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Derry and Donegal rail campaigners can forget about it

  • 15-09-2013 8:43pm
    #1
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    From the Londonderry Sentinel:
    No Donegal rail link until 2030 at least

    CAMPAIGNERS for a re-opening of the rail connection between Londonderry and Donegal can forget about it until 2030 at least, according to Rail Minister Danny Kennedy.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,381 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    Poor Derry, continually neglected by both administrations


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,844 Banjoxed


    AngryLips wrote: »
    Poor Derry, continually neglected by both administrations

    Focusing on the positive, Derry's rail line is safe and has a huge uptake in usage due to good rolling stock and the successful relay, to the extent that the 1980 station in Derry is inadequate for demand.

    Northern Ireland has had a remarkable turnaround for the railways in recent years, the line from Ballymena onwards could easily have been lost but a grassroots "Save our Railways" and the effective "Into the West" lobby plus crucially the uptake in demand in recent years ensured that the railway to Derry was saved.

    A good position for the railway to be in after all the years of uncertainty, especially since the North has no rail freight at all and has even more embedded a car culture than the Republic. No general free travel either..


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 611 MGWR


    monument wrote: »
    From the Londonderry Sentinel:
    No Donegal rail link until 2030 at least

    CAMPAIGNERS for a re-opening of the rail connection between Londonderry and Donegal can forget about it until 2030 at least, according to Rail Minister Danny Kennedy. ...
    Time for someone to lose his job. Perhaps the Rail Overlord Minister?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    About time that nonsense was stamped on. It never made sense to me - a parity of esteem exercise with no convenient alignment to take advantage of.


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


    it doesn't make sense....the way to fulfil this is a shuttle bus from L'kenny to meet every train at Derry, if that doesn't already exist.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,595 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    northern ireland is lucky in some ways, the ulster transport authority could have stolen the lot, this shower made sure they took more railway down with them when they knew their time was up

    julian the journalist asange is innocent, free julian the journalist.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,761 cdebru


    dowlingm wrote: »
    About time that nonsense was stamped on. It never made sense to me - a parity of esteem exercise with no convenient alignment to take advantage of.

    Could it not just follow the old alignment ? Or is that gone ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 299 ✭✭ Copyerselveson


    dowlingm wrote: »
    About time that nonsense was stamped on. It never made sense to me - a parity of esteem exercise with no convenient alignment to take advantage of.

    The Letterkenny to Derry rail link scored two points less than Athenry to Tuam on the Study for IE. The detailed scores weren't given in the report as far as I know. New railways do not need to follow old alignments. Much of the old CDR and Swilly alignments are built over and land will need to be purchased anyway. It's not a a problem for motorways, so it should not be a problem for a railway.

    I'm curious how campaigns for railways get stamped on. Do you single out the campaigners in a pub somewhere and trample them? Sounds like a needlessly aggressive thing to do to be honest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    I'd put that particular study in the same category as the spatial strategy.I spent a while about 8 months ago poring over satellite images of various approaches to Derry from Letterkenny and couldn't find one which seemed easy to implement and given the likely update it would want to be VERY easy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,090 ✭✭✭ SeaSlacker


    I'm curious how campaigns for railways get stamped on. Do you single out the campaigners in a pub somewhere and trample them? Sounds like a needlessly aggressive thing to do to be honest.

    No one's figured out how to kill off a grassroots campaign for/against a railway, though people here *really* tried, and the campaign *really* tried to stop them in return. Best that can be done is to ignore the crazy ranters and examine the issue at hand.

    Now, as for the idea of rerailing to Letterkenny, I'm not sure. Flights are the most viable option from Dublin, but I'd say it would only make sense to go from Derry down to Sligo altogether, for Derry-Lkenny-Donegal-Sligo. As of right now, the case for *that* is very slim, but perhaps in 2030 costs would be such to make it viable. I would say it'd get a better return than just a spur to NI. tourists go for scenic train journeys, and a Dublin-Sligo-Donegal-Derry-Belfast-Dublin would definitely get that traffic.

    Still, as of right now, Donegal rail is a no go.


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


    that's pure fantasy. here is no demand for rail traffic between sligo and donegal/letterkenny/Derry that a Coach couldn't satisfy and probably does right now. Why would anyone even dream of investing billions for so little return?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,090 ✭✭✭ SeaSlacker


    corktina wrote: »
    *ignored text*here is no demand for rail traffic between sligo and donegal/letterkenny/Derry that a Coach couldn't satisfy and probably does right now*ignored text*

    Like I said, 2030. Right now, I'm agreeing with you. Railing Derry-Sligo would not be cost effective in this day and age.

    All I'm saying is that if the case for letterkenny rail one day became viable, it would be far more viable to make the round loop that would open up NI to the Irish midlands, and Donegal to the capital. That would be far better than just a small spur to the NI network from one town.


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


    But Rail is yesterdays mode. If things change after 2030 then a far more up to date mode of travel may be available. You may as well campaign to bring back the Horse or the Canals.
    A Modern Road would benefit far more people as it stands now, never mind a couple of decades down the line (no pun intended). In this age of technology, rails are increasingly not necessary to guide a vehicle.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,844 Banjoxed


    corktina wrote: »
    But Rail is yesterdays mode. If things change after 2030 then a far more up to date mode of travel may be available. You may as well campaign to bring back the Horse or the Canals.
    A Modern Road would benefit far more people as it stands now, never mind a couple of decades down the line (no pun intended). In this age of technology, rails are increasingly not necessary to guide a vehicle.

    The upsurge in usage on the Derry trains would seem to prove this assertion wrong.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,090 ✭✭✭ SeaSlacker


    corktina wrote: »
    But Rail is yesterdays mode etc etc

    Ah, I see. You're not thinking in real terms, but political ones. You have a position and you'll tailor all solutions to that position, whether they be viable or bending backwards to suit your position. To counter that point would be to drag things off topic, so I'm just going to stop here. I've nothing more to add.

    Edit: Just thinking, I was talking about if Letterkenny rail became viable. You're asserting that it never will, and I'm not saying it will or won't.


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


    no i'm saying that there may be a better solution, one that isn't apparent now. Rail isn't that solution now and probably won't be in the future.

    Surely you have noted the advances being made in cars that park themselves and brake automatically when there is an obstruction and also sat nav technology. Do you not think that in 20 years + that a road network with self guided vehicles that take you from A to B at will is possible? A Rail network that will do anything like this is not practically or economically likely.

    The campaigners are setting their sights too low by looking at an old technology.


  • Registered Users Posts: 133 ✭✭ currins_02


    Letterkenny is possibly one of the worst planned towns in Ireland with sporadic development spread in every direction. As someone who spends a good bit of time in the NorthWest and who is not averse to rail as a concept I just don't see where or how they would position a station to be convenient. If it's not convenient it won't be viable. The old station is now in private ownership (albeit leased back to Bus Eireann) and all the yard property around it has been developed as a shopping centre. The old Oatfield building would be a good location but I fear the issue of getting a line in & out and whether there is physically enough space would rule it out.

    Other than that the only site I could foresee would be on the extreme Derry end of the town, somewher elike Bonagee and I don't know how practical or viable that would be.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 299 ✭✭ Copyerselveson


    corktina wrote: »
    no i'm saying that there may be a better solution, one that isn't apparent now. Rail isn't that solution now and probably won't be in the future.

    Surely you have noted the advances being made in cars that park themselves and brake automatically when there is an obstruction and also sat nav technology. Do you not think that in 20 years + that a road network with self guided vehicles that take you from A to B at will is possible? A Rail network that will do anything like this is not practically or economically likely.

    The campaigners are setting their sights too low by looking at an old technology.

    Railways aren't there to be preserved in aspic and admired as a piece of industrial archaeology, they are an efficient method of transporting people that other countries are spending time and money to develop further.

    Even here in Ireland there are several schemes on the drawing board awaiting the time we get out of the bailout.

    As for guided cars etc that sort of thing really belongs in the world of the Jetsons and is many years away if it ever comes to pass.

    Edit: Following Currins point, the old railway station is still in the ownership of the Lough Swilly Railway Co and to my mind it would make sense to use it as an integrated bus and rail hub.


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


    many years away, but isn't that the point....not before 2030.

    As I already said, the technology for cars is forging ahead and self-guided cars are not a Jetson's dream.

    Is it really so far-fetched and undesirable to envisage a world where you walk down the road to the Go-Car rank, log in and the car takes you to your destination? It would even pick you up at home too I guess.

    Rail is fine in it's place, like HS2 in the UK...but for most usage a door to door car that you don't have to drive and don't have to park sounds pretty desirable to me. Rail will only ever be able to do the trunk hauls.


  • Registered Users Posts: 133 ✭✭ currins_02


    Following Currins point, the old railway station is still in the ownership of the Lough Swilly Railway Co and to my mind it would make sense to use it as an integrated bus and rail hub.


    Would make sense but where would you now put a platform and lines and sidings etc? Given the yard is fairly small now and tight if 3 or 4 coaches are about? Harcourt Developments (parent of L & LSR) who own the whole place are primarily property and shopping developers and I can't see them sacrificing ground for a rail link given the amount would be needed.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,420 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    The main thing that's stopped any plans for the line to extended to Letterkenny is the matter of bridging the Foyle. Once that is done the GNR alignment is largely intact as far as Lifford/Strabane. The CDR bed is also largely free bar for road realignment at Letterkenny and Raphoe. Although it is windy, it isn't too far in from Lifford and it can be straghtened out with reasonable ease. The alternative is a new route which would go across from the old GNR trackbed; it will have to dodge a few hills and large lumps plus it misses Lifford/Strbane

    Monies for such a project can be procured easily enough from EU/Cross border funding, it would go some way to easing traffic conjestion between the two locations plus it would be a big deal for both communities to be connected together.

    Of course it will take time and it is a very long finger but NIR and CIE have plans about how to do it and it is possible given if the resources and go ahead were given. I'm not holding my breath about it but it is possible, no doubts about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,595 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    corktina wrote: »
    But Rail is yesterdays mode.
    what a load of nonsense, it was that mindset that saw to the destruction/industrial terrorism on dublins tram system by CIE, its also that mindset that saw to irelands pro car policies at the expence of all public transport specially rail.
    corktina wrote: »
    A Modern Road would benefit far more people as it stands
    we all ready have them, they cost way more then steal tracks to keep to a high standard
    corktina wrote: »
    In this age of technology, rails are increasingly not necessary to guide a vehicle.
    its a lot more of a civilised way to travel then traveling on the roads

    julian the journalist asange is innocent, free julian the journalist.



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


    Mostly true but still the case that History will repeat itself and Rail will be eclipsed just as the Turnpikes and Canals were

    What I had in mind with my crystal ball would actually mean less cars on the road, certainly less parked up at any rate.

    Roads have the supreme advantage that they go everywhere. Rail can't hope to do that. In 20 odd years time, rail will be at an even bigger disadvantage as Road Technology (that I mentioned but all the pro-Railees have ignored) marches on. Cars can already park and brake automatically, it won't be long before they will be able to do much more.

    I predict that in 2030 Donegal wont want a railway, it willbe kicking itself for not insisting on it's road system to all corners being kept up to date


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,420 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    corktina wrote: »
    Mostly true but still the case that History will repeat itself and Rail will be eclipsed just as the Turnpikes and Canals were

    What I had in mind with my crystal ball would actually mean less cars on the road, certainly less parked up at any rate.

    Roads have the supreme advantage that they go everywhere. Rail can't hope to do that. In 20 odd years time, rail will be at an even bigger disadvantage as Road Technology (that I mentioned but all the pro-Railees have ignored) marches on. Cars can already park and brake automatically, it won't be long before they will be able to do much more.

    I predict that in 2030 Donegal wont want a railway, it willbe kicking itself for not insisting on it's road system to all corners being kept up to date

    Don't get us wrong; cars are far more flexible than trains but it's rather naive or cynical to assume that cars answer every transport problem out there.

    For the record, I don't see how self driving cars will hurt public transport and railways other than possibly making a driving test irrelevant in the far away future. The self driving car may be here (And yes, one is featured in todays IT) but it's a long long way away for the vast majority of motorists to have it, if car firms even choose to go with it on a mass scale. If anything making it easier to own and run a car will just increase conjestion on public roads, thus tilting the balance back towards public transport.


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


    I've no problem with Public Transport, especially Rail. However what it can do is limited and my point is in twenty years it is likely that technology will make Rail as it is now (outside of Commuter and InterCity) look like a dinosaur, and in that context the Donegal people should be setting their sights higher than a traditional rail line.

    I believe and have stated that the Car has to be severely limited in City Centres in favour of Public Transport and the system I am guessing at should be looked at , perhaps, as replacing Taxis rather than the Private Car. A sort of marriage between Dublin Bike and Go-car type systems.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,101 Weathering


    We don't have trains in Donegal full stop so poor Donegal not Derry. We sold the tracks to India in 50's so yeah India is better off than Donegal ha. It is a joke to think they never were reintroduced especially during the "boom" years.

    Imagine your county..now imagine it without trains..need I say more


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,101 Weathering


    corktina wrote: »
    that's pure fantasy. here is no demand for rail traffic between sligo and donegal/letterkenny/Derry that a Coach couldn't satisfy and probably does right now. Why would anyone even dream of investing billions for so little return?

    Well it's obvious you don't live in the listed areas so with your insider knowledge I'll concur with your expert analysis


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 299 ✭✭ Copyerselveson


    Billions for a rail link between Letterkenny and Derry? Not unless you're using platinum rails perhaps. The Borders Railway in Scotland is weighing in at £300 million for a railway with similar length. It's a lot of money but TEN-T funding could be available.

    Millions yes, but billions, no.


  • Registered Users Posts: 489 ✭✭ mlumley


    corktina wrote: »
    no i'm saying that there may be a better solution, one that isn't apparent now. Rail isn't that solution now and probably won't be in the future.

    Surely you have noted the advances being made in cars that park themselves and brake automatically when there is an obstruction and also sat nav technology. Do you not think that in 20 years + that a road network with self guided vehicles that take you from A to B at will is possible? A Rail network that will do anything like this is not practically or economically likely.

    The campaigners are setting their sights too low by looking at an old technology.

    Just a thought, but what about people who don't have cars, disabled, young people, those who want to go to Derry and have a drink with a meal. There are more than just car users to consider. Large groups for instance.

    Rail is not yesterdays mode.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,090 ✭✭✭ SeaSlacker


    Guys, the more we respond to trolling about how future driverless cars will make all railways obsolete by 2030 (just think about that. Take a moment, and apply it to Donegal.Sound far fetched to you too? Yeah. Sound relevant to the discussion? Not to me.), the less we can discuss the reality of whether it's a good idea to restore the rail link to Letterkenny or not.

    Please don't rise to trolling bait dragging things off topic. I want to hear why this link restoration could/couldn't or should/shouldn't be done, not how railways will be obsolete in 2030.


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