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Canal Trams

  • 09-04-2013 2:29pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭ caff


    http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2009/12/trolley-canal-boats.html

    The linked article disscuses the history of overhead powered electric canal boats, similar to trams like the LUAS

    Would this be feasible for the canals here in Ireland?
    I'm not sure if the cost of fuel + engine maintence would make moving to all electric canal barges economical.
    Would the


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,092 ✭✭✭ hi5


    Why not go all the way and make them solar powered?



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


    I think canal boats have very restricted speed - about walking pace, which would make this a waste of time. The red line runs along the Grand canal for a while, as does the Maynooth line along the Royal canal, so using the canal space for different transport has history.

    It might be possible to run Luas lines beside the dodder, from the green line at Milltown to Templeogue, and via the Tallaght bypass to the red line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,263 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    As Cool Mo D said, it would be too slow for any mass transit/commuter purposes. It might be viable as a tourist attraction along a scenic rural stretch of canal linking towns. As the OP said, would have lower operational costs than conventional canal boats. If the Waterford & Suir Valley Heritage Railway can survive, a well located and properly marketed canal journey could work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭ caff


    I was thinking more for transporting heavy goods, if the costs were low enough to componsate for the lack of speed it could be competitive.

    I thought it was interesting aswell the point in the linked article about how the towed propulsion system uses vastly less energy than self propelled boats/barges


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,492 KCAccidental


    800px-Wuppertal-100508-12833-Uferstra%C3%9Fe.jpg

    we should invest in one of these babies :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,085 ✭✭✭ GerardKeating


    800px-Wuppertal-100508-12833-Uferstra%C3%9Fe.jpg

    we should invest in one of these babies :D

    Yes please, they are a sweet ride.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,944 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    800px-Wuppertal-100508-12833-Uferstra%C3%9Fe.jpg

    we should invest in one of these babies :D

    Are you this man?;)



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,944 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    caff wrote: »
    I was thinking more for transporting heavy goods, if the costs were low enough to componsate for the lack of speed it could be competitive.

    If we had proper planning with heavy, for Ireland, industry zoned to areas close to the canals it would be viable. Currently it would need too much handling to be of any use.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 378 ✭✭ Quickelles


    They are horrifically ugly! :eek:

    Imagine that over the Grand Canal. Kavanagh's ghost would turn turn in his grave...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,492 KCAccidental


    Del2005 wrote: »
    Are you this man?;)


    It worked for North Haverbrook :p


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    Quickelles wrote: »
    They are horrifically ugly! :eek:

    Imagine that over the Grand Canal. Kavanagh's ghost would turn turn in his grave...

    Reminds me of this awful proposal.

    000029.jpg


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


    what advantage would electric boats have over diesel?
    The capital cost of the electrical equipment would be huge and I doubt the freight would be going from point a to point b on the canal so transhipment equipment needed at point a, b and every other point of origin/destination

    Same arguement as for rail-freight really, too expensive,too slow, not flexible enough.

    What surprises me is that the canals aren't thronged with tourist traffic as they are in the UK.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    corktina wrote: »
    what advantage would electric boats have over diesel?
    The capital cost of the electrical equipment would be huge and I doubt the freight would be going from point a to point b on the canal so transhipment equipment needed at point a, b and every other point of origin/destination

    Same arguement as for rail-freight really, too expensive,too slow, not flexible enough.

    What surprises me is that the canals aren't thronged with tourist traffic as they are in the UK.

    Another thread here: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=68364974 in which I mention the fact that there's only one narrow boat for hire on the entire Royal Canal - how many years after the multi-million makeover. :rolleyes:


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


    interesting reading and I can only say I agree, We've been ripping off "the Yank" for so long we just can't help ourselves.Meanwhile our neighbours in the UK are stuffed full of quality tourist attractions whose operators know the value of giving good value for money.

    If you go by the adverts you see on the UK TV, all there is in Ireland is pubs offering diddly-aye music and draught porter. Very few quality tourists will come to Ireland for that!

    As for one boat on the Royal Canal for hire, well , that sounds about right for the demand likely to sail up a ditch from nowhere to nowhere. Restoring a canal is about much more than just dredging out the old prams and bikes. You also have to develop the facilities and hinterland. I had a holiday on the Oxford Canal and the scenery was superb and every hour or so there was a pretty village with good pubs with no "forced culture", real pubs with real ale and real food. I don't beleive the Royal is like that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,077 ✭✭✭ Tails142


    There are some good towns along the Royal, but they wouldn't be tourist hotspots for sure.

    There was a second barge hire company on the western end of the Royal but it stopped running a couple of years back.

    I think the whole hire industry is struggling, mostly due to cost. You're looking at something like €750 a week for the one on the Royal, and for that kind of money you can get a full board two week holiday somewhere sunny like Malta.

    I noticed that a new company has started up on the Grand Canal in town, Dublin Barge Hire, they seem to be charging €150 a night on Tripadvisor, so it's still big money if you're doing it for a week but compared with city centre hotel rates it might compare a bit better?

    I dunno about canal trams, there has been some ideas in the past to run a barge between Suir Road and Portobello to connect to the two Luas lines, leaving you with a short walk to Charlemont, but at best it would be a tourist route and who wants to go for a sail through Dolphin's Barn on a sunny afternoon?


  • Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭ petronius


    while i like the creative thinking on the canal tram alas it is too costly and wud be an eye sore.
    i do think the railway line along the royal canal from IFSC/Doc to broombridge could be used for a luas - and the railway line which goes north of croke park and via drumcondra could be left for rail
    i.e. u could have a luas stops at north strand, north wall drumcondra/croke park, phibsboro, glasnevin, cabra, broombridge where there would be a dual terminus with the BXD line


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,077 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    petronius wrote: »
    while i like the creative thinking on the canal tram alas it is too costly and wud be an eye sore.
    i do think the railway line along the royal canal from IFSC/Doc to broombridge could be used for a luas - and the railway line which goes north of croke park and via drumcondra could be left for rail
    i.e. u could have a luas stops at north strand, north wall drumcondra/croke park, phibsboro, glasnevin, cabra, broombridge where there would be a dual terminus with the BXD line

    It would make sense if they had picked the Irish guage for the Luas instaed of the British one, but that is another strory.

    There was a plan in the fifties to fill in the canals and put in a dual carriage way over them. Hmm, maybe fill them in and put a Luas line on top?

    All existing lines near Dublin centre should be electrified and served by Dart trains.


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


    It would make sense if they had picked the Irish guage for the Luas instaed of the British one, but that is another strory.

    .

    why does that make sense? there is no inter-working, LUAS is entirely self-contained and the trams would be cheaper off-the-shelf Standard Guage.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,077 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    corktina wrote: »
    why does that make sense? there is no inter-working, LUAS is entirely self-contained and the trams would be cheaper off-the-shelf Standard Guage.

    There cannot be inter working because of the guage difference. Why pick a different guage? If it was decided to upgrade a Luas line to Dart, it cannot be done because of the different guage. It is like the airport decided to buy LHD fire trucks because they are cheaper. (Perhaps they did - I do not know if they did, but the argument still holds).

    The standard guage you talk of is only standard in UK and France (60% of railways use 4ft 8in) but not Spain, nor USA. We had a standard guage here up until Luas. Even the old trams were Irsh guage. Irish guage is used all over Ireland, and in Brazil and parts of Australia. Trains and trams are not made like cars on production lines, so guage difference is not price sensitive (I would have thought). Carriages are not bought in units of ones, but in whole train sets of rolling stock.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ ardmacha


    How much would it cost to build a metro under the canal on a cut and cover basis? The State already owns it and services crosssing it are known. Drain it, dig a metro under it, and put the canal back.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    ardmacha wrote: »
    How much would it cost to build a metro under the canal on a cut and cover basis? The State already owns it and services crosssing it are known. Drain it, dig a metro under it, and put the canal back.

    Why bothering putting it back. :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,861 ✭✭✭ JuliusCaesar


    Why bothering putting it back. :rolleyes:



    :eek:


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


    There cannot be inter working because of the guage difference. Why pick a different guage? If it was decided to upgrade a Luas line to Dart, it cannot be done because of the different guage. It is like the airport decided to buy LHD fire trucks because they are cheaper. (Perhaps they did - I do not know if they did, but the argument still holds).

    The standard guage you talk of is only standard in UK and France (60% of railways use 4ft 8in) but not Spain, nor USA. We had a standard guage here up until Luas. Even the old trams were Irsh guage. Irish guage is used all over Ireland, and in Brazil and parts of Australia. Trains and trams are not made like cars on production lines, so guage difference is not price sensitive (I would have thought). Carriages are not bought in units of ones, but in whole train sets of rolling stock.[/QUOTE

    First: there's no interworking whatever the gauge because you can't mix trams and heavy rail....I imagine an 071 would drive straight through a tram without noticing it

    Second: Standard gauge only in UK and France? Who told you that? most US railways are 4'8 1/2" ...Pretty much all of Europe bar Spain and minor lines is standard.....also China....most of Australia and it goes on.

    You don't build a new line incorporating the mistakes of history...you move on. There's no reason why LUAS would ever be converted to DART, they are so dissimilar I can't recall anyone ever suggesting it before!


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,077 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    corktina wrote: »

    Second: Standard gauge only in UK and France? Who told you that? most US railways are 4'8 1/2" ...Pretty much all of Europe bar Spain and minor lines is standard.....also China....most of Australia and it goes on.

    You don't build a new line incorporating the mistakes of history...you move on. There's no reason why LUAS would ever be converted to DART, they are so dissimilar I can't recall anyone ever suggesting it before!

    I said 'Standard' guage represents 60% of railways installed. The Irish guage was a metric guage (1.60m), so was an attempt to not continue the imperial guage of Britain (4 ft 8.5inch) - an attempt at progress.

    Spain has built the new high-speed lines in standard guage, so maybe it is time to go over to it, but building Luas in a different guage WAS a mistake (inho). Luas incorporated lines that were previously heavey train lines, like the Harcourt St line. This could be returned to train use in the future, but not now.

    Trains and trams are not designed to run into each other. Trams are merely buses on tracks, with very restrictive routing.


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


    are you really trying to re-write history by suggesting the Irish built their lines to a metric gauge?

    Funny because I thought it was a Vice-Regal commission of the British Government who averaged the existing gauges in an attempt at standardisation and got it Royally wrong.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,077 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    corktina wrote: »
    are you really trying to re-write history by suggesting the Irish built their lines to a metric gauge?

    Funny because I thought it was a Vice-Regal commission of the British Government who averaged the existing gauges in an attempt at standardisation and got it Royally wrong.

    It was a metric guage. At the time, there was a push for decimal and metric measures. That was why the Florin was introduced in 1849. [A Florin was a two-shilling piece (a tenth of a pound) and made the coins 1shilling, 2 shillings and 2.5 shillings (half crown), then notes] 1.6m was the guage. An attempt at the time to change the pint to litres failed to get any takers.

    It was the British who built the French railways in standard guage, and the British who built most of the railways in Africa.


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


    OK this is getting silly. The British and the French hate each other and the British had almost no influence other than the gauge on French Railways. Yes the British built most of the African railways, but to 3'6" gauge mostly(or Cape Gauge if you like)

    That 5'3" approximates to 1.6 metres is purely coincidental . It was determined by averaging the existing gauges as I said.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,825 ✭✭✭ markpb


    building Luas in a different guage WAS a mistake (inho). Luas incorporated lines that were previously heavey train lines, like the Harcourt St line. This could be returned to train use in the future, but not now.

    I really can't imagine much of the Red line or the city centre section of the Green line being converted to heavy rail without the health and safety people pointing out the folly of that particular plan. LA did it for their Blue line but the only award it's winning is most dangerous train line in the US. You're also assuming that there would be a benefit of converting them to heavy rail which I can't see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ ardmacha


    Why bothering putting it back.

    For ducks' sake.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭ petronius


    Yes LUAS (and the Metro in future will) use Standard 1435mm like pretty much all of europe
    Meaning lines are standard, boogies, and trams and metros - however this is a discussion on guages and not on this topic Canal Trams http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2009/12/trolley-canal-boats.html
    While this is a quaint Idea i dont think it was ever implemented in Ireland and wouldnt make sense, locks times etc.

    neither do I believe in draining the canals and running a LUAS on it is some sort of orbital luas - although running aLuas line alongside the grand canal from grandcanal dart station to goldenbridge maybe worth a look.
    As would running a LUAS line from broombridge along the royal canal rail line (to docklands or with some imagination under connolly and linking to the red line at connolly), and use the rail line north of croke park exclusively for western commuter traffic


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