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Iris Rail - Plan B?

  • 18-07-2012 2:13pm
    #1
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    It is clear that Dart Underground isn't going to go ahead for many years to come, it is just too expensive a project.

    However I'm wondering if Irish Rail could come up with a plan b and create some smaller, cheaper projects that are more likely to get done, yet could build towards a future DU.

    For instance I believe IR will complete the resignalling scheme in the Dublin City Center region in 2013. This will mean 8 extra trains per hour per direction.

    I wonder would this allow IR to increase the frequency of Darts. I think a major problem with DART at the moment is that often it is quite infrequent, with up to a 25 minute wait sometimes. Often people are better off getting the bus instead!!

    I think LUAS has shown us the importance of having frequent, predictable, consistent schedule. I think if the DART could move in the same direction, it would be used a lot more and would be much better utilised.

    Basically make DART every 5 minutes peak, every 10 minutes off peak, max 15 minutes at very off peak times. And make it consistent schedule and I think you would see a big take up in usage.

    You could potentially do it without even buying new carriages. Run frequent 4 carriage darts, rather then the current 8 carriage darts that are less frequent. Yes that would mean higher salary costs, but hopefully it would be offset by higher usage.

    They could also look to electrify the Northern Line as far as Drogheda, even without DU. You could also electrify the Maynooth line, again with DU.

    This would make DU cheaper to do and more likely to happen at a later stage.

    Of course this electrification should have been done 10 years ago, before they both all those expensive 22k DMU's. To do this now would likely mean buying new DARTS and putting some very new 22k's into storage, so that will make it less likely that this will happen.

    What other small projects could Irish Rail undertake?

    Perhaps the proposed new station on the Kildare line with a feeder bus to Dublin Airport. There is also the possible DART spur to the airport, but I'm not a big fan of that project.


Comments

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


    They should prepare the "missing link" quad section from Park West to Inchicore for the off ...as a DU 'enabling work ' as much as anything else.

    Tuam - Athenry :D:D:D no point being knock kneed chaps. :D

    Dunboyne Navan of course.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭ Cool Mo D


    A really simple improvement after signalling upgrade would be 6 clockface DARTs per hour all day, alternating from Malahide and Howth, with 3 Maynooth - Grand Canal Dock commuter trains per hour each connecting with a Dunboyne to Clonsilla trains. This would give a good frequency, regular service to the whole Connolly based network.

    At peak, 6 8-car DARTs would be enough, and the Dunboyne trains can continue to Pearse/Docklands.
    Late evenings, running Howth DARTs as a shuttle would save money, and still meet demand.

    To squeeze in Northern Commuter trains/Enterprise, start them from the terminus platforms in Connolly leaving just ahead of a Malahide DART, and only stopping in Howth Junction will give them an almost clear run to north of Malahide, and there are still a couple of spaces for Sligo/Mullingar trains.

    Irish Rail also need to start running the DART faster - the amount of time spent waiting at stations is hugely excessive.

    Electrifying the Maynooth line is a must, and trackwork coming into Connolly needs to be fixed to allow DARTs do the 1km between Clontarf and Connolly faster than walking pace. A commuter station at Cross Guns Bridge would be useful, and a better turnback at Malahide too.


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


    Again like the KRP2 Quad track project some works could be done without doing the full DU project. Electrifying to Maynooth would be the largest POSSIBLE standalone enabling project for DU but the design work is not done yet and nor are consultations etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    I could never understand the logic behind having every other DART stop between Connolly and Clontarf. Ok, they usually only stop for maybe 10 or 15 seconds but come on, can the replacement driver not just get on in Connolly or Clontarf? 10 or 15 secs doesn't sound like much. However, when you consider you need time to slow down and then speed up that adds a few more seconds each time. Also when you consider how often this happens per day, it all adds up to quite a few mins. Get rid of this and maybe you could squeeze in another DART or 2 per day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 420 ✭✭ kc56


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    They should prepare the "missing link" quad section from Park West to Inchicore for the off ...as a DU 'enabling work ' as much as anything else.

    You don't need quad track to Inchicore; 3 tracks is enough with 2 inbound to avoid the frequent halting of trains at Parkwest and one outbound. Outbound trains can be easily sequenced as they all do the same speed between Heuston and the quad track. The real benefit will in inbound. Some examples: The 0600 for Waterford slows at Parkwest on the fast line to await the stopping 0725 from Kildare and the 0743 ex Portlaoise stops for 5 mins on the slow line to allow two trains to pass.

    Further benefit would be gained if the quad section was extended to Sallins.


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


    kc56 wrote: »
    You don't need quad track to Inchicore.

    I would argue that you will need four tracks to Inchicore east of Kylemore Road, 2 for the Tunnel (even when under construction...many years hence) and 2 onward for Heuston. You could probably get three tracks into the existing space ( ie as an interim cheap KRP2) with no bridge lifts/rebuilds but once one start on DU it will not suffice.


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


    One other 'fractional' DU possibility is the construction of the Fairview - Pearse section ONLY for now. This allows through running of Belfast Trains to the CBD instead of dumping the punters miles away in Connolly...as well as provide space in a congested Connolly. Heuston is not as constrained overall.

    It would also enable further tunnelling and spoil haulage at night on that route were DU to be completed. Unlike a lot of other schemes the planning for this fraction is largely complete.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,884 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Maynooth should be electrified to create 2 main DART routes Only one of the DART routes should run south of Connolly (at high frequency), either Malahide/Howth-Bray or Maynooth/Pace-Bray with a new bay platform provided to allow the other non-through route to quickly terminate and allow cross platform (timed) changes to the through route. Bray-Greystones should be a shuttle only-should never have been electrified in the first place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 PRAF


    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the possible Dart spur off to the airport somewhere between Howth Jn and Clongriffin. Personally I'm not really in favour of it (mainly because it will further dilute frequency of service for people in Malahide and Portmarnock unless there is massive investment in re-signalling, new rolling stock, etc.).

    However, if the likes of Dart Underground or Metro North are never going to happen, then something like this might begin to make sense. If they ever do it, they'd need to mitigate the possible downsides of it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,193 ✭✭✭ [Jackass]


    Why don't they use the existing tunnel from Heuston to Connolly to start an underground service, and expand on that. The problem is bypassing Connolly main line as much as possible, i.e via tunnel.

    It's already fully functional.



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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    PRAF wrote: »
    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the possible Dart spur off to the airport somewhere between Howth Jn and Clongriffin. Personally I'm not really in favour of it (mainly because it will further dilute frequency of service for people in Malahide and Portmarnock unless there is massive investment in re-signalling, new rolling stock, etc.).

    However, if the likes of Dart Underground or Metro North are never going to happen, then something like this might begin to make sense. If they ever do it, they'd need to mitigate the possible downsides of it.

    As you say though the prerequisite to this even being vaguely functional is a 3 or 4 tracking of the northern line. That project has a lot of merit in and of itself, but I'm not sure if it's ever been costed. If we're talking about low costs here, the quad-tracking could cost even more than an airport spur.

    I'm not in favour of it over Metro North, where I would be in favour of it, is combined with MN and DU, and crucially a re-engineering of the transport network to making the airport a hub. But clearly that's not the quicker, low cost option to which bk alludes. And I doubt our current crop of politicians have that much imagination in any case.

    Personally I think the money should go towards the electrification of Maynooth and the two lines that Murphaph suggests in preparation for the ultimate completion of the DART Underground project, which simply must be kept on the agenda.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,534 ✭✭✭✭ the_syco


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Tuam - Athenry :D:D:D no point being knock kneed chaps. :D
    The track is there from Tuam, to Athenry, they just closed it. Not sure why.
    [Jackass] wrote: »
    Why don't they use the existing tunnel from Heuston to Connolly to start an underground service, and expand on that. The problem is bypassing Connolly main line as much as possible, i.e via tunnel.

    It's already fully functional.
    The excuse; not tall enough for the trains.
    The reality; it's tall enough for the trains when there's a GAA match on.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    the_syco wrote: »
    The track is there from Tuam, to Athenry, they just closed it. Not sure why.

    Not in a serviceable condition although I suspect - from peering over overbridges, nothing more scientific - its not quite as bad as often seems to be expected.
    the_syco wrote: »
    The excuse; not tall enough for the trains.
    The reality; it's tall enough for the trains when there's a GAA match on.

    The excuses are that it's not suitable for two trains passing; not the height. Specials run through it frequently.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,534 ✭✭✭✭ the_syco


    MYOB wrote: »
    Not in a serviceable condition although I suspect - from peering over overbridges, nothing more scientific - its not quite as bad as often seems to be expected.
    Oh hell no. It'd have to be relaid no doubt, but I'd say the land is still owned by Irish Rail, and I don't think any roads have cut through it...


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