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Cork - Light Rail [route options idenfication and initial design underway]

  • 08-01-2017 12:48am
    #1
    Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 12,934 mod marno21


    This was raised recently by Simon Coveney and also by Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy:

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/dublin-and-cork-could-grind-to-halt-unless-spending-for-public-transport-is-increased-438145.html

    Going forward, Cork has to have some sort of light rail solution if is to continue growing. The main issue at present is the massive dispersal of the population and thus the need for so many car commuters. Especially considering the continued construction of houses in Carrigaline, Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Ballincollig, Blarney designed wholly for car commuters. Constructing a light rail system may open up more areas of the city and will hopefully reverse the trend of everyone living in the satellite towns and commuting in by car.

    What's yer opinion on it? Is it viable?


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Comments



  • Is there not a train from Middleton to cork already?




  • Is there not a train from Middleton to cork already?

    Forgot to finish that paragraph, which completely ****ed up what I was trying to say.

    There is already a commuter rail service to Mallow, Midleton and Cobh. There are calls to extend this service to Youghal, however, both it and the N25 dualling scheme are likely years away at this stage.

    The N8, N22, N27, N28 and N71 corridors have NO rail access whatsoever at present (commuting wise, I'm not counting the N22 west of Killarney or the N8 north of Thurles).




  • I've always favoured light rail to be rolled out from Kent Station to the University via Patrick Street, which could easily be extended onward to Bishopstown and out toward Tivoli if the demand was there. I would also see a benefit from a line out to Douglas because it has quite a poor connection into Cork at peak times with traffic backed up.
    This, however, is all a pipe dream of mine is not backed by statistics, just allegorical evidence. I would, however, imagine connecting the transport arteries into Cork (Kent, Parnell Place) to the suburbs as a main priority. Between transport links and the availability for shopping on Patrick Street (or even out to Wilton) I would imagine there would be adequate patronage.




  • marno21 wrote: »
    Forgot to finish that paragraph, which completely ****ed up what I was trying to say.

    There is already a commuter rail service to Mallow, Midleton and Cobh. There are calls to extend this service to Youghal, however, both it and the N25 dualling scheme are likely years away at this stage.

    The N8, N22, N27, N28 and N71 corridors have NO rail access whatsoever at present (commuting wise, I'm not counting the N22 west of Killarney or the N8 north of Thurles).

    Surly your answer is a very cheap park and ride system from the edge of the city??

    Operating every 10 mins




  • I think high level BRT would be a much more attainable goal for Cork. It is cheaper and if done right has much of the same benefits of LRT without the higher construction costs.

    There are future plans for a rapid transit corridor taking in Ballincollig-CIT-UCC-City Centre-Docklands-Blackrock-Mahon Point. With future development in Curraheen and South Ballincollig, provision should be made for dedicated segregated BRT roads (which can be upgraded to LRT in future) in these places as well as a fixed funding contribution from all developers in these areas.


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  • man98 wrote: »
    I've always favoured light rail to be rolled out from Kent Station to the University via Patrick Street, which could easily be extended onward to Bishopstown and out toward Tivoli if the demand was there. I would also see a benefit from a line out to Douglas because it has quite a poor connection into Cork at peak times with traffic backed up.

    Like the one that existed 100 years ago?

    The Cork Electric Tramway Ran from St. Lukes, Via Lower Glanmire Road, to Patrick Street, Washington Street, Lancaster Quay to Western Road's junction with O'Donovans Road. Where you could link up with the Cork and Muskerry Light Railway.

    The Cork and Macroom Direct Railway ran along the alignment of the N40 as far as Bishopstown.

    The CET also had a line from the City Centre to Carrigaline Road in Douglas,

    When you look at the history of Light Rail and Tramways in Cork, they really were 60 Years ahead of their time, and were pulled up all too quickly.




  • marno21 wrote: »
    The main issue at present is the massive dispersal of the population and thus the need for so many car commuters. Especially considering the continued construction of houses in Carrigaline, Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Ballincollig, Blarney designed wholly for car commuters. Constructing a light rail system may open up more areas of the city and will hopefully reverse the trend of everyone living in the satellite towns and commuting in by car.

    What's yer opinion on it? Is it viable?

    I can't understand why this is still allowed to be done. Why are we allowing the construction of housing in areas where there is no viable public transport system? The taxpayer time after time is being asked to foot the bill for people who chose the suburban lifestyle for bigger and cheaper housing but still expect the amazing public transport system of a dense European city.

    A tram is not suitable for low density urban sprawl. It only really works when a city is medium density. If people want to expanded to low density suburbia like in this case, slap on a massive levy onto the houses for the cost of construction. The houses are going to benefit from an increase in value and it is not as if we live in the US, where there is a meaningful property tax that will recoup some of the increase in value of the properties.

    Cities should be promoting higher density urban living, not expecting taxpayer to subsidies the non-viable urban sprawl that is currently encouraged.




  • McAlban wrote: »
    Like the one that existed 100 years ago?

    The Cork Electric Tramway Ran from St. Lukes, Via Lower Glanmire Road, to Patrick Street, Washington Street, Lancaster Quay to Western Road's junction with O'Donovans Road. Where you could link up with the Cork and Muskerry Light Railway.

    The Cork and Macroom Direct Railway ran along the alignment of the N40 as far as Bishopstown.

    The CET also had a line from the City Centre to Carrigaline Road in Douglas,

    When you look at the history of Light Rail and Tramways in Cork, they really were 60 Years ahead of their time, and were pulled up all too quickly.

    Something to that effect anyway, I hadn't realised the tramway went out so far before it was taken up but it would be feasible I'd imagine.

    Edit re: urban density, the problem is very much from the ground up tbh. Cork's soil is awful for construction which led to the centuries before ours building low buildings in the city centre (see Barrack Street; Albert Road etc.) however now many of these buildings are protected due to heritage (and rightly so) and thus Cork has no option to remain low rise. Cork's only meaningful residential high rise (the Elysian, South Link Road) was a failure and is only fully occupied now (if even) so no one is going to take a risk on developing more high rise if it means similar results. People still need a place to live which is why more sprawl in the likes of Ballincollig suddenly seems like a smart idea, despite the weak transport links to Cork city.




  • Of course, the old trams that existed originally would be completely unsuitable for today's needs and that's why you see cities like Lisbon tearing up some of their older tramlines.




  • AngryLips wrote: »
    Of course, the old trams that existed originally would be completely unsuitable for today's needs and that's why you see cities like Lisbon tearing up some of their older tramlines.

    "some"

    You'll notice that they don't tear them up. Do nothing for decades and then go "I have a bright idea, let's build a tram."

    God we're a bunch of sh!tehawks in this country.


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  • Apparently Shane Ross has something in the works regarding light rail or BRT in Cork. Responding to Dail questions.

    Minister Ross said: "What I’d like to say is that I think it’s desirable. I think what you’re looking for here is public transport solutions in Cork City which will include light-rail and bus rapid transit. And let me say, absolutely, without equivocation, they are not ruled out.

    Responding to these comments Deputy Ó Laogaire, a Sinn Féin TD, said he regarded them as positive and encouraging.

    He said: "I am glad that the Minister has stated that he believes a system like this is desirable, this is significant progress on his previous comments on this last July, and I am glad that he appears to have listened to Cork voices.

    "It is also very positive that he informed me that a Transport Strategy is being developed for the Cork Metropolitan Area, which will go to public consultation in February, which will include 'a range of public transport interventions across all modes of transport', and I hope this will include further detail.

    http://www.corkindependent.com/news/topics/articles/2018/01/17/4150902-cork-light-rail-comments-positive/




  • Talk is cheap as they say. Let's see real plans and funding and then we can believe that something will happen. For what it's worth I'd say they're looking at BRT but it won't be a proper job - would bet it'll be just glorified bus lanes without proper traffic priority. Would be delighted to be wrong and for plans to emerge for light rail!




  • man98 wrote: »
    Something to that effect anyway, I hadn't realised the tramway went out so far before it was taken up but it would be feasible I'd imagine.

    Edit re: urban density, the problem is very much from the ground up tbh. Cork's soil is awful for construction which led to the centuries before ours building low buildings in the city centre (see Barrack Street; Albert Road etc.) however now many of these buildings are protected due to heritage (and rightly so) and thus Cork has no option to remain low rise. Cork's only meaningful residential high rise (the Elysian, South Link Road) was a failure and is only fully occupied now (if even) so no one is going to take a risk on developing more high rise if it means similar results. People still need a place to live which is why more sprawl in the likes of Ballincollig suddenly seems like a smart idea, despite the weak transport links to Cork city.

    The Elysian came onto the market just as the market collapsed though. Cork has a serious housing shortage in itself, It's just as bad as Dublin. (I've been through the systems)

    Elysian rent has gone up to 2000 for a 2 bedroom, up from 1600 in 2014. So I honestly think in this regard now is the time to get another one built up. Huge MNC's located in Cork and they are finding it hard to recruit in some areas as there is simply nowhere for their new employees to go.

    Regarding the Light rail, as it's been said here before - We had an incredible network before it was ripped up. Even if the tracks had to be ripped up, selling the land and removing any sort of possibility of opening up the line again was borderline criminal IMHO

    Then again these are just my own thoughts




  • namloc1980 wrote: »
    Talk is cheap as they say. Let's see real plans and funding and then we can believe that something will happen. For what it's worth I'd say they're looking at BRT but it won't be a proper job - would bet it'll be just glorified bus lanes without proper traffic priority. Would be delighted to be wrong and for plans to emerge for light rail!


    well the luas in dublin doesnt have proper traffic priority from my experience. Get proper electric BRT in, in my opinion. Something that actually has a hope rather than light rail, years of planning and will be ditched the first opportunity that comes along, like a recession...




  • This new public transport upgrade in Cork is heavily pushed by the Council, who badly need it for the development of the Docklands.

    Trying to develop the Docklands without a total overhaul of the public transport network is a waste of time. This is in addition to the backlog need for decent service to areas such as Mahon and Ballincollig/Bishopstown.

    But then again we can't even get a railway station built in Blackpool or Blarney.




  • marno21 wrote: »
    This new public transport upgrade in Cork is heavily pushed by the Council, who badly need it for the development of the Docklands.

    I think they are pushing for BRT though?

    Seems like a good place to start.




  • is the proposed route in cork like Dublin had previously? where the long single deck buses arent suited to the tight turns etc or is there a route where these types of buses, could be well suited?

    one thing that makes luas so much more pleasant than bus, is its electric v noisy, vibrating, stinking diesel. Singapore are starting to test autonomous buses this year...




  • Idbatterim wrote: »
    is the proposed route in cork like Dublin had previously? where the long single deck buses arent suited to the tight turns etc or is there a route where these types of buses, could be well suited?

    one thing that makes luas so much more pleasant than bus, is its electric v noisy, vibrating, stinking diesel. Singapore are starting to test autonomous buses this year...

    Docklands to Mahon Point, and possibly onto Passage West, is a disused rail line with a cycle track. The remainder would be a good deal of on street running with some turns. The most likely streets that it would use (South Mall, Grand Parade, St Patricks street, Washington street) are fairly wide with ample space at junctions. There wouldn't be anything as tight as the junction of Dawson Street with Nassau Street. Having said that, it's barely on the political agenda, never mind route selection stage.




  • The disused rail line between the Docklands and Mahon, whilst fairly useful, would face considerable objection should its alignment be considered for a rapid transit service.




  • marno21 wrote: »
    The disused rail line between the Docklands and Mahon, whilst fairly useful, would face considerable objection should its alignment be considered for a rapid transit service.

    Over the walkway? No reason that both walkway and BRT/LRT can't co exist following redevelopment as the alignment is wide. Anyway it's been reserved for some form of public transit in one form or another since 1978 in plans such as LUTs and city development plans, a rare example of long term transport planning.

    Certainly there would be opposition, but the NIMBY case here is not as strong as many would believe.


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  • What do you think NIMBY means? The cycle/walkway is a fantastic resource away from traffic. It's certainly not unreasonable to object to changing it especially at this stage when the details of are nonexistent and benefits of this route over possible alternatives havent been presented.




  • TheChizler wrote: »
    What do you think NIMBY means? The cycle/walkway is a fantastic resource away from traffic. It's certainly not unreasonable to object to changing it especially at this stage when the details of are nonexistent and benefits of this route over possible alternatives havent been presented.

    Nothing to stop it from continuing to be a fantastic resource away from traffic. It's even an opportunity to upgrade the facility.




  • Frostybrew wrote: »
    Nothing to stop it from continuing to be a fantastic resource away from traffic. It's even an opportunity to upgrade the facility.
    We'd really have to see a set of plans before being able to comment further. If they could do it without impacting on the greenway it would be great but I don't know how you'd fit a bidirectional rail line and path without damaging its unique features. Alternatives routes may exist also and I'd be interested in seeing them also.

    On a different topic, are there reports out there justifying such a scheme? I'm not doubting how great a facility it would be but I'd like to know there's more to it than "wouldn't it be great if we got a Luas?". No point spending hundreds of millions if it's going to be half empty even after the new developments go in. Don't want to end up with something like the Detroit People Mover.




  • Yes there's this report form 2009, though it's a bit out of date as it relies on data from 2006 and it's going to be 2026 before anything like this is in place. Hence it's already 20 years out of date.

    http://www.corkcity.ie/services/roadstransportation/transportationdivision/corkareatransitsystemstudy/CATS%20Study%20Final%20Report%20Feb%202010_opt1.pdf

    It recommends BRT from Ballincollig to Mahon Point via the western suburbs, UCC, the City centre and the docklands. However, I believe it underestimates the impact of the docklands regeneration and LRT should be implemented.

    The report also argues against a second rapid transit corridor from Ballyvolane to the Airport. This recommendation is also now inadequate as massive expansion is now planned north of Ballyvolane which will need LRT as a minimum in order to avoid a Mahon Point style traffic congestion mess. I'm not sure such a link to the airport is needed though.

    The big curve ball in relation to future transport planning is going to be the impact of autonomous vehicles. The question is will the increased efficiencies make public transport obsolete, or will increased usage make it more necessary than ever?

    A new more comprehensive study is necessary.




  • TheChizler wrote: »
    We'd really have to see a set of plans before being able to comment further. If they could do it without impacting on the greenway it would be great but I don't know how you'd fit a bidirectional rail line and path without damaging its unique features. Alternatives routes may exist also and I'd be interested in seeing them also.

    On a different topic, are there reports out there justifying such a scheme? I'm not doubting how great a facility it would be but I'd like to know there's more to it than "wouldn't it be great if we got a Luas?". No point spending hundreds of millions if it's going to be half empty even after the new developments go in. Don't want to end up with something like the Detroit People Mover.

    Because Cork isn't Detroit?

    On the other hand, using one aspect of a planned PT system as an excuse for not doing the rest of it seems very Irish indeed.

    https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/heres-what-youll-see-on-the-people-mover-over-12-hours/Content?oid=2272864




  • Because Cork isn't Detroit?

    On the other hand, using one aspect of a planned PT system as an excuse for not doing the rest of it seems very Irish indeed.

    https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/heres-what-youll-see-on-the-people-mover-over-12-hours/Content?oid=2272864
    I only refer to it as a system that is totally underused and runs at a massive loss. We want to avoid that.




  • newacc2015 wrote: »
    I can't understand why this is still allowed to be done. Why are we allowing the construction of housing in areas where there is no viable public transport system? The taxpayer time after time is being asked to foot the bill for people who chose the suburban lifestyle for bigger and cheaper housing but still expect the amazing public transport system of a dense European city.

    A tram is not suitable for low density urban sprawl. It only really works when a city is medium density. If people want to expanded to low density suburbia like in this case, slap on a massive levy onto the houses for the cost of construction. The houses are going to benefit from an increase in value and it is not as if we live in the US, where there is a meaningful property tax that will recoup some of the increase in value of the properties.

    Cities should be promoting higher density urban living, not expecting taxpayer to subsidies the non-viable urban sprawl that is currently encouraged.

    And where do you expect everybody to live or buy these mythical houses in the city. Developers don't build them in the city. A levy on sub urban houses. Would you ever get off your high horse.




  • Frostybrew wrote: »
    Nothing to stop it from continuing to be a fantastic resource away from traffic. It's even an opportunity to upgrade the facility.
    I'm not sure building a PT link with a catchment only on one side is a clever idea.




  • I'm not sure building a PT link with a catchment only on one side is a clever idea.

    Can you be more specific?


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  • Well, the section that would head down the a quays from the city towards Blackrock will have water on one side.... Effectively halving its catchment area... And further on it goes through a park, and Blackrock isn't high density either, it's not till you get towards mahon that you get significant density, and that's one sided as well..


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