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Canals - Ulster Earne

  • 23-11-2011 2:47pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 643 swordofislam


    Is there economic argument for a massive increase in Ireland's canal network.
    Surely in the modern age canals are cheap to build and the cost of transport must be for nothing.

    If we built a NETWORK of canals surely they would pay for themselves in jig time.

    EDIT: Just looked up cost of Seine Nord Europe Canal €4.2 Billion for 105 KM.

    Looks like Canals are massively expensive and inefficient.
    Post edited by Sam Russell on
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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,400 ✭✭✭ Alkers


    Is there economic argument for a massive increase in Ireland's canal network.
    Surely in the modern age canals are cheap to build and the cost of transport must be for nothing.

    If we built a NETWORK of canals surely they would pay for themselves in jig time.
    Hardly of any use tbh, you're talking about 5mph tops for barges and I doubt they are many times more efficient than trucks. Plus you would still have to truck goods from the nearest canal to their destination. That is ignoring the cost and effort of actually building the canals and the perfectly good road network we have already spent our money home.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 643 swordofislam


    Simona1986 wrote: »
    Hardly of any use tbh, you're talking about 5mph tops for barges and I doubt they are many times more efficient than trucks. Plus you would still have to truck goods from the nearest canal to their destination. That is ignoring the cost and effort of actually building the canals and the perfectly good road network we have already spent our money home.
    Just looked up Seine Nord Europe Canal.
    Did not realise how expensive Canals are to build.

    On the other hand with peak oil maybe trucks are a fools paradise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,400 ✭✭✭ Alkers


    Simona1986 wrote: »
    Hardly of any use tbh, you're talking about 5mph tops for barges and I doubt they are many times more efficient than trucks. Plus you would still have to truck goods from the nearest canal to their destination. That is ignoring the cost and effort of actually building the canals and the perfectly good road network we have already spent our money home.
    Just looked up Seine Nord Europe Canal.
    Did not realise how expensive Canals are to build.

    On the other hand with peak oil maybe trucks are a fools paradise.
    Barges use diesel engines also unless you are suggesting a return to horses?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub



    On the other hand with peak oil maybe trucks are a fools paradise.

    Peak oil won't affect the Irish rail network. When it comes we can just get a few steam locos out of a museum and get the same point to point times we are currently getting


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Peak oil won't affect the Irish rail network. When it comes we can just get a few steam locos out of a museum and get the same point to point times we are currently getting

    Yeah and we can burn the turf that the D4 lobby don't want us to cut


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  • Registered Users Posts: 951 robd


    Peak oil won't affect the Irish rail network. When it comes we can just get a few steam locos out of a museum and get the same point to point times we are currently getting

    Peak oil has nothing to do with running out of oil. It simply means that they can't extract every increasing quantities of it at an economic price. It essentially means the death knell for 1 person cars and trips 1 mile down the road with the kids to local creche/school. Mass transit systems are likely to benefit not decline as a result.


  • Registered Users Posts: 951 robd


    Is there economic argument for a massive increase in Ireland's canal network.
    Surely in the modern age canals are cheap to build and the cost of transport must be for nothing.

    I'd really love to know what sparks went off in your brain to think of this?

    Seriously, this is one of the daftests things I've heard. Canals were replaced by railways which were replaced by tarmacadam roads which were replaced by motorways. This is because each one was better technology that allowed us to transport goods and people at a lower cost.

    Railways obviously still have a place, for metro, suburban, high speed intercity and long distance freight.

    Wide Canals have a place such as Pananama Canal, Suez Canal and certain canals linking upstream ports but outside of that ZERO. Certainly in Ireland and the UK the narrow canals are strictly for nostalgic historical leisure purposes.


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


    the few canals that we have that are usable always amaze me by their emptiness. Canal holidays in the UK are BIG business.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,093 ✭✭✭ hi5


    corktina wrote: »
    the few canals that we have that are usable always amaze me by their emptiness. Canal holidays in the UK are BIG business.

    The rivers are the same,all the lough gates on the Barrow have been restored at great cost and no one seems to use them.


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


    corktina wrote: »
    the few canals that we have that are usable always amaze me by their emptiness. Canal holidays in the UK are BIG business.

    Failte Ireland/Tourism Ireland and past/present governments who couldn't organise a proverbial piss-up. It's the same whatever aspect of Ireland you examine. :(


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,696 ✭✭✭ trad


    Thanks to the Good Friday Agreement the canals in the Republic of Ireland are run by a crowd in Enniskillen in the United Kingdom who, from my experience, do not want to see any commercial traffic on the canals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭ Pope John 11


    corktina wrote: »
    the few canals that we have that are usable always amaze me by their emptiness. Canal holidays in the UK are BIG business.

    Yes, I would love to see alot more use made of our existing canals. Why is this not the case. It would increase tourism by the thousands.


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


    Yes, I would love to see alot more use made of our existing canals. Why is this not the case. It would increase tourism by the thousands.

    Because we have too many tourism bodies, stuffed with utterly useless senior management - from my direct personal experience over many years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Yes, I would love to see alot more use made of our existing canals. Why is this not the case. It would increase tourism by the thousands.


    Any time I've looked into renting a boat on the Shannon or a canal you'd swear it was a floating ritz you where renting. Very pricey


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


    Given how are urban centers tend to turn their backs on the canals I don't think you really want to be on a canal trip especially in parts of West Dublin.


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


    i can only suggest you go to Birmingham or one of quite a few UK industrial ciities and see what they've done with their canals.


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


    corktina wrote: »
    i can only suggest you go to Birmingham or one of quite a few UK industrial ciities and see what they've done with their canals.

    Well that's my point, the planners here completely ignored using the Canals as "urban gateways" as a result this has a knock on effect when it comes to people actually using them in context of Dublin etc.

    Compare the boat business on the Shannon in comparison.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 643 swordofislam


    Failte Ireland/Tourism Ireland and past/present governments who couldn't organise a proverbial piss-up. It's the same whatever aspect of Ireland you examine. :(
    If you look at where we are now compared with where we were even 5 years ago there is great progress. Waterways Ireland are doing an excellent job.
    I saw a design for a wind powered boat a while ago. NOT A SAILING BOAT a windmill. Zero energy, zero emissions and in the post peak oil world a cheap and sensible way to transport goods if you have the necessary canal network (not that we ever will they are not practical).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 643 swordofislam


    corktina wrote: »
    i can only suggest you go to Birmingham or one of quite a few UK industrial ciities and see what they've done with their canals.
    Really like the Birmingham Canal stuff but even a few years ago that area was run down and dangerous.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 643 swordofislam


    trad wrote: »
    Thanks to the Good Friday Agreement the canals in the Republic of Ireland are run by a crowd in Enniskillen in the United Kingdom who, from my experience, do not want to see any commercial traffic on the canals.
    WTF I am talking about NEW CANALS! Have you ever seen the lock system that they have around Strasbourg on the Rhine? Maybe we need to open up and canalise our rivers. But why not build and cut new rivers? (I know cost) This is the 21st century surely this is the right time for a new Era of waterborne traffic.

    Watching the huge ships on Rivers is relaxing and soothing. Does anyone relax by watching a motorway?

    Also this is the kind of paritionist mentality that sinks gigantic projects in Ireland!


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    WTF I am talking about NEW CANALS! Have you ever seen the lock system that they have around Strasbourg on the Rhine? Maybe we need to open up and canalise our rivers. But why not build and cut new rivers? (I know cost) This is the 21st century surely this is the right time for a new Era of waterborne traffic.

    LOL, you have to be kidding!!

    WE don't have the money for really important and economically positive projects like Dart Underground and Metro North and you want us to build canals with no economic benefit!!!

    I thought the Western Rail Corridor was mad, but now I really have heard it all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    Maybe they can build a C-ring around Dublin and call it the C50?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,708 ✭✭✭ Curly Judge


    Simona1986 wrote: »
    Barges use diesel engines also unless you are suggesting a return to horses?

    Naw! He was going to build the canal on a slight slope!:cool:


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


    AngryLips wrote: »
    Maybe they can build a C-ring around Dublin and call it the C50?

    Canalise the Boyne from Drogheda to Royal Canal aqueduct with a "freeflow lock interchange" there, continue onwards with similiar at the Grand Canal down by Naas. ;):D *hides*


  • Registered Users Posts: 21 ✭✭✭ Shangoes


    Aside from tourist traffic, they could be put to other uses. The canals in London are used for moving waste, heavy building materials and freight for example. I know of a waterfront construction project that was to contain a large transfer station in the basement for barges. While construction costs are probably similar to that of a road for a new build, we do have quite an extensive network in place already that could be much better used.


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


    Cloud cuckoo stuff I'm afraid, canals in Ireland are fit only for tourism/leisure purposes and need serious promotion and development for same. Anyone who has travelled on the UK's canals will know just how overcrowded they are but do you think Tourism Ireland etc. take this in? No, they would be more likely to try encouraging Chinese people to visit Ireland looking for their roots rather than concentrating on a huge market on our doorstep. :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 951 robd


    WTF I am talking about NEW CANALS! Have you ever seen the lock system that they have around Strasbourg on the Rhine? Maybe we need to open up and canalise our rivers. But why not build and cut new rivers? (I know cost) This is the 21st century surely this is the right time for a new Era of waterborne traffic.

    There's a somewhat bizarre article on this here: http://campfire.theoildrum.com/node/6103

    The main obstacle are the cost and energy required to actually build a canal versus a railway or road and the slow speeds. You couldn't travel more than maybe 10 kph (slower when you take account of locks) on a canal, due to wake off boat, which would only suit a very small subset of goods types such as bulk aggregate say. So the investment is just not worth it. It would be economic suicide and any government who backed this would be the laughing stock of the world.

    The reality is that roads allow us to transport all varieties of goods to and from where ever we wish. Neither canal nor road can offer this flexibility.


  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭ Pope John 11


    Yes, I am very disappointed that alot more has not been done. Its a pity because it would make a great tourist attraction for the americans who want to golf in the west of Ireland etc.

    Having read Ruth Delaney's and the work that has gone into restoring the canal (at one stage I think someone suggested to concrete in the Royal Canal and build a road to the west of Ireland over it), I think it is a great shame that there is not much more use made of it.

    I often wonder too why the liffey is lifeless, and why there are not boat trips out to howth etc.


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


    Both the Royal & Grand Canals suffer from having their starting points in Inner City Dublin. I can only imagine the visitor 'experience' of trying to travel on the Royal Canal between Maynooth and Dublin Port - exciting or dangerous? Instead of developing the canals as a major source of employment to the deprived communities that they pass through, they are the plaything of those lucky enough to have their own craft and generally there appears to be little interaction with locals.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,851 ✭✭✭✭ endacl


    Is there economic argument for a massive increase in Ireland's canal network.
    Surely in the modern age canals are cheap to build and the cost of transport must be for nothing.

    If we built a NETWORK of canals surely they would pay for themselves in jig time.

    EDIT: Just looked up cost of Seine Nord Europe Canal €4.2 Billion for 105 KM.

    Looks like Canals are massively expensive and inefficient.
    Big fan if the waterways. Came back to Dublin from the fleadh in tullamore a few years ago by canal boat. Lovely couple of days. Would have been quicker walking, but a lovely couple of days nonetheless.... Not sure how commercially viable canals would be for a modern world where goods could make the same journey in an hour by road. Redeveloping the rail network might be a better avenue for exploration?


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