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European Mega Train Network (Dublin to Cork)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,226 ✭✭✭ Valhallapt


    I thought this was an April fools joke at first, but a high speed train to cork would be welcome.

    Are there plans to put on high speed ferries also? Not a whole lot of details, would it be roll on roll off for trains/ cargo or just a passenger terminal colocated with ferry ports How would that work?


  • Registered Users Posts: 918 ✭✭✭ riddlinrussell


    Valhallapt wrote: »
    I thought this was an April fools joke at first, but a high speed train to cork would be welcome.

    Are there plans to put on high speed ferries also? Not a whole lot of details, would it be roll on roll off for trains/ cargo or just a passenger terminal colocated with ferry ports How would that work?

    I'd imagine it would be train to terminal, I think a roll on/roll off train would be a bit mad, and force the Irish section to be standard gauge so the train would work. (Not that I'm anti it being standard gauge, but interoperability with the current network would probably be a good idea...)


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    €24 Billion, so one high speed rail line between Cork and Dublin or spend the same money building 8 Metro lines, say 5 in Dublin and one each in Cork/Limerick/Galway!

    I'm a Corkonian living in Dublin, that would be a terrible waste of money.

    It is weird, folks here on this forum are always talking about HSR from Cork to Dublin, but honestly I've never heard anyone in Cork talk about it, there really doesn't seem to be any demand for such a service amongst the public. And yes I'm aware that this article was in Crokbeo, but honestly folks in Cork would laugh at spending €24 billion on something like this.

    Plus the Ferry side of this idea is mad, you'd still end up flying anywhere in Europe much faster and cheaper.

    On the other hand 8 Metro lines throughout the country.......


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    I'd imagine it would be train to terminal, I think a roll on/roll off train would be a bit mad, and force the Irish section to be standard gauge so the train would work. (Not that I'm anti it being standard gauge, but interoperability with the current network would probably be a good idea...)

    The whole idea is mad IMO, but for €24 billion you would be talking about proper, full HSR. So you would be talking about a completely new alignment, not shared with any existing service, thus you'd be talking about standard gauge.

    You can't mix slower services with true HSR, it doesn't work.

    Either way, it will never happen.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,214 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    €24 Billion spent solely on purely public transport projects would essentially solve the commuter crisis in our three biggest cities, and do a fair job on a few more.

    A high speed line would be great, but it'd be load down on my list of projects to complete.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 918 ✭✭✭ riddlinrussell


    CatInABox wrote: »
    €24 Billion spent solely on purely public transport projects would essentially solve the commuter crisis in our three biggest cities, and do a fair job on a few more.

    A high speed line would be great, but it'd be load down on my list of projects to complete.

    Agreed, even if spent just within the railway network in general that amount could be absolutely transformative.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,063 ✭✭✭ JohnC.


    This isn't even anything remotely official, is it? Just some third party group saying "If you're doing this Covid recovery package, here's an idea on what you could do with some of it". Or in the language of this forum, crayons.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 40,086 ✭✭✭✭ Harry Palmr


    What nonsense is this? The obvious route is Dublin tunnel to Wales and hi speed to Channel tunnel. Cork is irrelevant in a European high speed network.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,991 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    Cork is irrelevant in a European high speed network.

    ya gowl!

    ;)


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,214 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    What nonsense is this? The obvious route is Dublin tunnel to Wales and hi speed to Channel tunnel. Cork is irrelevant in a European high speed network.

    Yeah, but that'd involve spending money in a non-EU country, which is obviously a total no go now.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭ ncounties


    What nonsense is this? The obvious route is Dublin tunnel to Wales and hi speed to Channel tunnel. Cork is irrelevant in a European high speed network.

    Exactly. Studies have led EU policymakers to believe that high-speed rail in Europe is generally competitive over travel distances of between 200 and 500 km, with journeys lasting up to four hours.

    If a tunnel was built, it would need to be between Dublin and Holyhead. Then perhaps you might see services from Cork and Limerick to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester. With Belfast and Dublin sustaining additional routes Birmingham and London. Dublin may even be able to support an overnight service to Paris. I could really see demand from both Irish and French markets for that kind of service.

    Apart from this, the HS network in Ireland would be well utilised by folk looking to reach other Irish cities.
    CatInABox wrote: »
    Yeah, but that'd involve spending money in a non-EU country, which is obviously a total no go now.

    The EU regularly invest in non-EU countries. Look at North Africa, Morocco in particular, and Balkan states. Besides, I'm sure funding would be forthcoming from the UK, and there would be appetite for such a scheme amongst their electorate. It would also open up a connection with NI, the DUP would love that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 918 ✭✭✭ riddlinrussell


    CatInABox wrote: »
    Yeah, but that'd involve spending money in a non-EU country, which is obviously a total no go now.

    From the look of the plan they decided they wanted to connect every EU capital and awkwardly drew semi feasible lines between them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭ ncounties


    From the look of the plan they decided they wanted to connect every EU capital and awkwardly drew semi feasible lines between them.

    What demand would there be between Dublin, Galway, Limerick and any of the locations in France up until arriving in Paris? Then compare that with demand of a line going via Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London.


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


    the Chunnel was barely breaking even linking London and England with the mainland, there's no way a tunnel from Dublin to Wales would be a good use for the cash.
    Also the trains would go no further due to the gauge difference between Ireland and the other Island.

    If there was to be HSR in Cork, where would the new station and route out of the city go?


  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭ ncounties


    the Chunnel was barely breaking even linking London and England with the mainland, there's no way a tunnel from Dublin to Wales would be a good use for the cash.
    Also the trains would go no further due to the gauge difference between Ireland and the other Island.

    If there was to be HSR in Cork, where would the new station and route out of the city go?

    "If a tunnel was built..." it would be significantly cheaper to build it from Dublin to Holyhead than anywhere else in the Republic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭ Kellyconor1982


    I think it sounds really cool. I don't see any need for it now and possibly 50 years, but I guess you could argue a lack of foresight has been part of the problem with us.

    If by 2050, Dublin had a 5 line Metro system with DU and excellent rail connections around the country and Cork and the other regional cities had excellent pt, then that is surely where we should spend our money.

    I know Boris was talking about a rail tunnel between NI and Scotland. That was most likely election spin but the British have talked about that since Victorian times. It might make more sense if we piggybacked on this and had access to the UK and EU through this. I'd love the Hollyhead tunnel, but I would imagine that would be an enormous cost.


  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭ Kellyconor1982




  • Registered Users Posts: 959 ✭✭✭ Rulmeq


    From the look of the plan they decided they wanted to connect every EU capital and awkwardly drew semi feasible lines between them.


    Nothing awkward about the Louth to Cork via Clare alignment :p


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,214 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    ncounties wrote: »
    The EU regularly invest in non-EU countries. Look at North Africa, Morocco in particular, and Balkan states. Besides, I'm sure funding would be forthcoming from the UK, and there would be appetite for such a scheme amongst their electorate. It would also open up a connection with NI, the DUP would love that.

    The EU regularly invest in countries that are classed as developing, and who want to be closer to the EU. Despite the economic damage that Brexit has inflicted, the UK isn't "developing", and they're clearly antagonistic towards the EU. While there might be a project that the EU would fund, it certainly wouldn't funnel billions into it, hundreds of millions perhaps, but definitely not billions. Projects between Ireland and Northern Ireland would almost certainly get approval, but probably nothing between Ireland and Britain.
    Also the trains would go no further due to the gauge difference between Ireland and the other Island.

    If there was to be HSR in Cork, where would the new station and route out of the city go?

    If true high speed rail was built in Ireland, it wouldn't be Irish gauge, it'd be standard gauge, as high speed and normal rail can't mix anyway. So it'd be all new alignments, all new stations, etc. At a guess, a new station in cork would be on the outskirts for this reason.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,064 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    CatInABox wrote: »
    At a guess, a new station in cork would be on the outskirts for this reason.

    If you've got an unlimited chequebook, just do a Vigo and tunnel in to the new station. :pac:

    They demolished the main station (after moving everything to a secondary station) and dug down to meet the tunnel.


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    If by 2050, Dublin had a 5 line Metro system with DU and excellent rail connections around the country and Cork and the other regional cities had excellent pt, then that is surely where we should spend our money.

    Exactly. I think there is an important point people forget when talking about HSR for Ireland. Many people look at other EU countries and see them building HSR networks and say we should be doing the same.

    But what they seem to miss, is that most of these EU countries already have excellent public transport/Metro systems built in the primary cities that the HSR is connecting. Think Madrid to Barcelona or Milan to Rome.

    They have already spent the time and money building out metro systems in their big cities and now the next logical step is building HSR to connect those cities.

    I would argue that excellent public transport system in each city connected by HSR is a pre-requisite for building HSR. After all, there is no point in having HSR from Cork to Dublin, if you then spend an hour stuck in traffic in Dublin getting anywhere! Your HSR really needs to be plugged directly into an extensive metro/DART system in each city to be successful.

    The truth of the matter is that we are WAY behind the rest of Europe in infrastructure investment (for obvious and understandable reasons) and we are slowly playing catchup.

    We started by building the Motorway network to connect our cities, mostly done, with just the M20 and a few other bits to do. Now it is time to turn our attention to building out high quality public transport systems in our cities, Metrolink, Dart underground, etc.

    30 to 50 years from now, hopefully we will have excellent public transport systems and with a growing population in our cities, it would be time to reconsider true HSR * to connect them.

    But doing so now, before we have Metros, etc. would be very much putting the cart before the horse.

    * Obviously I'm talking about true HSR, not reasonable speed upgrades to the existing rail network.


  • Registered Users Posts: 918 ✭✭✭ riddlinrussell


    L1011 wrote: »
    If you've got an unlimited chequebook, just do a Vigo and tunnel in to the new station. :pac:

    They demolished the main station (after moving everything to a secondary station) and dug down to meet the tunnel.

    I feel an eventual proper HSR link would probably want to Start in Belfast (Maybe Derry?) And basically tunnel under Dublin (to Heuston probably best to avoid any City Centre wrangling, and by the time it could seriously be considered we would have the Interconnector done) And then tunnel under Cork, Station at Kent, and then across to Ringaskiddy where these magical rapid ferries they propose would be waiting to take you to Brest, or more likely somewhere more practical on the north French coast


  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭ ncounties


    CatInABox wrote: »
    The EU regularly invest in countries that are classed as developing, and who want to be closer to the EU. Despite the economic damage that Brexit has inflicted, the UK isn't "developing", and they're clearly antagonistic towards the EU.

    I'd say going by very recent reports, it could be deemed developing rather quickly.
    CatInABox wrote: »
    While there might be a project that the EU would fund, it certainly wouldn't funnel billions into it, hundreds of millions perhaps, but definitely not billions. Projects between Ireland and Northern Ireland would almost certainly get approval, but probably nothing between Ireland and Britain.

    You're 100% correct about the current attitude of the Boris Government, and it fails in all aspects of everything it approaches, but I think the EU is above this, and Boris will be but a bump in the road of the relationship between the EU and UK longer term, which I could see the UK re-entering the Union when they've stopped with their stupid nationalistic folly. Such a rail link would improve the economies of Ireland, North and South, and connect Ireland with regions of the UK that voted remain. Liverpool, Manchester, Warwick and London.

    The EU is clearly trying to tackle the rise in air transport, particularly on busy internal air routes. It can't possible ignore our busiest air route, and the chance to serve some other extremely busy air routes by overnight rail, AMS (DUB being the 4th busiest route out of there) and CDG.

    But as BK said, it would make much more sense to ensure we had decent public transport at the termini of the HSR routes in Ireland first, before we look at HSR. Additionally it would make much more sense to have HSR in place before we contemplated a tunnel.


  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭ Kellyconor1982


    I was actually thinking of this project during the day.

    It would be a great project down the line. A lot to like about it. If the British funded half and the EU covered a big chunk of it, then as gigantic a cost as it would be, it might be attainable within two generations. Being able to get to Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels from Dublin within a few hours, let alone Liverpool or London by train would be magnificent. The idea of being able to then connect with cities all over Europe would be incredible. Business, tourism and the environment would all benefit from this project. The more I think of it, the less daft that it sounds and it could be achievable by 2050 or so.

    The big battles though are on a local scale. Huge parts of Dublin have 2nd rate pt and within a generation the population of Greater Dublin will be much bigger. Comparable European cities would have a metro of 3-5 lines or at least be well on the way to this. We currently are nicely on the way to half a line by the end of the 2020s. Don't get me wrong it is a huge step in the right direction and it will be a great success, but I feel that it will be the 2030s or 2040s before Dublin begins to resemble having the world class transport system that we crave. Hopefully DU will be a huge part of this as well as multiple Metro lines.
    It is encouraging that pt in our regional cities will also be prioritised.

    Once these battles are won, then this could be the icing on the cake.


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


    We seem a little overly obsessed with intercity infrastructure in this country, when the real problem is urban transport networks.

    Time to focus on the cities where the real capacity problems are.


  • Registered Users Posts: 918 ✭✭✭ riddlinrussell


    D.L.R. wrote: »
    We seem a little overly obsessed with intercity infrastructure in this country, when the real problem is urban transport networks.

    Time to focus on the cities where the real capacity problems are.

    To be fair this study is Austrian, not Irish, it has a very 'Closer-ties' focused conception.

    If we were to have that amount of money available for rail it would be far better served by making commuter rail feasible in every major city, creating light rail in Cork/Limerick/Galway, metros in Dublin and capacity upgrades to the intercity network


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    To be fair this study is Austrian, not Irish, it has a very 'Closer-ties' focused conception.

    I haven't looked into it in detail of the plan, but the general idea of linking countries in mainland Europe, many of which already have extensive HSR networks, makes sense at a quick glance *

    * Though in reality, some of the links, like tunnelling under mountain ranges like the Alps, might prove crazily expensive.

    I do feel like the Irish element of it looks like last minute tacked on. Like they thought about mainland Europe and then went, whoops, we forgot about Ireland, they are still in the EU and tacked that on with a crazy ferry.

    I don't think for now, the Irish element is a starter at all. Though if we can convince them to give us money to build out Metros, DART, etc. instead, that would be great.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,791 JJJJNR


    Would it not make more sense to have it in rosslare "europort" everything already in place accept the fecking trains.!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 918 ✭✭✭ riddlinrussell


    bk wrote: »
    I haven't looked into it in detail of the plan, but the general idea of linking countries in mainland Europe, many of which already have extensive HSR networks, makes sense at a quick glance *

    * Though in reality, some of the links, like tunnelling under mountain ranges like the Alps, might prove crazily expensive.

    I do feel like the Irish element of it looks like last minute tacked on. Like they thought about mainland Europe and then went, whoops, we forgot about Ireland, they are still in the EU and tacked that on with a crazy ferry.

    I don't think for now, the Irish element is a starter at all. Though if we can convince them to give us money to build out Metros, DART, etc. instead, that would be great.

    If the "Closer ties" aspect is the key focus I don't think you could ask for more that a Big sign saying "PAID FOR WITH EU FUNDS" and a big EU Flag on all our Public Transport Schemes to make the people of Ireland feel the warm fuzzies for the European project :D


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    JJJJNR wrote: »
    Would it not make more sense to have it in rosslare "europort" everything already in place accept the fecking trains.!!

    It shows that this really isn't thought out.

    Either way, no one is getting a high speed train to either Cork or Rosslare and then taking a 14 hour ferry to France and then getting on another train for a few more hours to Paris, etc.

    Not when you can just drive to Dublin Airport and jump on a flight and be in Paris in just 1h 40mins. Even with adding on security time, etc., it still wouldn't make sense and you have to do security at the Ferry port anyway.

    I suppose by saying Cork to Dublin, they are just being honest, that really it is just an internal Cork to Dublin HSR, no one is actually using it to take the ferry to France. More realistically some Cork folks might use it to get to Dublin Airport quicker.

    Also to point out, that in terms of HSR, nothing is in place at Rosslare. HSR wouldn't use Irish gauge, it would use a new, completely separate line, using standard gauge. So from that perspective, Rosslare doesn't have existing infrastructure other then perhaps space.

    Really if you were to do true HSR, it would be a complete clean sheet, not using much of any of the existing rail network and as a result it would probably make more sense to go via Cork as then at least it creates a Cork to Dublin connection.

    Anyway, not that any of this is happening.


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