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4 rail lines face possible closure

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,751 ✭✭✭✭ flazio


    They are the slowest lines still going I believe, however I personally think a rail link to Rosslare harbour does need to be maintained.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Zebra3 wrote: »
    €761.60 on the Limerick to Ballybrophy line
    Just to compare
    Estimated Fare : €118.40 to €142.40

    https://www.transportforireland.ie/taxi/taxi-fare-estimator/


    And that's having a single person per cab.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Deedsie wrote: »
    The Nenagh line will close and that is what Irish rail have wanted for a long time. The train is almost unusable for people, times are terrible, train is stupidly slow. Dont blame the public for not using it, blame Irish rail.

    In fairness it isn't really Irish Rails fault either.

    Rail is expensive to build, maintain and run. It is fantastic where you have high population densities near the stations and high congestion in a city center (DART, Luas, Metro, etc.) to justify the high cost.

    But it just can't compete in largely rural areas with very low, spread out, population densities, competing against much fast cars and coaches on roads and in particular motorways.

    Much of our non commuter rail network is a vestige of the 1800's when it was by far the fastest way to travel, as travelling by road could take days. Today the world is very different and it just can't compete with most people having cars and motorways.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,843 ✭✭✭ techdiver


    bk wrote: »
    In fairness it isn't really Irish Rails fault either.

    Rail is expensive to build, maintain and run. It is fantastic where you have high population densities near the stations and high congestion in a city center (DART, Luas, Metro, etc.) to justify the high cost.

    But it just can't compete in largely rural areas with very low, spread out, population densities, competing against much fast cars and coaches on roads and in particular motorways.

    Much of our non commuter rail network is a vestige of the 1800's when it was by far the fastest way to travel, as travelling by road could take days. Today the world is very different and it just can't compete with most people having cars and motorways.

    Whilst I agree with the sentiment, we are also in a massive push to get people out of their cars especially in Dublin. I use the Mullingar to Connolly service every morning instead of driving. Their is no other viable alternative that will comes close in door to door journey times. Bus Eireann has no decent non stop service and takes the guts of 2 hours, yes 2 hours to travel 50 miles from Mullingar to Dublin.

    Now the Sligo line isn't mentioned in the article, but I would like to see the figures for subvention on that line. It seems the train only really picks up significant passenger numbers from Mullingar onwards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 952 hytrogen


    bk wrote:
    Rail is expensive to build, maintain and run. It is fantastic where you have high population densities near the stations and high congestion in a city center (DART, Luas, Metro, etc.) to justify the high cost
    But it just can't compete in largely rural areas with very low, spread out, population densities, competing against much fast cars and coaches on roads and in particular motorways.

    But Nenagh has the population density to support it as a commuter town to Limerick / Dublin. As others have mentioned it has been deliberately run into the ground by IR with poor scheduling and slow speeds.
    A poor worker blames his tools, but when he uses them the wrong way he's to blame.
    The fact there is no incentive for the nearby large townships like Ballina/Killaloe to engage it as a commuter option for people working / studying in Limerick shows the neglect IR AND NTA have put on the infrastructure.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 952 hytrogen


    As regards the Rosslare Europort line someone is definitely fiddling the books on that, considering that they've see an increase in export traffic across the Celtic sea..


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    techdiver wrote: »
    Whilst I agree with the sentiment, we are also in a massive push to get people out of their cars especially in Dublin. I use the Mullingar to Connolly service every morning instead of driving. Their is no other viable alternative that will comes close in door to door journey times. Bus Eireann has no decent non stop service and takes the guts of 2 hours, yes 2 hours to travel 50 miles from Mullingar to Dublin.

    I was speaking of the regional networks. The Dublin commuter network makes sense of course.
    techdiver wrote: »
    Now the Sligo line isn't mentioned in the article, but I would like to see the figures for subvention on that line. It seems the train only really picks up significant passenger numbers from Mullingar onwards.

    A net loss of €18 per passenger journey. Not the best, but not the worst either.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    hytrogen wrote: »
    As regards the Rosslare Europort line someone is definitely fiddling the books on that, considering that they've see an increase in export traffic across the Celtic sea..

    Not really, everyone just trucks their freight. Far faster and cheaper. Rail freight represents just 1% of all freight in Ireland.

    BTW Nenagh has a population of less then 8,000, that is hardly staggering. You'd barely fill a few buses with that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,756 ✭✭✭ PropJoe10


    Closing the rail link to Wexford/Rosslare would be an absolute disgrace. This is meant to be a developed country. Time for the government to overhaul Irish Rail completely, bring down fares and actually motivate people to take the train.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,843 ✭✭✭ techdiver


    bk wrote: »
    I was speaking of the regional networks. The Dublin commuter network makes sense of course.



    A net loss of €18 per passenger journey. Not the best, but not the worst either.

    Cheers for that.

    I would assume the majority of the line loss would be West of Mullingar/Longford.

    Do they brake down the revenue for the dedicated Longford - Connolly/Pearse service separate from the Sligo intercity service or is it bundled as a single line metric?


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    techdiver wrote: »
    Cheers for that.

    I would assume the majority of the line loss would be West of Mullingar/Longford.

    Do they brake down the revenue for the dedicated Longford - Connolly/Pearse service separate from the Sligo intercity service or is it bundled as a single line metric?

    I think it is a single metric. The massive 300 page report is here if your interested:

    https://www.nationaltransport.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/151116_2016_Rail_Review_Report_Complete_Online.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭ D.L.R.


    Utter dysfunction. Hard to know whether its down to IR or the state. Both seem completely inept when it comes to running a railway system. Just bring in the bloody Germans to run it for us. We can't do it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 952 hytrogen


    bk wrote:
    Not really, everyone just trucks their freight. Far faster and cheaper. Rail freight represents just 1% of all freight in Ireland.
    I was referring to the ports overall exports being up, not just railfreight, roro or foot passenger alone and how those increases should be feeding back into the CIE adjoining networks, ie someone's fiddling the books there. And as a whole all major ports in Ireland are seeing an increase in traffic overall so it's not like we're stuck in the bad times in terms of revenues.
    bk wrote:
    BTW Nenagh has a population of less then 8,000, that is hardly staggering. You'd barely fill a few buses with that.
    What about the adjacent towns near the other stops on the line? Why aren't they being incentivised to use the train or public transport. Basically because there is none. Ballina-Killaloe is a bottleneck and there isn't anything in terms of decent bus service to or from the towns.
    Shannon has 9,276 (census 2016) and buses are full every day at the rush hours to and from Limerick, particularly to Shannon business park and airport. The roads, buses and trains are chocka from Naas with 20,714 to Dublin each and every day. It's not like there isn't a demand for services, it's just because there is no services.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    D.L.R. wrote: »
    Utter dysfunction. Hard to know whether its down to IR or the state. Both seem completely inept when it comes to running a railway system. Just bring in the bloody Germans to run it for us. We can't do it.

    I'd suspect the Germans would close down half the network!

    It really is just a case of economic, geography and demographics.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,168 ✭✭✭ roadmaster


    i think at this stage a long over due question needs to be asked of the public what sort of public transport system they want and what are they willing to pay for. Do we want IR to be a profit driven company only that can fund it self with no public money which would end up in many lines closed.

    Do we want to have IR publicly funded that delivers a public service at a reasonable cost and keeps lines open that would not stay open if private.

    On the continent how much would governments pay towards public transport compare to here?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭ Middle Man


    D.L.R. wrote: »
    Utter dysfunction. Hard to know whether its down to IR or the state. Both seem completely inept when it comes to running a railway system. Just bring in the bloody Germans to run it for us. We can't do it.
    I normally disagree with you, but I had to give this a thumbs up! Oh yeah, close the Nenagh line even though it's only about 40km from Limerick and could well be developed as a commuter line in the future - sure we closed the Harcourt Street Line in Dublin, so really nothing would surprise me in this country!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭ Middle Man


    bk wrote: »
    I'd suspect the Germans would close down half the network!

    It really is just a case of economic, geography and demographics.

    Or is it a case of pure Paddy Laziness?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭ Middle Man


    So, everyone else is building and re-opening railways, but we're doing nothing but closing them - perhaps Nenagh to Ballybrophy might be surplus to requirements as well as Wexford to Rosslare, but closing Limerick to Nenagh, Gorey to Wexford, Limerick Junction to Waterford (2 cities) and Ennis to Athenry (recently reopened)??? Really, are the people running this country so thick???

    Please give me this country for just a decade and I'll guarantee that Paddy and Mary will be fired (no compensation) - they should never be running this country! Only people who are fit for tenure would need apply for all the vacant positions that would arise!


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Middle Man, this is simply demographics. We all decided that we wanted to live in a 3/4 bedroom detached house with a garden out front and as a result spread all across the countryside in very low density.

    Such living patterns are completely unsustainable for rail, hell even bus services struggle to service it all.

    In Germany they have very strict planning permission. In rural areas you can only build within 1 km of a town or village, basically walking easy distance. As a result they have much higher density of people living near stations making it more suited to rail.

    If the Germans were too come here, they would laugh at us, shut down half the rail network and level half of the rural homes and build nice apartment blocks within walking distance of the stations in towns.

    The WRC is just another example of this insanity. It cost 100 million to reopen and it only carries enough people a day to fill two double decker buses, laughable!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    PropJoe10 wrote: »
    Closing the rail link to Wexford/Rosslare would be an absolute disgrace. This is meant to be a developed country. Time for the government to overhaul Irish Rail completely, bring down fares and actually motivate people to take the train.

    How much more good money should we throw after bad? Wexford Bus' service is far better than the rail option and costs the public nothing.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭ Middle Man


    bk wrote: »
    Middle Man, this is simply demographics. We all decided that we wanted to live in a 3/4 bedroom detached house with a garden out front and as a result spread all across the countryside in very low density.

    Such living patterns are completely unsustainable for rail, hell even bus services struggle to service it all.

    In Germany they have very strict planning permission. In rural areas you can only build within 1 km of a town or village, basically walking easy distance. As a result they have much higher density of people living near stations making it more suited to rail.

    If the Germans were too come here, they would laugh at us, shut down half the rail network and level half of the rural homes and build nice apartment blocks within walking distance of the stations in towns.

    The WRC is just another example of this insanity. It cost 100 million to reopen and it only carries enough people a day to fill two double decker buses, laughable!
    If you were to level all the dispersed houses (which might be an idea), surely the under-utilised railways could be made use of - railways through Wexford, Nenagh, Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir for example. Can't you imagine how big all those towns would be in terms of population! In fact, add Tuam to that list and the railway thereto could be justifiably reopened!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    roadmaster wrote: »

    Do we want to have IR publicly funded that delivers a public service at a reasonable cost and keeps lines open that would not stay open if private.

    ÍE has always been publicly funded it's never been intended to make a profit. What it was not intended to do was not leak cash like a sieve it must deliver value for money. When you get to the stage where hiring taxies would be significantly cheaper you know something has seriously gone wrong.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Middle Man wrote: »
    If you were to level all the dispersed houses (which might be an idea), surely the under-utilised railways could be made use of - railways through Wexford, Nenagh, Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir for example. Can't you imagine how big all those towns would be in terms of population! In fact, add Tuam to that list and the railway thereto could be justifiably reopened!

    And now you know why rail in rural areas is doomed. So many of us live from our towns and villages that you need a car anyway to even get a bottle of milk. Sure if you have a car already, why would you bother to drive it to a train station and take the train when you can drive door to door to your destination anyway much quicker.

    Rural rail stands no chance against the car giving our living patterns.

    Note I'm saying the rural rail network, obviously commuter rail into Dublin is a different story.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,168 ✭✭✭ roadmaster


    ÍE has always been publicly funded it's never been intended to make a profit. What it was not intended to do was not leak cash like a sieve it must deliver value for money. When you get to the stage where hiring taxies would be significantly cheaper you know something has seriously gone wrong.

    i know IE is publicly funded ,Even if you eliminate the waste you still will have to give alot extra funding to certain routes to keep them open. So do we keep these routes open from a social aspect or do we say sorry its costing way to much money to run this route we are closing it.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭ Middle Man


    bk wrote: »
    And now you know why rail in rural areas is doomed. So many of us live from our towns and villages that you need a car anyway to even get a bottle of milk. Sure if you have a car already, why would you bother to drive it to a train station and take the train when you can drive door to door to your destination anyway much quicker.

    Rural rail stands no chance against the car giving our living patterns.

    Note I'm saying the rural rail network, obviously commuter rail into Dublin is a different story.
    Alas, very true regarding local day to day business and even day trips (we've such great planning here :rolleyes:). When commuting however, rail is the only reasonably efficient option for me - living in East Meath and working in Dun Laoghaire - I drive around 5km to the nearest station.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    roadmaster wrote: »
    i know IE is publicly funded ,Even if you eliminate the waste you still will have to give alot extra funding to certain routes to keep them open. So do we keep these routes open from a social aspect or do we say sorry its costing way to much money to run this route we are closing it.

    We'll we need to decide this on a case by case basis . Closing the Wexford will have little or no negative social aspect. In fact converting it to a cycleway could be a massive boost to the towns along the line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ Mehapoy


    Why don't they open these lines up to a private operator, let them lease the rolling stock from Irish rail, give them the same subvention as on the cork\dublin line and see if they can make it viable, either as a commuter, tourist etc. Basis, see what the private sector can do with it free from the shackles or Irish rail management and unions.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    LeinsterDub is spot on, you take it case by case.

    How many people will be put off by the closure? How many replacement buses do you need? How fast can the replacement bus do the same journey? etc.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭ Middle Man


    Mehapoy wrote: »
    Why don't they open these lines up to a private operator, let them lease the rolling stock from Irish rail, give them the same subvention as on the cork\dublin line and see if they can make it viable, either as a commuter, tourist etc. Basis, see what the private sector can do with it free from the shackles or Irish rail management and unions.
    ...and why can't we roll out more freight services via the private sector - I recently saw that the rail freight service linking both Mayo and Dublin was still in operation - new services such as this might help to keep lines like Limerick Jct. to Waterford (Belview Port) open.


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Mehapoy wrote: »
    Why don't they open these lines up to a private operator, let them lease the rolling stock from Irish rail, give them the same subvention as on the cork\dublin line and see if they can make it viable, either as a commuter, tourist etc. Basis, see what the private sector can do with it free from the shackles or Irish rail management and unions.

    The unions would lose their minds and go out on strike and shut down the whole network for weeks on end.

    Anyway privates wouldn't be interested in these lines. They are only interested in profitable lines. Rural lines that meander slowly through the countryside with low population densities will simply never be profitable, no matter who is running them.


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