Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Rail infrastructure in a potential United Ireland

  • 15-12-2019 1:28am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,452 ✭✭✭ strassenwo!f


    The recent election in Britain has ensured that Brexit will now happen, and the fact that there are now more Nationalist/Republican MPs in the North than Unionist ones is notable. Several commentators I have read over the last couple of days have written either that a United Ireland is now an inevitability in the next two-three decades or that the election result, and the likely form of Brexit which will result from that, will lead to an even closer alignment of NI and the Republic, and probably a United Ireland at some later stage.

    If or when a United Ireland happens, integration of the two original countries will be key to the success of the new one, and sensible integration of infrastructure will be vital. Rail infrastructure will hopefully be one aspect of this process of integration.

    I am basing the following suggestion on two assumptions: (i) that rail travel will represent an efficient and green method of travelling between major nodes, and broadly will not be overtaken in efficiency by autonomous cars or other vehicles; and (ii) that the creation of the new country, and the importance of integration, will lead to a large pay-off from the UK and general goodwill in terms of financing from countries like the US.

    Crayons out, I envisage construction of a rail line between Derry (Londonderry) and Cork, via perhaps Omagh, Enniskillen, Longford, Athlone, Birr and Templemore (and then Thurles, Limerick Junction, Mallow on the current Cork-Dublin line). And also a (Belfast) Portadown-Armagh-Monaghan-Cavan-Longford line.

    With a Derry - Cork trunk line as the main spine of the system, and a line to/from Belfast feeding into it at (say) Longford, the possibilities for direct Belfast - Cork, Belfast - Limerick, Belfast - Galway or Belfast - Waterford services, and potential for one-change connections with Dublin - Galway, Dublin - Westport and Dublin - Sligo services (At Athlone or Longford) would be considerable.

    You would probably have to move some current stations away from their current location, for example the new Athlone station* would probably have to be a bit away from the town, and there would certainly need to be some tunnelling somewhere. And how would you have a southbound station in Derry? Definitely problems abound.

    (*I think an out-of-town location here would be necessary, but could be a very fine place to enable direct services heading east or west of the proposed Derry-Cork trunk line or to facilitate connection with the East-West Dublin-Galway line).

    A good connection at Longford would also open up possibilites for one-change rail services between Belfast and Sligo. At Athlone, possibilities for one-change services to Westport, Castlebar and so on.

    Et cetera.

    (There isn't any obvious reason I can see why you would, under this arrangement, tinker with the direct coastal line between Belfast and Dublin, or the line between Belfast and Derry, or the current lines emanating from Dublin (apart from improving them, if possible)).

    I can't see that there would be huge demand for direct Cork-Derry services along such a route, perhaps 3-4 trains per day. It would be as a major corridor along the country, with city-city services feeding in and out, and connecting with others, that it would fulfil its purpose of integrating the new country.


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,678 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3


    Priority would be top class hourly minimum services between Dublin and Belfast.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,090 ✭✭✭ GerardKeating


    (There isn't any obvious reason I can see why you would, under this arrangement, tinker with the direct coastal line between Belfast and Dublin, or the line between Belfast and Derry, or the current lines emanating from Dublin (apart from improving them, if possible)).

    But remember, the current rail network, and all the lines emanating from Dublin where designed and built when there was a united ireland, there was no major rail line constructed since independance, so why would a reunited ireland impact on the rail network.

    But an intriguing question, which is more likley
    • United Ireland
    • New Railway line


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 180 ✭✭ Lord Fairlord


    As I said on another thread, I'd love a direct Dublin to Derry line passing near/through Navan, Clones, Omagh with maybe a spur to Letterkenny.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,966 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    There's no chance of a United Ireland within our lifetimes so it's a moot point


  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭ ncounties


    But an intriguing question, which is more likley
    United Ireland
    New Railway line

    United Ireland.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 13,650 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore


    FG and Unionists were always anti rail. Peas in a pod.

    Don't get your hopes up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,163 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    Zebra3 wrote: »
    Priority would be top class hourly minimum services between Dublin and Belfast.

    Yes, 200kph, electrified, hourly, all day.

    Also services from Dublin-Derry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,886 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Geuze wrote: »
    Yes, 200kph, electrified, hourly, all day.

    Also services from Dublin-Derry.
    Dublin to Derry by rail would be quite the long journey. If there is a UI the A5/N2 road will be a much higher priority than enhanced rail services.

    I would imagine the already mentioned Dublin-Belfast corridor would actually see improvement to a high speed service. Belfast and Dublin aren't that far apart and the greater Belfast economy will have to be high on the agenda if there is a UI. If greater Belfast can't be made into a net contributor to the economy then a UI would be in serious trouble.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Drifter50


    First of all a united Ireland will not happen in this or the next generation

    There has never been sufficient investment in Rail and there are so many issues you must solve first. Double tracking existing lines will double capacity which will give you far more bang for your buck

    Electrify existing well used lines

    You can go and on before you consider new lines

    Remember this country has a population only the size of Greater Manchester, you can`t justify all that engineering


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,678 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3


    Drifter50 wrote: »
    First of all a united Ireland will not happen in this or the next generation

    There has never been sufficient investment in Rail and there are so many issues you must solve first. Double tracking existing lines will double capacity which will give you far more bang for your buck

    Electrify existing well used lines

    You can go and on before you consider new lines

    Remember this country has a population only the size of Greater Manchester, you can`t justify all that engineering

    A UI is highly likely within the next twenty years or so.

    It's all about demographics.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 9,966 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    Zebra3 wrote: »
    A UI is highly likely within the next twenty years or so.

    It's all about demographics.

    Lol

    It about reality


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭ nordydan


    Loving the United Ireland talk from the freestaters :) Still thinks its more likely than pre Brexit but not likely (uder 50%) in the next 15 years.

    One quick win would be a straight track from Newry to north of Lisburn with maybe a park and ride somewhere near Dromore. This would speed up the Belfast line as the diversion via Portadown puts half an hour on the journey. Something like the attacted


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,349 ✭✭✭✭ NIMAN


    The NW is ignored in Northern Ireland.

    The NW is ignored in RoI.

    In the case of a UI I wouldn't bet on the NW being served with any better infrastructure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,650 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore


    NIMAN wrote: »
    The NW is ignored in Northern Ireland.

    The NW is ignored in RoI.

    In the case of a UI I wouldn't bet on the NW being served with any better infrastructure.

    This is very true.


  • Registered Users Posts: 456 ✭✭ Fritzbox


    Drifter50 wrote: »
    First of all a united Ireland will not happen in this or the next generation

    There has never been sufficient investment in Rail and there are so many issues you must solve first. Double tracking existing lines will double capacity which will give you far more bang for your buck

    Electrify existing well used lines

    You can go and on before you consider new lines

    Remember this country has a population only the size of Greater Manchester, you can`t justify all that engineering

    The island of Ireland has well over twice the population of Greater Manchester.

    Whether we have a united Ireland or not in the near future is a red herring - as both parts of Ireland were in the EU it would have been quite easy to consider the island as a unitary whole when it came to providing the necessary transport infrastructure - in parallel with the island fast being considered a single economy. This process of creating a "one-island" economy had already begun years ago.

    And then Brexit came along...


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 12,462 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Amirani


    Fritzbox wrote: »
    The island of Ireland has well over twice the population of Greater Manchester.

    This.

    I hate how many people use that moronically incorrect population factoid. It seems to come up in any infrastructure discussion about Ireland. No idea where it started out, it's not even close like; Greater Manchester population is comfortably under 3 million.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,650 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore


    Amirani wrote: »
    This.

    I hate how many people use that moronically incorrect population factoid. It seems to come up in any infrastructure discussion about Ireland. No idea where it started out.

    It's an excuse for a do nothing scenario in public transport. Or at a push..."more roads needed".

    Another old chestnut continually trotted out is the "population density", esp in Irish cities already strangled with private car traffic.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 426 ✭✭ MrAbyss


    Drifter50 wrote: »
    Remember this country has a population only the size of Greater Manchester

    I love the way this one gets wheeled out constantly. Firstly, the Greater Manchester land area is HUGE and not just Manchester city itself which is smaller than Dublin city in size and population. Dublin is a European capital and in terms of influence/economy one of the top 30 cities in the world. Manchester is a provincial backwater that you only know about because of football and bands.

    Secondly, in a united Ireland the population would be around twice that of Greater Manchester and all the loads of ****hole cities and big towns in it.

    Thirdly, go away with that tired old irrelevant claptrap.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 426 ✭✭ MrAbyss


    It's an excuse for a do nothing scenario in public transport. Or at a push..."more roads needed".

    Another old chestnut continually trotted out is the "population density", esp in Irish cities already strangled with private car traffic.


    "or buses are enough..."


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,187 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    The Northwest of England, encompassing greater Manchester, greater Liverpool and a number of smaller cities has about the same population as Ireland. But of course the northwest of England is an economic, political and social backwater compared to the island of Ireland. Dublin City has more office space than all of England outside of greater London just to give you an idea.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 8,187 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Realign the lisburn to Newry railway closer to the A1. High speed electric trains should connect Cork and Belfast via Dublin airport and Heuston every 20 mins at least.

    Motorway between Derry and Belfast and road improvements between Dublin and Derry. Trains from Derry to Belfast should be half hourly, and only take an hour that would connect Dublin to Derry in 2 hours which is reasonable. The Dublin Cork Belfast and Limerick shoukd have electric commuter rail networks.

    All the proposed Dublin projects should be done. Luas should be introduced to Cork and Belfast and bus connects should be brought to all cities. The cities should have car bans in central areas. More metro lines should be planned in Dublin and eventually in Cork and Belfast.

    The M20 should be completed and then we can probably wrap up thoughts of new motorways.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,275 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Realign the lisburn to Newry railway closer to the A1. High speed electric trains should connect Cork and Belfast via Dublin airport and Heuston every 20 mins at least.

    Ah come on now. Neither the demand nor train paths exist for this and won't any time soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 46 Parentalunit


    Build a railway line from Derry to Sligo (not sure of the best route yet), touching the coast at Bundoran. This would reduce the isolation of Donegal and the NW and re-integrate a part of Derry's natural hinterland. If at that stage the cites of the west coast have been linked then the Derry line would allow travel from Derry to Cork entirely along the western seaboard just as the east coast has a train line from Wexford to Belfast.


  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭ ncounties


    Build a railway line from Derry to Sligo (not sure of the best route yet), touching the coast at Bundoran. This would reduce the isolation of Donegal and the NW and re-integrate a part of Derry's natural hinterland. If at that stage the cites of the west coast have been linked then the Derry line would allow travel from Derry to Cork entirely along the western seaboard just as the east coast has a train line from Wexford to Belfast.

    I'm all for rail investment, but you can not compare the western seaboard with the eastern, and I say this as someone from Derry.

    Definitely a rail line should be built connecting Derry, Letterkenny, Omagh and Armagh with Dublin (and Belfast), but there is absolutely no need for a direct rail line between Derry and Sligo, or onwards to Galway. At present, there are only four Bus Eireann services between Derry and Galway per day (one way). If there was demand for this route, there would be a lot more coach services, and with both public and private operators running the route. But theres not, and so there is definitely no need for a rail line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,187 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    Ah come on now. Neither the demand nor train paths exist for this and won't any time soon.

    Why wouldn't there be train paths? It would be a new alignment between Drogheda and Heuston close to the M1 and on the 4 track section from Heuston outward.

    Currently intercity trains are wedged all tmof the time the capacity provided should be greater than what's needed at this minute to allow for growth and to attract modal shift.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    NIMAN wrote: »
    The NW is ignored in Northern Ireland.

    The NW is ignored in RoI.

    In the case of a UI I wouldn't bet on the NW being served with any better infrastructure.

    The NW has a hugely distributed population, which is badly served by rail.
    The NW has loads of mountains, which make rail very expensive to implement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,534 ✭✭✭✭ the_syco


    Zebra3 wrote: »
    Priority would be top class hourly minimum services between Dublin and Belfast.
    Why? Also, will it stop at every station along the way?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,678 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3


    the_syco wrote: »
    Why? Also, will it stop at every station along the way?

    To answer the first question, to help develop a vibrant economic corridor as well as all the usual environmental and quality of life stuff.

    Secondly, why would it? The current service doesn't.


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


    A Belfast-Dublin-Cork HS rail line is an obvious priority. Combination of upgrades and new line, via Dublin Airport.

    Trickiest part is how to serve Dublin city, where some serious tunneling seems necessary. Spencer Dock could work, if its not built over by the time this fantasy comes into view..


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 7,661 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    D.L.R. wrote: »
    A Belfast-Dublin-Cork HS rail line is an obvious priority. Combination of upgrades and new line, via Dublin Airport.

    Trickiest part is how to serve Dublin city, where some serious tunneling seems necessary. Spencer Dock could work, if its not built over by the time this fantasy comes into view..

    Cork - limerick junction ,an m50 station ,heuston ,under the Phoenix park ,tunnel to Dublin airport ,on up to Belfast ..electrified the whole way
    Would there be scope for 2 or 3 trains an hour ? Stick pendalinos on it ,150 mph ? 3 or 4 track the entire thing ..

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



Advertisement