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UK Leads the Way (Road to Rail)!

Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 126 ✭✭ Joko


    Railfreight does not make business sense. Blackmailing businesses with carbon taxes is not good for any economy either.


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


    Joko wrote: »
    Railfreight does not make business sense
    Congratulations for blanket statement of the week. Better not tell the Americans or Australians or they might have to close down their mines.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 126 ✭✭ Joko


    dowlingm wrote: »
    Congratulations for blanket statement of the week. Better not tell the Americans or Australians or they might have to close down their mines.

    Yes two of the biggest countries in the world where freight is transported in mile long trains across 1000kms. A small island like ours cannot justify rail freight. It is not economical and a blanket statement covers it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 795 ✭✭✭ Jim Martin


    Joko wrote: »
    Yes two of the biggest countries in the world where freight is transported in mile long trains across 1000kms. A small island like ours cannot justify rail freight. It is not economical and a blanket statement covers it.

    Rubbish!

    They used to transport cement & sugar beet here!


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


    but was it economic and are the Motorways a cheaper, more efficent option?


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


    The way many freight lines were done was uneconomic, yes. There were some lines that were downright dangerous like ammonia being shipped through Cork. The cement trade has been heavily impacted by the economic downturn also. But if IE are telling the truth that Ballina freight is profitable, can it really be said that the only place in Ireland that can produce profitable trainloads of containers is a small town in NW Mayo? I find that hard to believe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,183 ✭✭✭ sdanseo


    Railfreight in Ireland is doomed until CIÉ is abolished. IÉ couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery.


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


    But that's the thing about railfreight - IE AREN'T organising it any more. They simply supply capacity and let shippers worry about filling it. Apparently it's a money maker. Ballina-North Wall was (I believe) cleared to take 9'6" containers on flat containers which means the pocket wagons will be available on routes where clearances are not as generous. There is murmuring about timber restarting from Sligo and it has already been increased from Ballina/Westport. Tara is on a countdown of course as the mine is likely to deemed exploited in 10 years or so.

    As long as IE don't try and recreate expertise they don't have in shipping maybe this will go somewhere - not in leaps in bounds, more nibbles, especially since Port of Cork is resistant to reconnection in Tivoli. I know there's talk of freight DMUs which seems daft to me when with proper overhauling the 071s could go on for a long time yet especially if a deal was done with NIR to operate them as a single fleet (although with the Derry works it's likely the 111s will be busier than usual over the next few years)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    Jim Martin wrote: »
    Rubbish!

    They used to transport cement & sugar beet here!

    Yes - and they no longer do. Guess maybe it didn't make any economic sense? :)

    Now that we've got motorways we don't need rail freight; it was ordinary roads killed off rail freight.

    Comparisons with mile-long trains in Australia or America are complete nonsense - generally you need about a 400 mile haul to make rail a more viable proposition - and very long trains :cool:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    Wild Bill wrote: »
    Yes - and they no longer do. Guess maybe it didn't make any economic sense? :)

    Now that we've got motorways we don't need rail freight; it was ordinary roads killed off rail freight.

    Comparisons with mile-long trains in Australia or America are complete nonsense - generally you need about a 400 mile haul to make rail a more viable proposition - and very long trains :cool:

    I guess it would be rather pointless to send beet by rail now given that the sugar factories are gone but don't let that fact get in the way of your anti-rail bias. :rolleyes:


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    I guess it would be rather pointless to send beet by rail now given that the sugar factories are gone but don't let that fact get in the way of your anti-rail bias. :rolleyes:

    I have no "anti-rail bias".

    I know there is no beet traffic.

    There is also no cement traffic.

    Are you suggesting that roads don't compete with railways? :cool:


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


    You literally couldn't get a country in the world less suited to rail freight.

    For rail freight you typically need very heavy loads that aren't time sensitive (e.g. mining minerals) and very long distance. What we have in Ireland is:

    - Very little heavy industry (e.g. mining, etc.)
    - Vast majority of industry is light and operates to Just In Time principles.
    - A small island, where distances are very short.
    - The main population center is in the middle of the country and has a port.
    - Every other major city also has a port.
    - Every other city is at max 2 hours 30 mins from Dublin by a high quality motorway network.

    Simply the economics, geography and demographics of Ireland make it totally unsuited to rail freight.

    That is not to say there can't be a little rail freight, there is, but it makes up less then 1% of freight and it will always be a niche market. I watched the recent ecoeye program which included a section on rail freight, while it looks like they are doing a good job, it was also clear that they are desperate to get government subsidies. They were complaining that road freight gets indirect subsidies while they get no subsidies (conveniently forgetting the indirect subsidies they receive from the building and maintenance of the rail lines) and they are looking for direct subsidies.

    To me it just looks like another industry that can't compete in a competitive market and looking for your and my money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 795 ✭✭✭ Jim Martin


    It was said on 'Nationwide' the other night that re-starting the sugar beet industry was being looked at!


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


    if they do re-start it, will it be viable to invest heavily in the infrastructure necessary to send beet by rail?

    Most of it went by road in the closing years anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 795 ✭✭✭ Jim Martin


    Leo Varadkar said this morn that he is opening up Irish Rail to private freight competition!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,210 ✭✭✭ donkey balls


    As another poster pointed out Ireland does not have the infrastucture for our goods to be transported by rail 90% of exports leave this island via truck/ferry and how does the exporting company get their product to the rail terminal?.
    Having worked in transport both here and Austrailia the rail links in oz would be like having a rail link between Galway and the USA regarding their lenght yet transport companies in oz still send trucks from Perth to Sydney the same distance roughly as Galway to the USA.
    Then you have the security of the load making sure the product is kept at a specific temperture etc,This thing of getting hgv off the road due to carbon emmisions is a load of b*ll*x and if so why don't they take busses off the road as well.
    Most HGV these days probely emit less C02 than your average car take the Swiss for example only certain vehicles that have a low emissions sticker are allowed to transit through the country,Also what subsidies do the road transport companies get? as for Leo opening up the rail lines to private companies what's the point if there is f**k all traffic using it,Maybe Leo got advise from his special advisor who just happened to be the Irish pharma association PRO:rolleyes:.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    As another poster pointed out Ireland does not have the infrastucture for our goods to be transported by rail 90% of exports leave this island via truck/ferry and how does the exporting company get their product to the rail terminal?.
    Having worked in transport both here and Austrailia the rail links in oz would be like having a rail link between Galway and the USA regarding their lenght yet transport companies in oz still send trucks from Perth to Sydney the same distance roughly as Galway to the USA.
    Then you have the security of the load making sure the product is kept at a specific temperture etc,This thing of getting hgv off the road due to carbon emmisions is a load of b*ll*x and if so why don't they take busses off the road as well.
    Most HGV these days probely emit less C02 than your average car take the Swiss for example only certain vehicles that have a low emissions sticker are allowed to transit through the country,Also what subsidies do the road transport companies get? as for Leo opening up the rail lines to private companies what's the point if there is f**k all traffic using it,Maybe Leo got advise from his special advisor who just happened to be the Irish pharma association PRO:rolleyes:.

    What a post! If it weren't for the fact that I'm cooking my dinner I'd have more to say but here is a video which shows the lack of transcontinental rail freight in Aus - note the artics on the trains too. Enjoy your dinner. :p



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,210 ✭✭✭ donkey balls


    Just had a look at the vid and the only artic I saw was the B double crossing the rail line ;) not unless you mean the freight containers loaded onto the train.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 Irish and Proud


    Joko wrote: »
    dowlingm wrote: »
    Congratulations for blanket statement of the week. Better not tell the Americans or Australians or they might have to close down their mines.

    Yes two of the biggest countries in the world where freight is transported in mile long trains across 1000kms. A small island like ours cannot justify rail freight. It is not economical and a blanket statement covers it.

    AFAIK, there's a new freight rail company operating a service from Ballina (I think it's Ballina) to Dublin Port and it's doing very well apparently - there's some agreement with IE regarding the use of the tracks. There was some TV programme covering it and businesses who had previously used road freight are basically saying that they are now enjoying the economic benefits of the service as road freight has become too expensive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,210 ✭✭✭ donkey balls


    AFAIK, there's a new freight rail company operating a service from Ballina (I think it's Ballina) to Dublin Port and it's doing very well apparently - there's some agreement with IE regarding the use of the tracks. There was some TV programme covering it and businesses who had previously used road freight are basically saying that they are now enjoying the economic benefits of the service as road freight has become too expensive.


    If my memory is correct the company involved is IWT afaik stobart rail were looking to operate here going by what they pay there truck drivers the train driver might be lucky to get 10e an hour.:rolleyes:


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


    There is no new freight rail operator. IE operates all freight services, but on a CHARTER basis. They get paid by IWT and DFDS to operate trains of a specified capacity from point A to point B, and if the charterers don't have enough containers on the day that's not IE's problem, they get paid anyway.


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