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Galway Commuter Rail: Galway-Athenry

  • 24-09-2020 10:32pm
    #1
    Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,230 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    https://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2020-09-23a.271

    Full debate above. Feasibility study to commence on upgrading of this section of line in November and be complete by Q2 2021


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,162 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    I have a few questions:

    Could a passing loop in Oranmore happen first, before double-tracking?

    If so, would that require a second platform at Oranmore?

    Also, would a passing loop at Oranmore help much, without twin-tracking from GY to Athenry?



    Also, I hear that in general, shortage of rolling stock is an issue?

    There is a class of DMU parked up somewhere, taken out of service in 2008/2009 during Great Financial Crisis, and not returned when traffic returned, as they had deteriorated so much.

    The 2019 order for 41 coaches (not trains, coaches!!!) - is that enough?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    Isn't a commuter rail service consisting of three stops kind of pointless?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,162 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    AngryLips wrote: »
    Isn't a commuter rail service consisting of three stops kind of pointless?

    Renmore/Merlin?
    Roscam?
    Oranmore
    Athenry


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    Geuze wrote: »
    Renmore/Merlin?
    Roscam?
    Oranmore
    Athenry


    Are there proposals for additional stops?


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,205 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    Geuze wrote: »
    Also, I hear that in general, shortage of rolling stock is an issue?

    There is a class of DMU parked up somewhere, taken out of service in 2008/2009 during Great Financial Crisis, and not returned when traffic returned, as they had deteriorated so much.

    The 2019 order for 41 coaches (not trains, coaches!!!) - is that enough?

    There is indeed a shortage of stock. This will be slightly eased by the order that your referenced, but only slightly.

    They looked at refurbishing the trains that were taken out of service, but it was found to be both too expensive and too late, i.e. they would have cost as much as the 41 carriages, and they wouldn't have been available significantly earlier than the 41 carriages. Same with temporarily leasing trains from elsewhere.

    Medium to long term, the DART+ projects will free up a lot of the commuter/intercity stock currently serving Dublin. Once this happens, they'll be cascaded out to other cities, such as Galway, Cork, Etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 233 ✭✭ AAAAAAAAA


    AngryLips wrote: »
    Isn't a commuter rail service consisting of three stops kind of pointless?

    From the perspective that we have very limited rolling stock, probably yes. The idea itself isn't bad though. It's probably worth the money to improve the tracks and the 4 or 5 stations in anticipation of the future population growth. Plenty of opportunity for rail in the area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 918 ✭✭✭ riddlinrussell


    AAAAAAAAA wrote: »
    From the perspective that we have very limited rolling stock, probably yes. The idea itself isn't bad though. It's probably worth the money to improve the tracks and the 4 or 5 stations in anticipation of the future population growth. Plenty of opportunity for rail in the area.

    I think the idea would be that it makes sense to get work done to make the smaller cities have commuter viable routes in preparation for the 'hand-me-down' surplus of rolling stock that will happen when the new orders come in for Dublin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    AngryLips wrote: »
    Isn't a commuter rail service consisting of three stops kind of pointless?

    It will allow for additional stops in the future when required. It will also help Dublin - Galway services and it would massively improve the chances of Tuam been reopened.

    It will be interesting to see if IE will try remove crossings as part of this project. There is 9 or 10 crossings (not including farmers crossings) in this section alone. Removing these will get rid of most speed restrictions and allow for the 90 or even increase to 100mph running. It will make doubling to Athlone, with less stations and crossings, look very cheap at a later date compared to this section of line.

    Hourly Dublin - Galway services are in IE's future plans but it will also need journey time improvements.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,791 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    AngryLips wrote: »
    Isn't a commuter rail service consisting of three stops kind of pointless?

    This isn’t just about an Athenry-Galway commuter service.

    It’s about delivering additional capacity on the rail network that will benefit regional and intercity rail services.

    Doubling Athenry-Galway helps deliver the ability to deliver a more resilient hourly Dublin-Galway Intercity service, increased Limerick-Galway trains, and a potential Tuam-Galway service.

    While some trains might start at Athenry, others could be from Athlone/Dublin, Ennis/Limerick or potentially Tuam.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    This isn’t just about an Athenry-Galway commuter service.

    It’s about delivering additional capacity on the rail network that will benefit regional and intercity rail services.

    Doubling Athenry-Galway helps deliver the ability to deliver a more resilient hourly Dublin-Galway Intercity service, increased Limerick-Galway trains, and a potential Tuam-Galway service.

    While some trains might start at Athenry, others could be from Athlone/Dublin, Ennis/Limerick or potentially Tuam.

    It also breaks up and makes the cost of reopening Tuam and doubling to Portarlington a lot more palatable.

    They should really consider relocating Oranmore to the business park.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 958 ✭✭✭ Rulmeq


    IE 222 wrote: »
    It also breaks up and makes the cost of reopening Tuam and doubling to Portarlington a lot more palatable.

    They should really consider relocating Oranmore to the business park.
    Wasn't there a station there in the past(near the LC)?


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


    Rulmeq wrote: »
    Wasn't there a station there in the past(near the LC)?

    Yes, the origional oranmore station was on the Galway city side of the level crossing, beside the Hygeia plant.

    527986.JPG


  • Registered Users Posts: 958 ✭✭✭ Rulmeq


    Yes, the origional oranmore station was on the Galway city side of the level crossing, beside the Hygeia plant.
    Was it twin tracked, or have they just completely removed the platform(s)?


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


    Rulmeq wrote: »
    Was it twin tracked, or have they just completely removed the platform(s)?

    You can just about see the remains of both platforms still. More info here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    Rulmeq wrote: »
    Wasn't there a station there in the past(near the LC)?

    Yeah, right beside it. Not sure of the reasons as to why it wasn't rebuilt there. Maybe land for parking was an issue or there's plans for major development on the surrounding lands of the new station. Either way i think moving it would double the numbers using it.

    I presume the pre cast sections of the station can be taken apart and relocated.


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


    IE 222 wrote: »
    I presume the pre cast sections of the station can be taken apart and relocated.

    Recycling materials from the new station to relocate to the old site would mean no station for an extended period, if they relocate, they cannot have any down time. They can always use the material for a new station in remore or something like that


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    If it takes long enough, the reusable platforms from the existing Docklands may be going spare - although they could open Spencer Dock half-done and move them there. They were very specifically engineered for re-use


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    Recycling materials from the new station to relocate to the old site would mean no station for an extended period, if they relocate, they cannot have any down time. They can always use the material for a new station in remore or something like that

    Could just keep it at 1 platform. Build the 1st new platform and open it. Transfer the current station to the new platform and don't open the second platform until the original one is relocated. Obviously it would need to be done before the double tracking is operational.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    Can the sleeper plant produce these precast platform sections. I'd imagine there fairly straightforward to produce.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    The sleeper plant would be at capacity making the sleepers if there was a decent amount of widening going on

    They were unable to tender for Luas contracts due to capacity issues in the past


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,274 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Even if a new Oranmore station was to open, surely it makes sense to retain the existing station as a P&R and have the new station more footpassenger/cyclist focused? I'd say there is very little worth salvaging from the existing station from the looks of it;

    DSC_4242-M.jpg

    Would a P&R with a new junction off the M18 attract enough users to justify the cost?


  • Registered Users Posts: 918 ✭✭✭ riddlinrussell


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    Even if a new Oranmore station was to open, surely it makes sense to retain the existing station as a P&R and have the new station more footpassenger/cyclist focused? I'd say there is very little worth salvaging from the existing station from the looks of it;

    DSC_4242-M.jpg

    Would a P&R with a new junction off the M18 attract enough users to justify the cost?

    I'd say keeping both would be *barely* justifiable in terms of distance (1.25 km) in a full commuter service scenario. Kishoge to Fonthill is 1.7 km and thats planned to be DART level station distances.

    That said from an operational perspective it would be pretty neat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,162 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    IE 222 wrote: »
    It will be interesting to see if IE will try remove crossings as part of this project. There is 9 or 10 crossings (not including farmers crossings) in this section alone. Removing these will get rid of most speed restrictions and allow for the 90 or even increase to 100mph running. It will make doubling to Athlone, with less stations and crossings, look very cheap at a later date compared to this section of line.

    Can I ask - you are saying that trains must slow down at LC, is that correct?

    I know the following LC:

    (1) very near Oranmore station
    (2) main LC on Claregalway road
    (3) Ffrenchfort
    (4) very close to no (3)


    I think either 3 or 4 is Healy's Crossing?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,162 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    Distances from Oranmore village centre to current station, and original station:

    Current = 1.7km

    Original = 1.3km

    Not that much difference.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,162 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    If LC were removed, the Claregalway road would have to be raised or lowered.

    Trickly?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    L1011 wrote: »
    The sleeper plant would be at capacity making the sleepers if there was a decent amount of widening going on

    They were unable to tender for Luas contracts due to capacity issues in the past

    I was thinking in general rather than as part of a major project. These things could be produced when there is some slack and stored in Portlaise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    Even if a new Oranmore station was to open, surely it makes sense to retain the existing station as a P&R and have the new station more footpassenger/cyclist focused? I'd say there is very little worth salvaging from the existing station from the looks of it;

    DSC_4242-M.jpg

    Would a P&R with a new junction off the M18 attract enough users to justify the cost?

    Sure most would have to drive past the new station to use the current as a Park and Ride. It would be better to move it and open a station at Roscam as well. Having this random stop in the middle will only delay services.

    I think the very point the current station is bare and basic is what make it worth salvaging. Having to demolish buildings, canovy ect would make it a costly exercise. The only lost here really is the tarmac.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    Geuze wrote: »
    Can I ask - you are saying that trains must slow down at LC, is that correct?

    I know the following LC:

    (1) very near Oranmore station
    (2) main LC on Claregalway road
    (3) Ffrenchfort
    (4) very close to no (3)


    I think either 3 or 4 is Healy's Crossing?

    Yeah and user crossings as well. They will still pass at speed but not maximum line speed. Max line speed is 90mph but its frequently restricted to 70/80mph meaning 90mph isn't really achievable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    Geuze wrote: »
    If LC were removed, the Claregalway road would have to be raised or lowered.

    Trickly?

    If a station was to be placed there you could leave the crossing. It wouldn't have a major effect on stopping trains. It would also reduce station costs with entrances on both sides at road/street level.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,162 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    IE 222 wrote: »
    If a station was to be placed there you could leave the crossing. It wouldn't have a major effect on stopping trains. It would also reduce station costs with entrances on both sides at road/street level.

    I get you, trains have to stop anyways, so leave the LC.

    And no need for tunnel or bridge between platforms?

    Would the same apply at Roscam? No need to remove LC, and no need for tunnel/bridge.


    The many, many one-off rural houses surely make it more difficult to deal with LC, pity.


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