We have updated our Privacy Notice, you can read the updated document here
Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

Galway Commuter Rail: Galway-Athenry

13

Comments

  • #2


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    Four tracking is needed:

    Northern line in Dublin between Clontarf Road and Raheny to facilitate Enterprise and outer suburban services (could get away with three tracking)

    From west of Inchicore to Islandbridge Junction to facilitate DART Southwest four tracking is needed
    I'd forgotten they haven't done that yet (and I use that line lol)
    LXFlyer wrote: »
    Double tracking the following:
    Yeah, loads of places need double tracking. Would like to see double between Galway and Dublin (if I remember the Athlone-Muillingar route was double tracked, and Clara was just a branch line or something)


  • #2


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    Also a passing loop is needed at Sixmilebridge to split the Limerick-Ennis section.
    With a spur to SNN.


  • #2


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    There isn't a need for quite all of those.

    Line capacity is certainly not a problem between Hazelhatch and Portlaoise, south of Greystones, nor between Mallow and Cork.

    There is plenty of scope for extra services there as it is.

    Not that there's a compelling need for all of the above but rather more need than there is for a tripple or quadruple track from Athenry to Galway.
    LXFlyer wrote: »
    Dublin-Belfast in a realistic time can be made happen using the existing alignment, through providing additional three/four tracking, passing loops, and elimination of permanent speed restrictions. You certainly do not need a completely new railway.

    Not desirable though and ultimately limiting what can be done in the future. A straighter intercity alignment that doesn't go near the commuter line will be needed to accommodate a medium/high speed inter city service. The straighter alignment could also offer intercity rail access to Dublin Airport and offer Drogheda/Dubdalk commuters a much more direct link to Dublin without stopping at 12 additional stations. Removing long distance from existing line would allow for 5 minute or greater frequency to Drogheda with a Howth shuttle service. Also easier to build it, mostly greenfield sites close to the M1, no need to be buying up suburban back gardens and getting all the noise hassle.


  • #2


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Not that there's a compelling need for all of the above but rather more need than there is for a tripple or quadruple track from Athenry to Galway.

    Absolutely - there is no need for more than two tracks between Athenry and Galway.
    cgcsb wrote: »
    Not desirable though and ultimately limiting what can be done in the future. A straighter intercity alignment that doesn't go near the commuter line will be needed to accommodate a medium/high speed inter city service. The straighter alignment could also offer intercity rail access to Dublin Airport and offer Drogheda/Dubdalk commuters a much more direct link to Dublin without stopping at 12 additional stations. Removing long distance from existing line would allow for 5 minute or greater frequency to Drogheda with a Howth shuttle service. Also easier to build it, mostly greenfield sites close to the M1, no need to be buying up suburban back gardens and getting all the noise hassle.

    I don't want to stray off topic much, but I really think you're getting a bit carried away here. I don't think Drogheda to Dublin is ever going to need a five minute frequency of commuter services.

    The existing line can be expanded sufficiently to allow for commuter and Enterprise to co-exist through additional tracks and passing loops where needed. Three tracking Clontarf Road-Raheny can probably be done within the existing railway area, but four tracking would indeed need CPO activity.

    I just don't see a brand new railway line like that as even remotely likely to happen. What I certainly see happening is the existing infrastructure being upgraded significantly where necessary in order to deliver real improvements. That is perfectly feasible through extra tracks where necessary, and overtaking facilities at certain locations.

    Jim Meade has recently indicated that his strategy is to expand the number of tracks on the Northern Line out of Dublin as part of the plan to upgrade the Enterprise (as opposed to part of DART+).


  • #2


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    I don't want to stray off topic much, but I really think you're getting a bit carried away here. I don't think Drogheda to Dublin is ever going to need a five minute frequency of commuter services.

    The existing line can be expanded sufficiently to allow for commuter and Enterprise to co-exist through additional tracks and passing loops where needed. Three tracking Clontarf Road-Raheny can probably be done within the existing railway area, but four tracking would indeed need CPO activity.

    I just don't see a brand new railway line like that as even remotely likely to happen. What I certainly see happening is the existing infrastructure being upgraded significantly where necessary in order to deliver real improvements. That is perfectly feasible through extra tracks where necessary, and overtaking facilities at certain locations.

    Jim Meade has recently indicated that his strategy is to expand the number of tracks on the Northern Line out of Dublin as part of the plan to upgrade the Enterprise (as opposed to part of DART+).

    Adding extra tracks is useful of course but a future €15bn high speed rail system will no doubt require a higher spec alignment than what the existing Northern Line can offer long term.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/review-of-15bn-high-speed-rail-line-linking-dublin-belfast-cork-1.4321928


  • #2


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Adding extra tracks is useful of course but a future €15bn high speed rail system will no doubt require a higher spec alignment than what the existing Northern Line can offer long term.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/review-of-15bn-high-speed-rail-line-linking-dublin-belfast-cork-1.4321928

    I just don’t see that ever happening. It’s a pipedream.

    Ireland does not need a EUR15bn high speed rail line.

    What it needs is the existing infrastructure upgraded with the necessary enhancements to deliver the potential that it can, with extra tracks, realignments, removal of level crossings, re-signalling and higher speeds which would frankly be sufficient.

    Real improvements can be delivered without building massive new high speed lines.


  • #2


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    I just don’t see that ever happening. It’s a pipedream.

    Ireland does not need a EUR15bn high speed rail line.

    What it needs is the existing infrastructure upgraded with the necessary enhancements to deliver the potential that it can, with extra tracks, realignments, removal of level crossings, re-signalling and higher speeds which would frankly be sufficient.

    Real improvements can be delivered without building massive new high speed lines.

    €15bn isn't sufficient to build a completely new high speed system, it would be a retrofitting of the existing system with electrification, removal of the remaining level crossings, bypasses of commuter rail and straightening of the worst sections. No reason why Ireland shouldn't have this ambition. Obviously commuter systems are higher priority and we're about a century behind the developed world in that regard.


  • #2


    If a passing loop is added at Oranmore (and only that, no doubling), then what will be the improvements?
    • less waiting by outbound trains in GY on bridge?
    • more services?
    • If more services, then would these be GY-Athenry shuttles?


    What I'm really asking is would the passing loop allow more departures per day from Oranmore, without any new stock?


  • #2


    If GY-Athenry is ever doubled, what might be the service patterns?

    I presume doubling would mean at least one new station in Merlin/Roscam.

    DUB-GY would they stop at all stations?
    GY-LK would the number of services increase?


    Or would the DUB trains stop only in Athenry?
    And then that is combined with a local stopper GY-new station-Oranmore-Athenry?


    In terms of journey times, what might be the improvements?


    Thanks.


  • #2


    Well high speed rail between Dublin and Belfast will never happen until we get a unified Ireland. As we see with Brexit, the risk of it getting shutdown or having to put checks in is too high otherwise.

    Even then, it feels like a massive waste of money. The same 15 billion could build 5 Metro lines!

    Could you imagine how public transport would be transformed if we had 4 Metro lines in Dublin (Metrolink + 3 of the above 5) and one each in Cork and Limerick.

    There isn't even direct flights between Dublin and Belfast, I don't know where the demand for high speed rail would come from.


  • #2


    bk wrote: »
    Well high speed rail between Dublin and Belfast will never happen until we get a unified Ireland. As we see with Brexit, the risk of it getting shutdown or having to put checks in is too high otherwise.

    Even then, it feels like a massive waste of money. The same 15 billion could build 5 Metro lines!

    Could you imagine how public transport would be transformed if we had 4 Metro lines in Dublin (Metrolink + 3 of the above 5) and one each in Cork and Limerick.

    There isn't even direct flights between Dublin and Belfast, I don't know where the demand for high speed rail would come from.

    You will certainly see the existing Dublin-Belfast line upgraded and electrified, which will involve three/four tracking, loops and permanent speed restrictions eliminated wherever possible which should finally deliver faster journeys.

    The same applies to the Dublin-Cork line.

    I don't see any new alignments happening at all.


  • #2


    Geuze wrote: »
    If GY-Athenry is ever doubled, what might be the service patterns?

    I presume doubling would mean at least one new station in Merlin/Roscam.

    DUB-GY would they stop at all stations?
    GY-LK would the number of services increase?


    Or would the DUB trains stop only in Athenry?
    And then that is combined with a local stopper GY-new station-Oranmore-Athenry?


    In terms of journey times, what might be the improvements?


    Thanks.

    No one can answer your questions about service levels and stopping patterns right now as it will depend on the availability of trains and drivers. That level of detail will follow in due course.

    Journey times between Athenry and Galway won't change, except for those trains that currently wait to cross trains going in the opposite direction at Galway Loop just outside Galway Station.


  • #2


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    You will certainly see the existing Dublin-Belfast line upgraded and electrified, which will involve three/four tracking, loops and permanent speed restrictions eliminated wherever possible which should finally deliver faster journeys.

    The same applies to the Dublin-Cork line.

    I don't see any new alignments happening at all.

    Absolutely 100%, I can see upgrades and improvements definitely happening.

    Just not a super expensive new high speed alignment.

    BTW I wonder with battery tech advancements, if you could get away with just partial electrification of the lines. Battery powered trains that charge up when running under parts of the line that are electrified.

    Sorry, this is getting further and further off topic!


  • #2


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    Journey times between Athenry and Galway won't change, except for those trains that currently wait to cross trains going in the opposite direction at Galway Loop just outside Galway Station.

    OK, thanks, this suggests that doubling would not have any impact on speed limits?

    Surely if we spend the money on doubling, we may as well make sure the line can take 160 kph?

    Or even 200kph?

    OK, it's just for maybe 20km, but better to future-proof it?


  • #2


    Geuze wrote: »
    OK, thanks, this suggests that doubling would not have any impact on speed limits?

    Surely if we spend the money on doubling, we may as well make sure the line can take 160 kph?

    Or even 200kph?

    OK, it's just for maybe 20km, but better to future-proof it?

    You have a penchant for putting carts before horses.

    We don't even know exactly what is going to happen here.

    We have no idea of what the scope of the project is going to be, whether level crossings will be eliminated, any other stations added, etc.

    You are asking detailed questions about journey times and stopping patterns that are impossible to answer.

    All that you can discuss is at a high level.

    What I would say on the topic is, that the line speed is currently 90mph between Athlone and Galway, subject to permanent speed restrictions.

    There may be some changes to these permanent speed restrictions due to elimination of level crossings, if that is part of whatever the project involves, the details of which have not even been announced yet.

    But the impact on the journey time between Galway and Athenry is going to be minimal given that it is only 13.5 miles of track, with the existing journey times being dependent on the number of stops, and the type of train (different top speeds), and in the case of westbound trains whether recovery time is built into the schedule, and ranges from 15 minutes to 19 minutes where there is no need to wait at Galway Loop.

    The main gain from doubling the track would be the ability to run more frequent trains, in both directions and not having to wait at the passing loop at Galway.

    Any journey times savings would be minimal given the short distance involved.

    But again, I emphasise, nothing has been published yet about the scope of the project, and until that happens, you cannot get down into the level of detail that you focus on.


  • #2


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    You will certainly see the existing Dublin-Belfast line upgraded and electrified, which will involve three/four tracking, loops and permanent speed restrictions eliminated wherever possible which should finally deliver faster journeys.

    The same applies to the Dublin-Cork line.

    I don't see any new alignments happening at all.


    Frankly, it's hard to see how any more investment in the Dublin-Belfast line can be justified when the service doesn't even warrant hourly frequencies.


  • #2


    AngryLips wrote: »
    Frankly, it's hard to see how any more investment in the Dublin-Belfast line can be justified when the service doesn't even warrant hourly frequencies.

    Probably better to discuss that in the IE strategy thread here:
    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2058165971

    I don't want to go off topic here.


  • #2


    Double tracking makes sense if it includes closing all the LC points at the same time. It would also make sense to add stations and add P&R facilities. If it works, it could reduce traffic problems in Galway CC.


  • #2


    Funding has been approved for the passing loop at Oranmore.

    https://www.rte.ie/news/connacht/2021/0312/1203564-west-regeneration/


  • #2


    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.




    I would go as far as saying that project is lacking severely if this does not happen.

    The present station is currently the middle of fields and no one in there right might would use it for communing either to the Business Park or Oranmore itself. The current station really is in a horrible location all things considered.


  • #2


    The current station really is in a horrible location all things considered.
    It's grand for a park and ride.


  • #2


    Rulmeq wrote: »
    It's grand for a park and ride.

    If the only use for the train station is to get a bus from it, then its not in a good place to begin with.


  • #2


    Rulmeq wrote: »
    It's grand for a park and ride.
    That's exactly it - if it was not located where it is, there would be no space around it to develop the car parking needed.

    There is a very large amount of car-dependent, one-off housing scattered all around the Oranmore-Athenry area, which would otherwise be pouring into the city.

    The fact that (pre-pandemic) the car park was full and that cars were parked all the way out the entrance to the coast road, suggests that the station is carrying out its function as a park and ride very successfully.


  • #2


    serfboard wrote: »
    That's exactly it - if it was not located where it is, there would be no space around it to develop the car parking needed.

    There is a very large amount of car-dependent, one-off housing scattered all around the Oranmore-Athenry area, which would otherwise be pouring into the city.

    The fact that (pre-pandemic) the car park was full and that cars were parked all the way out the entrance to the coast road, suggests that the station is carrying out its function as a park and ride very successfully.


    If it's a commuter line then they could just build a second station. It doesn't have to be either/or


  • #2


    Right now the only funding is for a passing loop at the existing Oranmore station, which will facilitate additional services between Athenry and Galway.

    That’s it for the moment.

    People are jumping ahead of themselves here a bit with talk of new stations or relocating stations.


  • #2


    €12 million does seem to be on the rather high side. Given Pelletstown is estimated at €10 million and in my opinion is a more difficult and complex job. The current station cost in the region of €5 million already. I think it's rather odd to be potentially pumping €17 million into a station that's possibly in the wrong location and could perform better elsewhere.

    I don't think a relocation and station rebuild would cost much more to be fair. For example, the former station location would remove the need for an accessible footbridge once road access to each platform is provided which is easily achievable with the level crossing. The signalling works would need to be done regardless as the current station is just within the Level crossing block which would remain as is.

    In terms of parking there is a very large yard behind the car dealer beside the former station which wouldn't take much to convert. It's also got better access to the N67 and M6.


  • #2


    IE 222 wrote: »
    €12 million does seem to be on the rather high side. Given Pelletstown is estimated at €10 million and in my opinion is a more difficult and complex job. The current station cost in the region of €5 million already. I think it's rather odd to be potentially pumping €17 million into a station that's possibly in the wrong location and could perform better elsewhere.

    I don't think a relocation and station rebuild would cost much more to be fair. For example, the former station location would remove the need for an accessible footbridge once road access to each platform is provided which is easily achievable with the level crossing. The signalling works would need to be done regardless as the current station is just within the Level crossing block which would remain as is.

    In terms of parking there is a very large yard behind the car dealer beside the former station which wouldn't take much to convert. It's also got better access to the N67 and M6.


    agree with all this and they could even leave the old station too. I know we have not been told anything official yet, but I am somewhat concerned that the current station - utterly useless for non-car commuter - will be just upgraded and they will call it a commuter service. Just take a loot at it on Google Maps a station in the middle two potential commuter traffic sources and not a footpath even leading to either on of them.


  • #2


    agree with all this and they could even leave the old station too. I know we have not been told anything official yet, but I am somewhat concerned that the current station - utterly useless for non-car commuter - will be just upgraded and they will call it a commuter service. Just take a loot at it on Google Maps a station in the middle two potential commuter traffic sources and not a footpath even leading to either on of them.

    I'm not sure of the original logic behind the current location but I would imagine it was a cheap idea to sell it as a station for both Oranmore and Roscam with the idea of expanding developments of each area towards the stations. It would make more sense to remove it and develop a commuting station at Roscam if or when the line is doubled at a later date. The line would need to be doubled for running local services with multiple stops, you'd loose any advantages of having passing loops if you making 2 stops in short succession.

    I would bet a lot of the park and ride users live in Roscam and Oranmore which defeats the purpose.


  • #2


    IE 222 wrote: »
    I would bet a lot of the park and ride users live in Roscam and Oranmore which defeats the purpose.
    The purpose of the station is to take cars off the road going into the city. Given the number of cars parking there pre-pandemic, it is more than exceeding expectations and is a great success.


  • #2


    serfboard wrote: »
    The purpose of the station is to take cars off the road going into the city. Given the number of cars parking there pre-pandemic, it is more than exceeding expectations and is a great success.

    The car park being oversubscribed is not automatically a mark of success, if those people are driving from beyond the Oranmore/Roscam area to get the train then you are right, but if a large proportion of them are coming from Oranmore/Roscam then it indicates that the station is not serving those towns properly, which it would if people in those towns could easily and safely walk/cycle to the station.

    Every person walking to the station from Oranmore is another space available in the car park for someone wanting to use the park and ride facilities. If all those cars belong to people in what should be 'easy walking/cycling distance' then it means others driving from further away either wont get a space if they try, or will just drive into town as they know there wont be a space.


Society & Culture