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Western Rail Corridor / Rail Trail



  • Registered Users Posts: 45 Decades

    At the time it was being carried out the EY Report, which rubbished all logic of reopening the line, was the only rail review available and the one we all thought was final. Option 1 is costed as a lease arrangement - not a purchase.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45 Decades


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,549 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    It did assess the options correctly before arriving at its conclusion (which was obviously Option 1). Some sort of feasibility study is required when looking to spend millions of taxpayers money, alternatives have to be considered even if there are obviously no realistic alternatives. As it is a TII project, they have to follow their project guidelines. Not sure what your issue is, that's how the process goes.

    Limerick - Athenry was in better condition than Athenry - Claremorris. Look at how long Limerick - Foynes is taking and that for a basic freight only line. It has also run into planning problems which probably should have been addressed before going on site. Athenry - Claremorris isn't even on the radar for funding and isn't getting €0.5bn any time soon. Your "Lets cancel everything that costs money" comment is just stupid, other projects have progressed through Public Spending Code gates and were budgeted for many years in advance.

    The assessment is based on buying out the railway because it is currently in the ownership of a commercial company (although one that is state owned). As others have said, it'll almost certainly be leased as per established precedent. If they assumed they could lease the alignment for next to nothing, I'm sure you'd have an issue with that too. You are making (another) mountain out of a mole hill.

  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview

    You never cease to amaze with your contradictions. You said that the report was just a box ticking exercise and for the purposes of playing games and now you are saying it was done correctly. Unbelievable.

    You're saying the line needs to be purchased and also leased.

    The AiRR said the line is relatively straightforward in comparion to other projects and is on the list of short term projects but you say otherwise with nothing to back it up. Of course you know more than Arup and the government departments involved. Truly hilarious.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,549 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    The feasibility report is a box ticking exercise I didn't say it is for the purposes of playing games, I said it's part of the game that has to be played, i.e. the processes and gateways which have to be passed in order to get public funds.

    I didn't say the line needs to be purchased and also leased. The report assumes purchase (not unusual to take worst case scenario in such a report) but in actual fact, when it comes down to it, it would likely be leased should the greenway go ahead on the line, as is the case with other greenways.

    The AIRR estimates the cost of reopening Athenry - Claremorris at €400 - 600m. That level of funding doesn't just get assigned at short notice and isn't budgeted for, ask government departments if you want. There is at least one new bridge required for reopening which will need to be designed and planning approval. There are several at grade crossings of N roads to be considered. Look how long the Cork line LC removals have been sitting with ABP. I have been sighting similar relevant projects, have you anything to suggest that it might reopen within a decade?

    You seem to have very poor comprehension skills.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview


  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview

    If you're going to start making personal insults I've no interest in engaging with you any further

  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview

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  • Registered Users Posts: 45 Decades

    Scheduled maintenance. It's done every 6- 7 years. Some cute whore politicians saw an opportunity to "welcome it" - like it was a big thing or something. Sean Canney glossed his up with Ballyglunin Bridge, even though that was baked into the N63 road widening already. They have cleared most of the Colooney to Claremorris line and there is no plan to reopen that for rail. In fact, the local Greenway campaigners welcomed that one. All you can do is sit back and admire highly skilled politicians welcoming things. Any link to an actual Ministerial announcement to prove me wrong?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,476 ✭✭✭✭whisky_galore

    Yes, nothing more than maintenance and reaffirming ownership, in spite of greenway fanboys jumping to conclusions and rubbing their hands in anticipation. I wouldn't read too much into claims of reopening either. I'll believe it when I see it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview

    Very interesting. That's another potential step forward for the 2 lines. No guarantees the application would suceed but given the west's and northwest's infrastructural deficit it's likely that Europe would look favourably on it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45 Decades

    I wonder if rail advocates north of Mayo can finally concede that their campaign is over and let Sligo Council proceed with the Yeats County Greenway without the usual shenanigans. Claremorris- Athenry is definitely in the mixer for rail and time will tell.

  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview

    I think they may have to accept that north of Claremorris is a non-runner for rail for the time being at the very least. In fairness to Eamon Ryan he has been consistent about favouring the opening of Claremorris to Athenry but has resisted making false promises beyond that. I think Ballina freight (and the planned Castlebar freight yard) is a big factor in the push for phase 2 and without it I dont think even that phase would have been considered.

    Also when one considers the lengths of each stage it would mean over 126km of rail reinstated in one go to bring it to Collooney without the benefit of another 'Ballina' added. To me it seems prudent to open to Claremorris and let the performance of that line decide whether to go further or not. A greenway would preserve the route in the meantime.

    Phase 1: Ennis to Athenry 58 km

    Phase 2: Athenry to Claremorris 52 km (previously split into 2 sections - one either side of Tuam).

    Phase 3: Claremorris to Collooney 74.43 km

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,870 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    Is there any chance the EU would first of all provide support for projects that will both help more travellers and help any possible re-opening of WRC phase 2?

    Like doubling from Athlone to Galway?

    Or even doubling from Galway to Athenry?

    Trains on WRC phase 2, going/coming from Tuam and Mayo must use the mainline, as I presume all trains will go into Galway.

    Their success depends on the mainline being able to carry them.

    So it seems to me that doubling Galway to Athenry is a prerequisite for WRC phase 2.

  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview

    Ideally funding would be available for both the WRC and line into Galway but I'm not sure what the Ten-T criiteria is.

    I doubt that doubling Galway to Athenry is a prerequisite for WRC Ph 2 -initially at least - as the WRC won't be carrying passengers to begin with . It's more about decarbonising freight and getting it from the west to the southeast. Ideally the double tracking would be underway before passengers are added.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,870 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    The WRC won't be carrying pax to begin with?


    Surely if the line from Athenry to Claremorris is ever re-opened, one of the major benefits is to encourage modal shift from cars onto trains.

    The point being to offer travellers from Ballina/Westport/Castlebar/Claremorris trains to Galway.

    A possible maybe 12 tpd from Galway to Mayo has greater benefits than maybe a max of one freight per day?

  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview

    No, apparently passengers alone (other than from Tuam) won't justify it but freight will. The HGVs are a big polluter and Iarnród Éireanns 2040 rail freight strategy aims to increase Ireland's low freight percentages in line with Europe. So passenger travel is not driving it but passengers will get to use it in time.

    Quote from the AIRR re Phase 2 explaining the rationale and why further extensions northward weren't considered.

    "It was also noted that the link between Claremorris and Athenry provided an important link for the island’s rail freight network, and that the town of Tuam would probably generate demand for a passenger service. This link was also retained, but all other proposed links in Package 3b were dropped form the Final Scenario."

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,870 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    Ok, fair enough.

    Are there enough freight flows from Westport / Castlebar / Ballina / Claremorris to justify it?

    I know of:

    Allergan Westport: high value, but low volumes I presume?

    Ballina: is it Coca-Cola or Pepsi?




  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,480 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Currently no. The entire freight plan is expecting significant growth to justify the investment

  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview

    According to Alan Dillon 12 major global companies in the west have written to Eamon Ryan requesting rail freight services to help decarbonise their businesses. But i don't know what companies they are or where exactly they are located.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,293 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark

    That's more than a bit of a joke when so many other heavily used parts of the network have been crying out for investment for years.

    Here's what you could have won.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45 Decades

    Serious question but these companies that are looking to de-carbonise their freight - how are they planning to get their goods to the rail depot and how will it be shipped at the receiving end. Plus how many fully laden carriages will it take to make a diesel train a de-carbonising mode of transport compared to road freight?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,157 ✭✭✭Consonata

    Well if we do a decent bit of electrification, it needn't necessarily be diesel trains. Germany has been doing electric loco freight since the 70s. Far cleaner than trucks on roads.

  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭Westernview

    I think most companies will transfer goods via lorries to the rail depots. Baxter recently started using Ballina freight yard as temporary measure until the proposed freight hub at Castlebar is developed. Switching to rail obviously makes more sense if the companies are within a certain radius of train stations.

    I dont know what the procedures would be at the waterford end or what the figures are comparing trains versus road but I've heard that a single train can replace between 20 and 30 trucks. See YT video.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,516 ✭✭✭Economics101

    Even if you have conventional truck haulage to and from rail depots, there are huge savings to be made from rail freight. I don't have the original source, but some estimates from Portugal (a country similar in area to Ireland) are that Diesel Rail haulage saves about 75% of emissions compared to conventional Road haulage. Than if you electrify the railway, the emissions can fall by as much as 95% (depending of course on how the electricity is generated).

    Some time ago Irish Rail said that Ballina-Waterford by Rail instead of road saved about 70% of fuel consumprion, so this is consistent.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,549 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    Ballina to Waterford by rail is currently possible, I'm pretty sure it is the only operating rail freight route in the country at present. There are several things which could be done to improve those services on the existing route (and simultaneously benefitting passenger services) at the same or lower cost as WRC Phase 2.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,516 ✭✭✭Economics101

    Are you referring to containers? Ballina-North Wall carries a lot more than Ballina-Waterford.