tendering for extra container pocket wagons recently.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    corktina wrote: »
    Oh and what about rolling stock costs? Im sure IE havent got any left!

    In the UK 60 year old locomotives are being brought back into service to move freight. This is common practice all over the world.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭ Niles


    There is an EU directive that allows private operators to run rail freight in Ireland now, so IÉ would have to give them access if they were prepared to pay for it - there was a network operating statement released by the IÉ earlier this year that discussed some of this. It also allows for International (not domestic) passenger services, so the way I read it that it implies that a private operator could run a Dublin-Belfast rail service.

    http://www.irishrail.ie/networkAccess/network_access.asp

    Presumably it is the NTA that would have the final say, not IÉ, and the NTA do not seem to pander to CIÉ; they didn't give IÉ approval to raise fares as much as they wanted to and so far seem to have rejected Bus Éireann's request altogether.

    As for trains from Cork to Derry... :rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    I believe this scheme to be pie in the sky
    I cant see any freight flow through Foynes that would justify anyone spending €7 million on it. What could there possbily be that could not be handled at another port nearer to its market cheaper?
    The only benefit to shipping that I can see to a long-mooted west coast deep water port is for ships coming from the other side of the Atlantic. DO we actually do much trade from that directiion? I would havbe thought the bulk of our export imports go to the via the UK and mainland Europe.

    feel free to enlighten me please


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


    corktina wrote: »
    I believe this scheme to be pie in the sky
    I cant see any freight flow through Foynes that would justify anyone spending €7 million on it. What could there possbily be that could not be handled at another port nearer to its market cheaper?
    The only benefit to shipping that I can see to a long-mooted west coast deep water port is for ships coming from the other side of the Atlantic. DO we actually do much trade from that directiion? I would havbe thought the bulk of our export imports go to the via the UK and mainland Europe.

    feel free to enlighten me please

    If Stobart want to get said freight on to rail, where else do you suggest they do it? Tivoli is disconnected, New Ross is overgrown, Rosslare freight is disconnected, Sligo is disconnected....


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭ Niles


    The way I look at it is if a private company is willing to invest money fair enough - it's their loss and not that of the taxpayer if the thing flops.


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


    As for wagons being a problem, this is need not be the case as they can be leasing arrangements for such items. The Ammonia wagons that ran between Marino Point and Shelton Abbey (pictured below) were lease/purchased through some Swiss company as far as I remember.

    I suggested to the ITG that they consider Foynes for a new base but sadly they opted for the even more remote Moyasta.

    clrathdrum.jpeg

    Photo: Peter Scott


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    corktina wrote: »
    I believe this scheme to be pie in the sky
    I cant see any freight flow through Foynes that would justify anyone spending €7 million on it. What could there possbily be that could not be handled at another port nearer to its market cheaper?
    The only benefit to shipping that I can see to a long-mooted west coast deep water port is for ships coming from the other side of the Atlantic. DO we actually do much trade from that directiion? I would havbe thought the bulk of our export imports go to the via the UK and mainland Europe.

    feel free to enlighten me please

    At the moment there may not be that many ships to Foynes. But if they were needed the same company who are looking to run freight on the line (Stobart?) would just simply procure a marine transport contract with a shipping company and they would bring in the ships as needed with the materials. How come you cannot understand this? We are talking about the biggest logistic company in the UK and not some crayonism here. So there have to be money in this somehow.

    I have no idea what they are planning to bring in and out of Foynes but it must be worth the effort if a company is eager to get it started. I guess time will tell.

    Frankly, I will believe this when I see it. But it'll be a good thing if it works out for lots of reasons. I am amazed at your hostility to the idea. If it takes off, nice. If not well that's life.

    But that's business. It all about risks and taking the best chance you can. The more I look into this story there seems to be some truth to it. So let sit back and see how it ends up.

    Be nice to see a closed rail line opening up for all the right reason and not to indulge the likes of West on Track.

    Lighten up man.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    MYOB wrote: »
    If Stobart want to get said freight on to rail, where else do you suggest they do it? Tivoli is disconnected, New Ross is overgrown, Rosslare freight is disconnected, Sligo is disconnected....

    Sligo Yard is still rail connected I am pretty sure. The issue is the deep water harbour silted up in the 1970's.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    At the moment there may not be that many ships to Foynes. But if they were needed the same company who are looking to run freight on the line (Stobart?) would just simply procure a marine transport contract with a shipping company and they would bring in the ships as needed with the materials. How come you cannot understand this? We are talking about the biggest logistic company in the UK and not some crayonism here. So there have to be money in this somehow.

    I have no idea what they are planning to bring in and out of Foynes but it must be worth the effort if a company is eager to get it started. I guess time will tell.

    Frankly, I will believe this when I see it. But it'll be a good thing if it works out for lots of reasons. I am amazed at your hostility to the idea. If it takes off, nice. If not well that's life.

    But that's business. It all about risks and taking the best chance you can. The more I look into this story there seems to be some truth to it. So let sit back and see how it ends up.

    Be nice to see a closed rail line opening up for all the right reason and not to indulge the likes of West on Track.

    Lighten up man.

    what hostility? more like incredulity! I just cant see what flow of traffic would be worth someone paying €7 million to re-instate the branch line plus the cost of buying or leasing rolling stock (Im not convinced there is any available at present) and whatever other costs upgrading the dock would mean.

    Foynes is just about the least accessible Irish port, I just cant believe this is a real proposition. Maybe you can point me at a statement by Stobarts for instance.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    corktina wrote: »
    what hostility? more like incredulity! I just cant see what flow of traffic would be worth someone paying €7 million to re-instate the branch line plus the cost of buying or leasing rolling stock (Im not convinced there is any available at present) and whatever other costs upgrading the dock would mean.

    Foynes is just about the least accessible Irish port, I just cant believe this is a real proposition. Maybe you can point me at a statement by Stobarts for instance.

    I am looking for that too BTW.

    There could be other issues. The potential traffic flow to the Foynes may be shorter than to Dublin Port. The congestion of the rail lines in the Dublin area might affect timings to meet ships. Perhaps the cargo is not safe to transport though populated areas? The berthing costs at Foynes less too? There are all kinds of factors which make up a business plan. How do you know the proposed traffic is not originating from anywhere from Nova Scotia to Terra Del Fuego. You're assuming the bulk flow are only coming from the UK.

    There could be a huge number of varibles.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    Uk and Mainland Europe I said.....thats most of the traffic on offer I reckon


  • Registered Users Posts: 912 Hungerford


    There could be other issues.

    The rather enormous zinc ore deposit at Pallas East might also be a consideration - once it's up and running, they have to get it out of the country by sea and Foynes is the closest port.

    I think that the Foynes scheme might work because the port authority has been pushing for the reopening for years and seems to want to develop the traffic. The problem is that Tricky Dicky and the lads never did.

    The whole Stobart thing seems to have thrown them a curve ball. There are rumours that Irish Rail are now trying to insist that all the level crossing upgrade work between Limerick Junction and Limerick is included as part of any restoration project.

    This appears to be an attempt to drive Stobart away - each crossing would cost €250,000 to do.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 558 OurLadyofKnock


    There are rumours that Irish Rail are now trying to insist that all the level crossing upgrade work between Limerick Junction and Limerick is included as part of any restoration project.


    They really are out of control. And yet here is one of the managers quoted in the media using his job to lobby for extending the WRC to Knock Airport recently.


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


    Hungerford wrote: »
    The rather enormous zinc ore deposit at Pallas East might also be a consideration - once it's up and running, they have to get it out of the country by sea and Foynes is the closest port.

    I think that the Foynes scheme might work because the port authority has been pushing for the reopening for years and seems to want to develop the traffic. The problem is that Tricky Dicky and the lads never did.

    The whole Stobart thing seems to have thrown them a curve ball. There are rumours that Irish Rail are now trying to insist that all the level crossing upgrade work between Limerick Junction and Limerick is included as part of any restoration project.

    This appears to be an attempt to drive Stobart away - each crossing would cost €250,000 to do.

    Hadn't heard about this prospect. Not been from Limerick and all how close is the "Pallas Green" prospect to a railhead? Obviously I'm assuming it would be close enough if they were proposing using rail to get crushed Ore out of the location?


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


    dubhthach wrote: »
    Hadn't heard about this prospect. Not been from Limerick and all how close is the "Pallas Green" prospect to a railhead? Obviously I'm assuming it would be close enough if they were proposing using rail to get crushed Ore out of the location?

    Its very close to the Limerick to Limerick Junction line.

    I would imagine it could easily get a rail-only planning constraint like Tara has.


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


    MYOB wrote: »
    Its very close to the Limerick to Limerick Junction line.

    I would imagine it could easily get a rail-only planning constraint like Tara has.

    It definetly seems to be quite a big "complex" from what I'm gathering on a quick google. They are spending €10m on drilling boreholes for exploration purposes alone! Of course we forget that Ireland is the 7th largest producer of Zinc in the world (2006 figures) at about 426k tonnes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_zinc_production


  • Registered Users Posts: 912 Hungerford


    They really are out of control. And yet here is one of the managers quoted in the media using his job to lobby for extending the WRC to Knock Airport recently.

    The ironic thing is that the level crossings have to be done anyway and Irish Rail have allocated funding for that task.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,468 popebenny16


    I was talking to a local politician

    :rolleyes:


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