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Rail line to Adare for Ryder Cup

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  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭andrewfaulk


    The answer is no. Even the theory that a Foynes line will reopen for freight is blinkered. At present rail moves very little freight due to just in time logistics. Ireland is a small country with a low population density spread sparsely , there is no point in carrying goods a distance on rail to unload and reload onto trucks to move it 50 or 60% of the original distance.

    If you wanted to build a city you would not copy Limerick. Traditionally it had three local authorities the city council had a small area about 2Km in a circle around the city. LK Co Co developed areas outside the city bounds such as Raheen/Doiradoyle and Castletroy. These are large sprawling area's. Add to that Clare Co Co developing Corbably all these area are 2-5km from the city center.
    The thing that has revolutionised Limerick was the ring road and the Tunnel. It allowed people to access work without having to go through the city center.
    I am sorry for sounding dismissive over the last few posts but the idea of throwing hundred of millions at rail in Limerick that cannot make better the public transportation system is galling. The idea that in this time if crisis a rail line to Adare deveserves Cabinet time is ridiculous.

    What worse is an attitude of why would you refuse it. 4-500 million would solve a lot of transportation problems in Limerick using buses. It might even give people a choice of not needing a second car. But because it not a rail solution it not Green

    This post about freight is blinkered.. Not sure where exactly it is all coming from, but it seems that there is an unhealthy obsession with JIT supply chains on boards.ie the past few months. JIT makes up a very small proportion of freight movements, maybe 5% worldwide linked mainly to car manufacturing, of which there is none in Ireland. Furthermore, the high cost of JIT operation, environmental concerns and the numerous supply chain disruptions over the past few years(Brexit and COVID, to name just two examples) mean it is likely to become less common not more common.

    The Foynes' lines prospects of re-opening are tied to moving bulk cargo, which is what rail freight does best, and which most definitely is not suited to JIT.. If the Pallas green mine opens east of Limerick, this would provide a base load of 2-3 train loads of ore per day to Foynes. This would move by rail from the mine head site to Foynes port with no road movement involved. The idea of people moving cargo by rail to then be trucked long distance is a nonsense, and I don't think there are any real world examples of this. Once the rail line is open, it would open up other prospects for moving bulk cargo to/from Foynes Port, grain/animal feed and fuel products are two that spring to mind. Another possibility would be a container flow from Askeaton to Waterford or Dublin Ports


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,674 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cookiemunster


    JIT is most certainly not just related to the car industry. Any large manufacturing company such as Intel or Vistakon will work on an JIT model. And there are a lot, lot more than just Intel and Vistakon in Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭PhilOssophy


    JIT is most certainly not just related to the car industry. Any large manufacturing company such as Intel or Vistakon will work on an JIT model. And there are a lot, lot more than just Intel and Vistakon in Ireland.

    They will. And in a country the size of Ireland Intel etc will have no interest in arsing around with rail lines to deliver stuff anywhere when they can get stuff there quicker by road!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,912 ✭✭✭kilburn


    They will. And in a country the size of Ireland Intel etc will have no interest in arsing around with rail lines to deliver stuff anywhere when they can get stuff there quicker by road!

    I cant imagine many would expect the likes of electronic components etc to use rail but the Foynes line is being pushed for the Zinc mine and anything else that would use the line is a bonus.

    There is so much potential and opportunity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭PhilOssophy


    kilburn wrote: »
    I cant imagine many would expect the likes of electronic components etc to use rail but the Foynes line is being pushed for the Zinc mine and anything else that would use the line is a bonus.

    There is so much potential and opportunity.

    To where though? If it is being shipped surely it goes straight onto a boat there? Where is it being transported by rail to?
    Excuse my ignorance here by the way, I am honestly curious where it would be going.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    We have no lead/zinc smelters here. Boliden smelt the Tara ore in Norway and Finland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭PhilOssophy


    L1011 wrote: »
    We have no lead/zinc smelters here. Boliden smelt the Tara ore in Norway and Finland.

    That is what I would have thought!


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    That is what I would have thought!

    I think I've realised the confusion here - there is another zinc mine proposed for Pallas Green which would almost certainly have a no trucks planning condition like Tara has; with export via Foynes proposed.

    The Foynes lines best chance of reopening is privately funded, for this traffic; with it then being available cheaper/easier for any other traffic afterwards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,235 ✭✭✭lucernarian


    L1011 wrote: »
    I think I've realised the confusion here - there is another zinc mine proposed for Pallas Green which would almost certainly have a no trucks planning condition like Tara has; with export via Foynes proposed.

    The Foynes lines best chance of reopening is privately funded, for this traffic; with it then being available cheaper/easier for any other traffic afterwards.

    They still couldn't link Navan to Drogheda for passengers despite the freight line being in good condition and offering a potential new station at the commuter town of Duleek.

    I've no hope for Limerick when there's already such low hanging fruit at Drogheda that's ignored.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    They still couldn't link Navan to Drogheda for passengers despite the freight line being in good condition and offering a potential new station at the commuter town of Duleek.

    I've no hope for Limerick when there's already such low hanging fruit at Drogheda that's ignored.

    There is no capacity on the Northern Line for, nor rolling stock to operate such a service; which would not be competitive with coaches down the M3 either.

    However, I would not expect passenger services to ever resume on the Foynes line.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭andrewfaulk


    They will. And in a country the size of Ireland Intel etc will have no interest in arsing around with rail lines to deliver stuff anywhere when they can get stuff there quicker by road!

    Not to repeat myself but "JIT makes up a very small proportion of freight movements". The vast majority of freight by volume worldwide is moved in bulk.

    JIT is not relevant to any discussion about rail freight, because in the general scheme of things it moves in small volumes, often not enough to fill a 13.6m trailer let alone a full train

    So can we please park the obsession with JIT in relation to railfreight..

    Railfreight is bulk freight and containers


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,175 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    To be clear, you couldn't get a country less suited to railfreight then Ireland.

    Railfreight is suited to very heavy industry and mining and carried over very long distances where sea is not an option.

    Ireland has little in the way of heavy industry or mining. It is an island with very short distances and every city has a port making those distances even shorter.

    Most Irish industry is small to medium sized and is all almost exclusively Just In Time oriented. Most of Irelands industry is based around agriculture and food processing as as a result you can imagine is very time sensitive.

    Most freight in Ireland arrives in/out via trucks on Ferry or loaded onto trucks from container ships. Truck rolls off a ferry and 1 to 2 hours later it is at it's destination factory/warehouse.

    No industry in Ireland is going to wait around for a few days for a train worth of containers to be loaded on a train, then when the train arrives, unload the containers off the train and onto a truck for the last distance to the factory.

    Outside of the small amount of mining and maybe forestry we do, rail-freight simply makes no sense at all for most companies here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 943 ✭✭✭riddlinrussell


    bk wrote: »
    To be clear, you couldn't get a country less suited to railfreight then Ireland.

    Railfreight is suited to very heavy industry and mining and carried over very long distances where sea is not an option.

    Ireland has little in the way of heavy industry or mining. It is an island with very short distances and every city has a port making those distances even shorter.

    Most Irish industry is small to medium sized and is all almost exclusively Just In Time oriented. Most of Irelands industry is based around agriculture and food processing as as a result you can imagine is very time sensitive.

    Most freight in Ireland arrives in/out via trucks on Ferry or loaded onto trucks from container ships. Truck rolls off a ferry and 1 to 2 hours later it is at it's destination factory/warehouse.

    No industry in Ireland is going to wait around for a few days for a train worth of containers to be loaded on a train, then when the train arrives, unload the containers off the train and onto a truck for the last distance to the factory.

    Outside of the small amount of mining and maybe forestry we do, rail-freight simply makes no sense at all for most companies here.

    I would point out that the argument being made above for this specific line is that exactly the industry (mining) you say we do a small amount of that might require rail transport, is the specific industry this line is being reopened for, so why are you talking about JIT etc?

    Pallasgreen to Foynes by rail for the industry that specifically might need rail transport seems like a total no-brainer?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,175 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    I would point out that the argument being made above for this specific line is that exactly the industry (mining) you say we do a small amount of that might require rail transport, is the specific industry this line is being reopened for, so why are you talking about JIT etc?

    Pallasgreen to Foynes by rail for the industry that specifically might need rail transport seems like a total no-brainer?

    Sure and I'd have no issue with that, at least not without looking into the details of it *

    Andrew seems to be bringing up JIT being 5% of the worlds freight and making a wider argument about rail-freight and I'm just explaining the high level reality of freight movement in Ireland which most of which is relatively light and relatively very time sensitive.

    98% of Irelands freight is carried by road and that isn't going to change. Because that is what most companies here want.

    * On the specific mines, obviously that depends if they start mining, how much they mine, the cost of road versus rail, planning requirements, etc. If they want rail-freight and are willing to pay for it and it doesn't require massive government investment or interfere with passenger services, then of course, fire away.


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


    I would point out that the argument being made above for this specific line is that exactly the industry (mining) you say we do a small amount of that might require rail transport, is the specific industry this line is being reopened for, so why are you talking about JIT etc?

    Pallasgreen to Foynes by rail for the industry that specifically might need rail transport seems like a total no-brainer?

    Surely the no-brainer option there is to invest in the existing operational Limerick - Waterford line, and any necessary improvements at Bellvue (which already handles rail freight) and send the stuff there? Lim - Wat is operational but in need of investment, upgrading it is likely to be cheaper and delivered more benefits in terms of passenger services than rebuilding Limerick - Foynes. Marino Point in Cork could be another option in terms of port with existing rail adjacent, Port of Cork want to develop it for rail freight.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Belview is not a huge port and is focused mostly on containers; I doubt it has the spare bulk capacity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,235 ✭✭✭lucernarian


    L1011 wrote: »
    There is no capacity on the Northern Line for, nor rolling stock to operate such a service; which would not be competitive with coaches down the M3 either.

    However, I would not expect passenger services to ever resume on the Foynes line.
    Who said anything about the Northern Line? A shuttle service to tie in with enterprise or commuter could easily be done with building a platform 3 in Drogheda. It could also travel onwards to Laytown to cater for it's continually growing population. This has nothing to do with the M3 either, but regional connectivity with infrastructure that's literally already in place.

    As for rolling stock, that would equally affect any plan to serve Adare, and that was my point to begin with. If Navan-Drogheda won't work, this certainly won't.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Who said anything about the Northern Line? A shuttle service to tie in with enterprise or commuter could easily be done with building a platform 3 in Drogheda. It could also travel onwards to Laytown to cater for it's continually growing population. This has nothing to do with the M3 either, but regional connectivity with infrastructure that's literally already in place.

    As for rolling stock, that would equally affect any plan to serve Adare, and that was my point to begin with. If Navan-Drogheda won't work, this certainly won't.

    There's no space on the trains from Drogheda for people to transfer through either!

    Drogheda-Navan is never going to carry passenger traffic again. If Navan gets commuter rail it will be via Clonsilla.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,235 ✭✭✭lucernarian


    L1011 wrote: »
    There's no space on the trains from Drogheda for people to transfer through either!

    Drogheda-Navan is never going to carry passenger traffic again. If Navan gets commuter rail it will be via Clonsilla.
    If that's the case then this thread's topic won't go anywhere. But again you're mistakenly considering that Drogheda - Duleek - Navan isn't a viable source of journeys in and of itself. Why is this? The population catchment it serves has the guts of 100,000 people and the existing bus service is appalling. The point isn't at all about bringing to people to Dublin any more than a line from Adare to Limerick would.


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


    L1011 wrote: »
    Belview is not a huge port and is focused mostly on containers; I doubt it has the spare bulk capacity.

    I'm sure bulk capacity at Belview could be expanded and upgrades made to the Lim - Wat line for a fraction of the cost of rebuilding the Foynes line and installing entirely new rail facilities there.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    I'm sure bulk capacity at Belview could be expanded and upgrades made to the Lim - Wat line for a fraction of the cost of rebuilding the Foynes line and installing entirely new rail facilities there.

    Still not much point if the customer wants Foynes.

    Also, the added opex costs of 7 day operation on Limerick-Waterford *or* the capex of full CTC + CCTV gates will make any cost comparisons rather closer.


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


    L1011 wrote: »
    Still not much point if the customer wants Foynes.

    Also, the added opex costs of 7 day operation on Limerick-Waterford *or* the capex of full CTC + CCTV gates will make any cost comparisons rather closer.

    Does the customer specifically want Foynes and nothing else will do? Is the customer going to contribute towards the capital cost to get what they want?

    How long would you have to consider opex costs over to match the capital cost of reinstating the Foynes line? Opex costs on Lim - Wat would have to be considered in the context of the existing opex cost for passenger services on the line, is the extra over substantial? Any invest in the existing line also has the potential to improve passenger services and attract more users which could help eat into the cost. There would also be opex costs on the Foynes line with little or no passenger potential unless further cost is incurred to allow services into Colbert and probably costs to increase terminating capacity in the station.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    The customer is likely to be made pay for whatever as part of their planning; and they have specifically mentioned Foynes. Shannon Foynes Port Company is also interested in part funding reinstatement.

    This is a potentially multi-billion euro, fifty to sixty year lifetime project for them; 300m in startup costs for the site alone have been mentioned.

    Calculation of costs is not going to include vague hope values from improvement in passenger loads; this is the real world. Trying to bundle a private freight flow over a passenger line they don't want (to a port they don't want) in the hope it'll cause upgrades is not viable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭andrewfaulk


    L1011 wrote: »
    Still not much point if the customer wants Foynes.

    Also, the added opex costs of 7 day operation on Limerick-Waterford *or* the capex of full CTC + CCTV gates will make any cost comparisons rather closer.

    Also, Belview is a tidal port with limited water depth alongside the quay that limits vessel size..


  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭andrewfaulk


    bk wrote: »
    To be clear, you couldn't get a country less suited to railfreight then Ireland.

    Railfreight is suited to very heavy industry and mining and carried over very long distances where sea is not an option.

    Ireland has little in the way of heavy industry or mining. It is an island with very short distances and every city has a port making those distances even shorter.

    Most Irish industry is small to medium sized and is all almost exclusively Just In Time oriented. Most of Irelands industry is based around agriculture and food processing as as a result you can imagine is very time sensitive.

    Most freight in Ireland arrives in/out via trucks on Ferry or loaded onto trucks from container ships. Truck rolls off a ferry and 1 to 2 hours later it is at it's destination factory/warehouse.

    No industry in Ireland is going to wait around for a few days for a train worth of containers to be loaded on a train, then when the train arrives, unload the containers off the train and onto a truck for the last distance to the factory.

    Outside of the small amount of mining and maybe forestry we do, rail-freight simply makes no sense at all for most companies here.

    "Ireland has little in the way of heavy industry or mining. It is an island with very short distances and every city has a port making those distances even shorter."

    If you ignore Europe's largest zinc mine and one of europes largest salt mines..

    "Most freight in Ireland arrives in/out via trucks on Ferry or loaded onto trucks from container ships. Truck rolls off a ferry and 1 to 2 hours later it is at it's destination factory/warehouse"

    Most freight arrives in Ireland in Bulk is offloaded from the ship into a storage facility and then transported onwards from there as required..

    Source: CSO stats Q1 2020

    Dry Bulk 3426000 tonnes
    Liquid bulk 3075000 tonnes

    Total bulk 6501000 tonnes

    Ro/Ro(Ferrys) 3402000 Tonnes
    Lo/Lo (Containers) 1929000 Tonnes

    Total Unitised 5331000 Tonnes

    Also, while you may be correct that a lot of cargo arriving by Ro/Ro(Ferry) is delivered once the vessel arrives, it is not always the case, particularly with unaccompanied loads where only a trailer has been shipped(average dwell time is approx 20 hours)..

    When it comes to Lo/Lo, you are way off the mark.. The average dwell time for a container in Dublin port is around 3 days, not hours. Not everyone needs everything delivered straight away, it would be massively ineffecient as your warehouse would go from being very busy on days there is a vessel arrival to having nothing to do when a vessel arrives..

    "No industry in Ireland is going to wait around for a few days for a train worth of containers to be loaded on a train, then when the train arrives, unload the containers off the train and onto a truck for the last distance to the factory."

    It takes approx 2 hours to load a container onto a train and have it en-route, at times this is less than the time it takes a truck to collect a container from the port. By co-ordinating the train schedule with vessel ops and running multiple trains per week, it is possible to provide a service that delivers 95% containers to the right place at the right time.. For the other 5% you can use trucks to operate alongside the train..


  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭andrewfaulk


    bk wrote: »
    Sure and I'd have no issue with that, at least not without looking into the details of it *

    Andrew seems to be bringing up JIT being 5% of the worlds freight and making a wider argument about rail-freight and I'm just explaining the high level reality of freight movement in Ireland which most of which is relatively light and relatively very time sensitive.

    98% of Irelands freight is carried by road and that isn't going to change. Because that is what most companies here want.

    * On the specific mines, obviously that depends if they start mining, how much they mine, the cost of road versus rail, planning requirements, etc. If they want rail-freight and are willing to pay for it and it doesn't require massive government investment or interfere with passenger services, then of course, fire away.

    “98% of Irelands freight is carried by road and that isn't going to change. Because that is what most companies here want.”

    Companies don't care if a truck or a train moves the container/cargo, they care about cost and service level


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


    L1011 wrote: »
    The customer is likely to be made pay for whatever as part of their planning; and they have specifically mentioned Foynes. Shannon Foynes Port Company is also interested in part funding reinstatement.

    This is a potentially multi-billion euro, fifty to sixty year lifetime project for them; 300m in startup costs for the site alone have been mentioned.

    Calculation of costs is not going to include vague hope values from improvement in passenger loads; this is the real world. Trying to bundle a private freight flow over a passenger line they don't want (to a port they don't want) in the hope it'll cause upgrades is not viable.

    Going to Foynes involves bundling a private freight flow over a passenger line for more than 20km into the heart of Limerick city. How many trains per day use the tracks inside the M7 compared to the Lim - Wat line?

    If the customer is going to pay for it great, I don't see how it would be a good invest for the taxpayer though. Maybe IE could allow the customer and/or SFPC lease the line for the lifetime of the mine and let them reinstate and maintain it at their own expense. They would obviously have to interact with IE services east of Limerick.

    The point I was making is that if taxpayer money is being used, that investment could deliver more benefits on an existing operational line, benefiting both passenger and freight services. If the customer only wants use Foynes then they can pay for that themselves.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    The customer is going to be paying for whatever they do. Belview is clearly an inferior option and is not on the cards.

    Its quite plausible that a leasing company will order new 1600mm locos as well as tippler trucks for this and have the operation just get track access off Irish Rail Infrastructure; completely avoiding any contact with Irish Rail Railway Undertaking. There's a full service life of work for the locos in the expected ore yield.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,661 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985


    Extra lines into Limerick won't happen because the passenger numbers are not there. Even if you take all the people from Adare and Patrick well commuting in many would skip the train as their work would be too far from the station as a lot of Limericks workforce is spread around the outskirts.

    No excuse though for not reopening and developing the town's on the Dublin line out as far as the junction or Thurles


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  • Registered Users Posts: 943 ✭✭✭riddlinrussell


    L1011 wrote: »
    The customer is going to be paying for whatever they do. Belview is clearly an inferior option and is not on the cards.

    Its quite plausible that a leasing company will order new 1600mm locos as well as tippler trucks for this and have the operation just get track access off Irish Rail Infrastructure; completely avoiding any contact with Irish Rail Railway Undertaking. There's a full service life of work for the locos in the expected ore yield.

    I suppose a possible major benefit of the Foynes routing then might be dualling Limerick Junction to Colbert line to ensure Passenger operations aren't negatively impacted by multiple ore trains a day?


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