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Galway - Light Rail

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Comments

  • #2


    marno21 wrote: »
    City meeting about the latest white elephant distraction for the West of Ireland in the form of light rail for Galway this evening
    April fools isnt for another few months!


  • #2


    I'm not quite sure it'd fall under the "white elephant" banner but I can't imagine it being a raging success either, it'd probably end up like the Midland Metro or Sheffield Supertram


  • #2


    marno21 wrote: »
    If I were them I'd be pushing real hard for BusConnects Galway to be implemented in full and pronto. This is simply a distraction from the real solutions.

    Agreed, forget the tram, its not going to happen. The Van Hool Equicity is practically a tram anyway, if they pushed for that as part of a BRT is would be a much easier sell politically with practically the same benefits.

    ExquiCity24Nobina01_web.jpg


  • #2


    Qrt wrote: »
    I'm not quite sure it'd fall under the "white elephant" banner but I can't imagine it being a raging success either, it'd probably end up like the Midland Metro or Sheffield Supertram

    Praytell what was wromg with sheffields attempt? While incomplete it serves the city pretty well. Better than luas anyway


  • #2


    guylikeme wrote: »
    Praytell what was wromg with sheffields attempt? While incomplete it serves the city pretty well. Better than luas anyway

    How so? It carries 1/3rd the number of passengers then Luas (12million per year versus 34m for Luas), in a metro population the same as Dublin.


  • #2


    bk wrote: »
    How so? It carries 1/3rd the number of passengers then Luas (12million per year versus 34m for Luas), in a metro population the same as Dublin.

    That was my exact point. Low ridership.


  • #2


    Qrt wrote: »
    That was my exact point. Low ridership.

    I think thats down to the lack of access to ecelsall road, london road in the network itself.

    Sheffield also has a massive bus network and 2 decent interchanges in city and meadowhall accessible by the tram. In fact you can do tram to interchange, train to manc airport and fly.

    Compare to Dublin. At least 2 huge shopping centres nowhere near the network. As for going near the airport with light or heavy rail...

    Yes the numbers are bigger in Dublin. That would be because of overconcentration of offices and in the city centre. Sheffield has some large towns nearby so not all commuting is done around city centre.


  • #2


    https://connachttribune.ie/campaigners-hold-out-hope-for-very-light-rail-study-for-galway/

    Looks like the GLUAS group might be pivoting to Very Light Rail, seems like an interesting concept, rapid charging at each end of the line (And presumably at stops) to avoid continuous power infrastructure requirements.

    EDIT: Bit of background on the concept, which is being developed in Coventry

    "The concept of 'Very Light Rail' (VLR) has been developed as a means of delivering a light rail system at a much lower cost and with much reduced construction times than traditional tramways or light rail systems. This will allow for such systems to be rolled out across smaller towns and cities so they can gain benefits of a tram system at a considerably more affordable cost. The system had reportedly been engineered for compatibility with the existing West Midlands Metro mass transit network. It has been envisioned that services upon the network could be operated upon a 'turn up and go' frequency at a typical interval of every three to four minutes, rather than using a timetable.

    The VLR concept uses lightweight vehicles, each typically accommodating 50 passengers; of these 20 will be seated while 30 will have to stand. It has been proposed for these vehicles to eventually be operated autonomously. Guidance is to be primarily achieved from its rails. The vehicle are primarily composed of steel and aluminium, while also incorporating several composite components. The vehicles are to be equipped with batteries; when combined with rapid charging systems, the need for overhead line equipment to be installed throughout the route is dispensed with, resulting in reduced installation costs. Being electrically powered, it produces zero emissions and is therefore an environment-friendly means of transportation.

    A major feature of the system is the track, which is prefabricated. This is relatively lightweight and shallower than traditional tramway track, enabling it to be laid over existing utilities and thus avoiding the need for these to be relocated, requiring less excavation; all of these factors make it quicker and cheaper to install. If required, the track can be dismantled and reused at other locations, being held together by a series of clips; this feature has also been promoted for ease of maintenance. The track is seated upon slabs, the materials of which can comprise a high-strength foam core with a recycled plastic coating."


  • #2


    https://connachttribune.ie/campaigners-hold-out-hope-for-very-light-rail-study-for-galway/

    Looks like the GLUAS group might be pivoting to Very Light Rail, seems like an interesting concept, rapid charging at each end of the line (And presumably at stops) to avoid continuous power infrastructure requirements.

    EDIT: Bit of background on the concept, which is being developed in Coventry

    "The concept of 'Very Light Rail' (VLR) has been developed as a means of delivering a light rail system at a much lower cost and with much reduced construction times than traditional tramways or light rail systems. This will allow for such systems to be rolled out across smaller towns and cities so they can gain benefits of a tram system at a considerably more affordable cost. The system had reportedly been engineered for compatibility with the existing West Midlands Metro mass transit network. It has been envisioned that services upon the network could be operated upon a 'turn up and go' frequency at a typical interval of every three to four minutes, rather than using a timetable.

    The VLR concept uses lightweight vehicles, each typically accommodating 50 passengers; of these 20 will be seated while 30 will have to stand. It has been proposed for these vehicles to eventually be operated autonomously. Guidance is to be primarily achieved from its rails. The vehicle are primarily composed of steel and aluminium, while also incorporating several composite components. The vehicles are to be equipped with batteries; when combined with rapid charging systems, the need for overhead line equipment to be installed throughout the route is dispensed with, resulting in reduced installation costs. Being electrically powered, it produces zero emissions and is therefore an environment-friendly means of transportation.

    A major feature of the system is the track, which is prefabricated. This is relatively lightweight and shallower than traditional tramway track, enabling it to be laid over existing utilities and thus avoiding the need for these to be relocated, requiring less excavation; all of these factors make it quicker and cheaper to install. If required, the track can be dismantled and reused at other locations, being held together by a series of clips; this feature has also been promoted for ease of maintenance. The track is seated upon slabs, the materials of which can comprise a high-strength foam core with a recycled plastic coating."

    I think this is dead before it even starts and here's why

    1. The idea of a feasibility study into light rail has already been quashed. This is the same thing with a different name. We can argue semantics but its a system that will cost hundreds of millions and require digging up the streets....its the same thing.

    2. These are smaller than double decker buses, more expensive and require significant infrastructure.

    3. Galway is getting the double decker electric buses shortly so the environmental benefit argument is already dead.

    4. Galway is not dense enough for this. Communities have been struggling to get bus routes extended for years due to too low a density as it is.

    That being said, I do love that these are designed to be autonomous and require no driver, thereby eliminating one of the biggest problems in a modern public transport system


  • #2


    I like the engineering but I think this is just too compromised:

    - Although expensive, digging up utilities and shoring up the running way reduces maintenance in the long run.

    - The ride quality with light vehicles and pre-fab rails + trackbed would likely be fairly crap.

    - The whole point of light rail (excluding the American, development oriented projects) is to transport more people than buses and less people than metro, heavy rail. This is just an inflexible, expensive bus, no?

    I agree with the original post in this thread - Galway needs a Bus Connects and a park and ride on the existing railway (as well as a bit of density and planning as suggested above) before it needs light rail.


  • #2


    I don't see the advantage of that over articulated buses (apart from trying to trick people into thinking its something that it's not). Articulated buses are a proven off-the-shelf product with multiple suppliers, would carry more people and require less infrastructural changes.


  • #2


    What would the advantage be of rubber wheeled vehicles - all other things being equal?


  • #2


    What would the advantage be of rubber wheeled vehicles - all other things being equal?

    Turning circle, noise, better adhesion, more severe gradients.


  • #2


    donvito99 wrote: »
    Turning circle, noise, better adhesion, more severe gradients.

    Surely rubber is quieter than steel. Turning circle - how would that be? I am not talking of bendy buses. Galway - gradients?

    Rubber wheels are easier to divert - should the need arise.


  • #2


    Surely rubber is quieter than steel. Turning circle - how would that be? I am not talking of bendy buses. Galway - gradients?

    Rubber wheels are easier to divert - should the need arise.

    That's my point, they are the traditional advantages of the Bombardier type guided, rubber tyred trams in limited use in France, Colombia etc.


  • #2


    50 passengers!

    That is about the capacity of a single decker bus. Double deckers are almost double that, around 90 people. And Galway is getting double deckers and likely EV ones in a few years.

    This doesn’t make any sense. Maybe a BRT like the Glider in Belfast but EV would be an option.


  • #2


    This Galway Luas idea seems to be more of a vanity project.

    Transport strategies for both Galway and Limerick have concluded that these cities are best served by the bus. There isn't a route with the required density to merit a light rail system in either city.

    Cork has potential for one light rail route but it's dependent on significant dense development along the planned route.


  • #2


    Yes, it is a bit mad. Galway population 75,529 or about 100,000 for the whole county. Belfast on the other hand has a Metro population of 671,000 and yet doesn't even have a tram, instead two BRT routes!

    Even for Cork I flip-flop between it being big enough for Luas or if BRT on the same route would be sufficient. As marno says if they build densely along the route it might just about justify it, but it is borderline.

    And I know what people might say, that it is good to shot for the stars, but I feel this sort of mentality is quiet damaging, as it distracts from the less sexy, but likely more reasonable and significant improvements that could be made to bus services, etc.


  • #2


    bk wrote: »
    And I know what people might say, that it is good to shot for the stars, but I feel this sort of mentality is quiet damaging, as it distracts from the less sexy, but likely more reasonable and significant improvements that could be made to bus services, etc.

    Yeah some farcical stuff going on in Galway city & county. You have the GLUAS crowd in the city and the WRC folks in the county both clamoring for hundreds of millions to be spent on wasteful projects that will be underused to such an extent as to warrant closure within a few years of opening, meanwhile the main Dublin to Galway line is crying out for double tracking and upgrading. Should be pushing to get that main line under a 90 min journey time (double tracking, electrification, request only stops, etc etc)


  • #2


    DaCor wrote: »
    Yeah some farcical stuff going on in Galway city & county. You have the GLUAS crowd in the city and the WRC folks in the county both clamoring for hundreds of millions to be spent on wasteful projects that will be underused to such an extent as to warrant closure within a few years of opening, meanwhile the main Dublin to Galway line is crying out for double tracking and upgrading. Should be pushing to get that main line under a 90 min journey time (double tracking, electrification, request only stops, etc etc)

    All agreed, however request only stops doesn't make much sense on a mainline.


  • #2


    donvito99 wrote: »
    All agreed, however request only stops doesn't make much sense on a mainline.

    True, but politically, it'll be difficult to close any stations on a mainline too.

    Request stops are, politically speaking, the lesser of two evils


  • #2


    DaCor wrote: »
    True, but politically, it'll be difficult to close any stations on a mainline too.

    Request stops are, politically speaking, the lesser of two evils

    Well with doubletracking the likes of Attymon or Woodlawn could be served at the same frequency and other stations at an increased frequency. And higher line speeds to boot.

    I wonder what the cost per km would be of doubletracking Ceannt - Portarlington relative to Gluas?


  • #2


    I don't think there's good cost-benefit for a Galway Luas.

    The only thing that might make me consider it is that I don't think any bus route/BRT is going to get the same kind of priority routing (even if initially, it will be watered down until it's just part of normal traffic). As a result, people just won't use it, it won't be fast and reliable.

    Galway is so car-focused and there are such negative views towards buses that I'm not sure what it would take for a bus route to be successful. A tram with dedicated infrastructure and routing has a much better chance, but whether it's worth it or not I don't know.


  • #2


    Amirani wrote: »
    I don't think there's good cost-benefit for a Galway Luas.

    The only thing that might make me consider it is that I don't think any bus route/BRT is going to get the same kind of priority routing (even if initially, it will be watered down until it's just part of normal traffic). As a result, people just won't use it, it won't be fast and reliable.

    Galway is so car-focused and there are such negative views towards buses that I'm not sure what it would take for a bus route to be successful. A tram with dedicated infrastructure and routing has a much better chance, but whether it's worth it or not I don't know.

    The truth is Luas is 'sexy' and shiny new, and will be extremely popular. Combine it with P&R and more restrictive parking in the city centre and it will be a success. Well, as far as ridership if not Return on Investment basis.


  • #2


    The truth is Luas is 'sexy' and shiny new, and will be extremely popular. Combine it with P&R and more restrictive parking in the city centre and it will be a success. Well, as far as ridership if not Return on Investment basis.

    P&R and the removal of most if not all on street parking is already happening under the GTS

    As for sexy, well, thats in the eye of the beholder ;)


  • #2


    DaCor wrote: »
    True, but politically, it'll be difficult to close any stations on a mainline too.

    Request stops are, politically speaking, the lesser of two evils


    If some or much of the GY to Portarlington route was doubled, could there then be a mix of IC and regional trains?

    IC might have stops GY-Athenry-Ballinsloe-Athlone-Tullamore-Port-Dublin?

    And then let smaller trains serve all stations?

    That means all stations can stay open, and most journeys get faster?


  • #2


    Anything is possible I guess. Either way it'll be years before we see anything happening


  • #2


    bk wrote: »
    Yes, it is a bit mad. Galway population 75,529 or about 100,000 for the whole county. Belfast on the other hand has a Metro population of 671,000 and yet doesn't even have a tram, instead two BRT routes!

    Belfast is an extremely poor example of public transport provision.
    bk wrote: »
    Even for Cork I flip-flop between it being big enough for Luas or if BRT on the same route would be sufficient. As marno says if they build densely along the route it might just about justify it, but it is borderline.

    What is this based on? Cork is one of the largest cities in the EU without a light rail of some sort.


  • #2


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Cork is one of the largest cities in the EU without a light rail of some sort.

    How conducive to light rail would Corks geography be? I'm not very familiar with the city but I do recall there be some steep streets/roads as you move out of the city center


  • #2


    DaCor wrote: »
    How conducive to light rail would Corks geography be? I'm not very familiar with the city but I do recall there be some steep streets/roads as you move out of the city center

    Only the northside


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