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Luas for Galway

  • 30-05-2015 1:59pm
    #1
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    In the context of public transport alturnatives to the planned Galway bypass, here's a suggestion (click here for Google Maps):

    350488.JPG

    These are the sections above, routes could combine sections:
    • BLUE: Western Distributor Rd - NUI Galway section - Dyke Rd
    • GREEN: Dyke Road - Wellpark - Ballybane Industrial Estate
    • RED: Dyke Road - Eyre Square - [Ceannt] Station Hub - Renmore - GMIT - Ballybane Industrial Estate
    • ORANGE: Ballybane Industrial Estate - Parkmore West
    • PURPLE: Ballybane Industrial Estate - Briarhill
    • YELLOW: Alternative sections


    Serves:
    • Western Distributor Rd
    • Possible park and rides near the N/M6 at Briarhill, beside the N17, and at the western end of the Western Distributor Rd
    • Many business and industrial parks
    • A large number of shopping centres (Eyre Square, Headford Rd shopping centres, Wellpark, Corrib, Gateway Retail Park, Westside etc)
    • The city centre
    • The public train/bus station
    • NUIG and GMIT
    • University College Hospital
    Other features:
    • Leaves the N6 / Quincentenary Bridge / N59 route to bypass traffic
    • Suggests junction upgrades on the above route (I'd go further again, but that would not be part of the tram project)
    • An interchange commuter rail station at Renmore
    • Retained space to double track the railway line
    • Bicycle parking at all stops and guarded / gated parking at key stops

    Background:

    A few people have side that a tram route for Galway was impractical because it would have to serve both the city centre and east-west commutes, so that made me start thinking about it.

    At first I came to the same conclusion: An east-west route serving the residential areas of the west and the employment areas of the would be impractical as it could not in any way serve the city centre without a lot of extra services. For a more sustainable route that will be attractive at different times of the day, the route must serves a mix of areas including shopping, residential, employment, educational, entertainment etc.

    Because of the restrictive road network and building layout directly west of the city centre, a route from the west crossing into the city centre and onto the north east would be difficult and would have include unacceptable delay for trams or an impractical level of traffic restrictions.

    A Salthill - Southpark - Docklands route might be possible but it would be too far south to suit the bulk of east-west commutes. A Quincentenary Bridge bridge would be too far north for city centre access.

    So, I got looking at NUIG and the University College Hospital grounds -- the purchase or CPO of just one private house and a few gardens would make a link between the university and the hospital... CPOs of houses usually avoided, but that's far less damage than any bypass suggested.

    Cost:

    Luas will be 42.5km @ ~€1.5 billion, so it was around 35,294,117 per km for Luas in Dublin. Based on those prices which combines a mix of route types and areas: Galway Luas of 17km (as above) will be €599,999,989. That's more expensive than some of the bypass suggested prices but lower than that higher ranges for the bypass. You could build some sections in phases.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,082 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor


    Far more efficient to increase the coverage and frequency of bus routes in a city the size of Galway. This could be done within weeks/months whereas a luas would take over a decade.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the luas is amazing and one of the best things ever done for Dublin, I just think with the distances being so much shorter, it doesn't make sense to not at least go down the bus option further first.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,499 porsche959


    DaCor wrote: »
    Far more efficient to increase the coverage and frequency of bus routes in a city the size of Galway. This could be done within weeks/months whereas a luas would take over a decade.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the luas is amazing and one of the best things ever done for Dublin, I just think with the distances being so much shorter, it doesn't make sense to not at least go down the bus option further first.

    No offense, but it's this kind of short-termism that screws Irish transport.

    Buses are noisy, slow, polluting and take up a lot of space.

    There are plenty of cities in Europe and even some in the UK of similar population sizes to Galway with Light Rail.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    DaCor wrote: »
    Far more efficient to increase the coverage and frequency of bus routes in a city the size of Galway. This could be done within weeks/months whereas a luas would take over a decade.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the luas is amazing and one of the best things ever done for Dublin, I just think with the distances being so much shorter, it doesn't make sense to not at least go down the bus option further first.

    Many cities have battled with the bus or tram argument and end up going with trams.

    Some key advantages of trams in this case, in

    -- Key links suggested in the above routes would be a lot harder and less attractive to use for buses

    -- Trams are more likely to reduce car use all day long.

    -- Trams are more likely not to need a subsidy or only need a lower subsidy

    -- Trams are less polluting and less noisy

    -- Trams are more accessible for wherlchair users, others with mobility issues and prams

    -- Routes easier to understand for new and one-off users (events, tourists etc).

    -- Dedicated routes would be harder to push through for buses (for a range of reasons from spending on trams easier to agreement from residents etc).


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,121 ✭✭✭ ClovenHoof


    LOL the Lovechild of West on Track has been born!


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    ClovenHoof wrote: »
    LOL the Lovechild of West on Track has been born!

    The productive posts only rule still applies when mods start threads.

    Galway City has the population to suit a modest light rail line with branches, and park and ride. You need detailed reasoning, to claim otherwise.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 598 ✭✭✭ stehyl15


    porsche959 wrote: »
    Buses are noisy, slow, polluting and take up a lot of space.

    There are plenty of cities in Europe and even some in the UK of similar population sizes to Galway with Light Rail.

    Liverpool is twice the size of Dublin and it dosen't even have trams it just has buses and Merseyrail (similar to the Dart)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 598 ✭✭✭ stehyl15


    Perhaps a BRT system might work in Galway


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Liverpool is twice the size of Dublin and it dosen't even have trams it just has buses and Merseyrail (similar to the Dart)

    While trams for Liverpool have stalled, Merseytravel still want to go ahead with something like three lines making up 50-60km of tram routes.
    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Perhaps a BRT system might work in Galway

    I'd love to see a workable route/s and I'd image BRT would be received even more poorly in Galway than it has been in Dublin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭ Aard


    monument wrote: »
    Galway City has the population to suit a modest light rail line with branches, and park and ride.

    One of the big problems with branched lightrail lines is that it costs more-or-less the same to build each branch per km, however each only receives a half-service. As such, branches end up costing more per km as each is only used half as much as it "could" be. The same is, of course, true of any non-branch lines that don't run every single tram to the absolute end terminus (as happens on the Green Luas in Dublin for example).

    Park & Ride is generally not acceped to be economically sustainable -- LRT stations generally increase neighbouring property prices to such an extent that the land given over to subsidised parking would have a "higher and best use" in residential or in certain, more accessible places, retail/office.

    Wrt Galway, I would see it as necessary to link any rapid-transit route with Ceannt. Given the layout of Galway city centre, I do wonder whether LRT would be the most appropriate mode. I am reluctant to use the term BRT for the simple reason that it is so emotive, and generally misunderstood.

    Amalgamating bus routes such that there was a "core" route with a ten-minute headway and the associated infrastructure (yeah, I know.... BRT by another name) would allow Galway to take advantage of its more linear layout.

    A few strategic bus-only links could help. One that occurs is a bus-only route through the Hospital grounds from University Road to Seamus Quirke Road. I'm sure there are plenty more.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    Aard wrote: »
    One of the big problems with branched lightrail lines is that it costs more-or-less the same to build each branch per km, however each only receives a half-service. As such, branches end up costing more per km as each is only used half as much as it "could" be. The same is, of course, true of any non-branch lines that don't run every single tram to the absolute end terminus (as happens on the Green Luas in Dublin for example)

    This would be more of a problem in a very high-density area where you want to max out the tram lines but in Galway we're not likely to be doing that.

    It's often still a sound idea to serve close-to-end-of-line areas even if they are not as profitable per km as more central areas -- I'm fairly sure the orange branch to Parkmore West meets that requirement, even if the the Briarhill branch (purple) trails behind.

    Aard wrote: »
    Park & Ride is generally not acceped to be economically sustainable -- LRT stations generally increase neighbouring property prices to such an extent that the land given over to subsidised parking would have a "higher and best use" in residential or in certain, more accessible places, retail/office.

    All of the suggested park and ride stops also serve other areas, while two of them are also in areas where there is no great pressure on land.

    Car-based park and ride might not be ideal in any sustainability terms, but it's a solution for an imperfect world. My inclusion of park and ride is a bow to the transport planning in many of the more sustainable small to mid-sized European cities. Basically there's an understanding many do need to use cars to get to the city and that it's better to allow those people to park up and hop on a tram.

    Aard wrote: »
    Wrt Galway, I would see it as necessary to link any rapid-transit route with Ceannt.

    I agree, it's included:

    350550.JPG

    Aard wrote: »
    Given the layout of Galway city centre, I do wonder whether LRT would be the most appropriate mode.

    Why?

    Aard wrote: »
    I am reluctant to use the term BRT for the simple reason that it is so emotive, and generally misunderstood.

    Amalgamating bus routes such that there was a "core" route with a ten-minute headway and the associated infrastructure (yeah, I know.... BRT by another name) would allow Galway to take advantage of its more linear layout.

    A few strategic bus-only links could help. One that occurs is a bus-only route through the Hospital grounds from University Road to Seamus Quirke Road. I'm sure there are plenty more.

    For such as sprawling hospital grounds with such congested and constrained roads around it, I'm not sure it would be fair to many hospital visitors to much further restrict car access around the hospital. But with or without restrictions, it's likely doable to fit a dedicated BRT route as much as it is to fit a dedicated tram route on the hospital grounds.

    Your real problem is east of the University Hospital. The current road network is very constrained. And even if demolition was not off the table (which it likely is for BRT), there's just no route suitable for BRT towards the city centre.

    Even if you could get buses moving faster than most city bound traffic, getting the buses back out towards the north east employment areas would be just too much of a time delay.


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


    How much demolition within the University ground would be required? Or is a case you are looking at an elevated section? Just a note Google maps doesn't show the space taken up by the Nursing/Midwifery library which extends south off the James Hardiman library.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,298 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Liverpool is twice the size of Dublin and it dosen't even have trams it just has buses and Merseyrail (similar to the Dart)
    It most certainly is nothing of the sort


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    dubhthach wrote: »
    How much demolition within the University ground would be required? Or is a case you are looking at an elevated section? Just a note Google maps doesn't show the space taken up by the Nursing/Midwifery library which extends south off the James Hardiman library.

    Ideally only the Áras De Brún building, the route could fit around it but it would be a very curved section which would slow down trams notably.

    Is the nursing library somewhere where the question mark is here?...

    350574.JPG

    This is a close up of what I had:

    350575.JPG


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


    Sure but Áras De Brun is used for academic offices, the nursing library does indeed fall into "? area", if this was running on grade you gonna be also blocking access to front door of Áras na Gaeilge (digging up pedestrian access routes in that area). Given that the embankment on old railway bridge is about 15-20 feet high ye'd have to probably elevate the scheme from Áras de Brun onwards to remove excessive gradient.

    Given how the College was about the Red route when it came to road proposals I'd hardly expect them to be esctatic about such an encroachment onto their estate. I doubt the boat club which abuts the embankment would be too happy either.

    Would you see any such scheme running Standard Gauge (like the LUAS) or on 1-meter Narrow gauge like alot of the smaller tram systems in France?


  • Registered Users Posts: 321 ✭✭ scouserstation


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Liverpool is twice the size of Dublin and it dosen't even have trams it just has buses and Merseyrail (similar to the Dart)

    The city of Liverpool actually has a smaller population than Dublin and although they may not have as good a transport system as say Manchester or London they do have an underground orbital railway route, similar to what we are striving for here with Dart underground.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    dubhthach wrote: »
    Sure but Áras De Brun is used for academic offices, the nursing library does indeed fall into "? area", if this was running on grade you gonna be also blocking access to front door of Áras na Gaeilge (digging up pedestrian access routes in that area). Given that the embankment on old railway bridge is about 15-20 feet high ye'd have to probably elevate the scheme from Áras de Brun onwards to remove excessive gradient.

    I've found updated layout which includes the nursing library layout on OSI maps and I can't see it being a problem.

    At the narrowest points talking about spaces which are wider than Abbey Street at the Jervis tram stop in Dublin -- at NUIG you could fit in a stop in the space and likely also have space left over for a two-way cycle path if they wanted that or a green area or wide footpath area or a mix of these things.

    As for elevating the line up to a bridge: Luas is quite good at climbing compared to trains etc. I could be wrong but my estimate is that it would have to start ramping up at or east of the Aquatic Veterinary Group National Diagnostics Centre building -- and from there eastwards to the car park there would be minimum impact caused by shadowing etc.

    The overall access benefit of providing the bridge for trams, walking and cycling (the latter two may not have as straight of a run at the bridge from the same direction as trams, at least) would outweigh any temporary or other disruption.

    dubhthach wrote: »
    Given how the College was about the Red route when it came to road proposals I'd hardly expect them to be esctatic about such an encroachment onto their estate. I doubt the boat club which abuts the embankment would be too happy either.

    If tram tracks can be put onto confined spaces on a Dublin hospital campus (St James's) there should be little or no issue in Galway.

    Galway Luas would have the following advantages:
    • It would create a link from NUI into the city centre, to the train/bus station, and to residential, educational and business areas around Galway
    • It would have a lower footprint on campus land and mainly use open space (ie green areas, a car park)
    • If Áras De Brun was demolished for a Luas route, it/a new design could be rebuilt over the tram tracks (buildings are allowed over tram tracks)
    • Trams are less noisy and less polluting than motor traffic
    • No sports or other facilities will be closed (the use of Áras De Brun could be housed elsewhere temporary or otherwise before the possible demolition)

    dubhthach wrote: »
    Would you see any such scheme running Standard Gauge (like the LUAS) or on 1-meter Narrow gauge like alot of the smaller tram systems in France?

    I'd keep as much as possible as close as possible to Luas. For reasons


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


    Well just remember James did object to original route through hospital thence it going around the "backwall", it doesn't really cut through campus at all, in comparison to what you are proposing at NUIG which would bisect the site. Given their attutide on road schemes encroaching on their "Estate" I can't imagine they'd be very happy about tramline.

    What alternatives if any exist if the old railway piers can't be used (the old bridge only had one track, but obviously with modern bridge could put dual track over etc.)


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    dubhthach wrote: »
    Well just remember James did object to original route through hospital thence it going around the "backwall", it doesn't really cut through campus at all, in comparison to what you are proposing at NUIG which would bisect the site. Given their attutide on road schemes encroaching on their "Estate" I can't imagine they'd be very happy about tramline.

    What alternatives if any exist if the old railway piers can't be used (the old bridge only had one track, but obviously with modern bridge could put dual track over etc.)

    As outlined, the bypass project is far more distruptive. Even if it would have to be pushed on them it's an easier sell for the reasons outlined.

    Three alternatives re the bridge: (1) Fully or partly demolish the old structures, (2) leave them in place and build over them with little or no use of them for support, and (3) build a new bridge directly south of the old structures, possablely just using the old structures for a walking and cycling bridge which would not need to take half the strain.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,586 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    DaCor wrote: »
    Far more efficient to increase the coverage and frequency of bus routes in a city the size of Galway. This could be done within weeks/months whereas a luas would take over a decade.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the luas is amazing and one of the best things ever done for Dublin, I just think with the distances being so much shorter, it doesn't make sense to not at least go down the bus option further first.

    no . busses are outdated. we need something clean, modern and fast. it will save money in the long run as it will mean less congestion meaning not so much roads and road maintenence

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



  • Registered Users Posts: 27,586 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Liverpool is twice the size of Dublin and it dosen't even have trams it just has buses and Merseyrail (similar to the Dart)


    thats its loss. still no argument for a galway luas.
    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Perhaps a BRT system might work in Galway

    no .

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



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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 598 ✭✭✭ stehyl15


    no . busses are outdated. we need something clean, modern and fast. it will save money in the long run as it will mean less congestion meaning not so much roads and road maintenence

    Galway isin't even really a city more of a large town by international standards sure its only marginally bigger than Tallaght. The majority of people that work in Galway are probably commuting from outer towns. I would imagine for a fit and able person to walk into the city centre from any of the surronding suburbs so not that many people will benefit from. A bypass might be the best option unfortunely. Another idea would be to introduce a trolleybus system all you really need to do is put up overhead wires and a deadicated bus lane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,586 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Galway isin't even really a city more of a large town by international standards sure its only marginally bigger than Tallaght.

    means nothing. in an irish context its a city, thats all that matters, and your forgetting about future growth which we want to encourage
    stehyl15 wrote: »
    The majority of people that work in Galway are probably commuting from outer towns. I would imagine for a fit and able person to walk into the city centre from any of the surronding suburbs so not that many people will benefit from.

    park and ride. all ready mentioned by the op
    stehyl15 wrote: »
    A bypass might be the best option unfortunely.

    that is probably happening anyway so it is irrelevant.
    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Another idea would be to introduce a trolleybus system all you really need to do is put up overhead wires and a deadicated bus lane.

    you may as well build the tram

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



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 598 ✭✭✭ stehyl15


    you may as well build the tram

    If its cheaper then a tram why not


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    If its cheaper then a tram why not

    Because trams have clear advantages over buses (as already outlined in detail), including viable dedicated routes into and across the city centre?

    What routes do you think would be suitable for buses or BRT?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 598 ✭✭✭ stehyl15


    monument wrote: »
    Because trams have clear advantages over buses (as already outlined in detail), including viable dedicated routes into and across the city centre?

    What routes do you think would be suitable for buses or BRT?

    The same route as the proposed luas would take


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,586 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    If its cheaper then a tram why not
    because whats the point when you can spend the few extra quid and have a full tram system instead of a trolly bus system. you still have to have overhead wires, still have to take road out of use for it. cheeper isn't always the best option, its time people learned this. sometimes you have got to spend to gain

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



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 598 ✭✭✭ stehyl15


    Cork has a far bigger population it could do with a luas far more then Galway


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Cork has a far bigger population it could do with a luas far more then Galway

    So one city needing projects is a now a valid argument against transport planning in another city?
    stehyl15 wrote: »
    The same route as the proposed luas would take

    Have you read the thread at all? It's not a viable route for anything but trams because of the acceptably of demolition and land take is much lower for buses and the gradients of at least one key bridge would not work for buses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,586 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Cork has a far bigger population it could do with a luas far more then Galway
    both could do with a luas. infact cork could do with more heavy rail. its all about growth. dublin can only spread out or go up so much. the whole thing is about investing in transport that can take us into the future and can deal with growth that we need to encourage for the rest of our cities. not simply a transport project that deals with the here and now that has to be upgraded at great cost later. that means, busses and trolly busses and other such nonsense just don't cut it. trams are much more efficient at moving very large amounts of people, they are completely accessible, they mean less staff to operate as 1 2 or more car tram can be driven by a driver.

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



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  • Registered Users Posts: 78,316 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    stehyl15 wrote: »
    Liverpool is twice the size of Dublin and it dosen't even have trams it just has buses and Merseyrail (similar to the Dart)
    That's an insult to Merseyrail, which is a basic underground system with multiple lines, a city centre loop and no level crossings!.

    http://www.itoworld.com/map/171?lon=-2.99067&lat=53.40430&zoom=11&fullscreen=true
    http://www.itoworld.com/map/68?lon=-2.99067&lat=53.40419&zoom=11&fullscreen=true
    monument wrote: »
    Because trams have clear advantages over buses (as already outlined in detail), including viable dedicated routes into and across the city centre?
    Why can't buses be given 'viable dedicated routes'?


This discussion has been closed.
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