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Cork suburban rail expansion

24

Comments

  • #2


    As I thought, thanks namloc1980


  • #2


    Eamon Ryan woke from his afternoon nap to take a call from Matt Cooper where he informed us that this is EU funded and funding is only available for projects which can start immediately. Should be complete within 3 years.

    He talks at length about putting housing in the city along this line but unless he’s on about bungalows he’d better get familiar with the chronic viability issues


  • #2


    Does the Dunkettle P&R miss the cut or is that part of the road project?


  • #2


    namloc1980 wrote: »
    Yeah I think it's to have a 3rd through platform to avoid issues with Intercity trains.

    This image from CMATS gives you an idea of where it'll be - on the outside of the main station where the commuter train in the second image is running on the left of the picture.

    1950890_6_articlelarge_LUAS1.jpg

    li2-NIpFBxtEPFT9fDDIN5obCNA0MnAJOoFNxZOBDgCwOK4RLHJQfzXAFs32zzLqbNO_1zNBJM1I7kum7DmgV0Q9QtUdjWMLQQqnxillYClZV1MvRyOtteVRnwi1

    So the plan is basically to build a platform out to meet the existing track on that side of thr station? Is one platform really going to be enough and it being on such a curve will be an issue?

    Wouldn't it be better to do it right and relay track to create multiple parallel straight platforms just east of the current platforms? Wouldn't even have to do it all now but put in the southern most platforms as the through platforms as part of this project and move the central ones at another time.


  • #2


    Am I correct in thinking that the original line between Glounthaune and Midleton was always double track and that when the line was reopened that some genius decided to make it a single track, after taking up those double tracks.

    Is that single track now in the center of where the double track used to be or by any chance did anyone use some foresight?


  • #2


    kub wrote: »
    Am I correct in thinking that the original line between Glounthaune and Midleton was always double track and that when the line was reopened that some genius decided to make it a single track, after taking up those double tracks.

    Is that single track now in the center of where the double track used to be or by any chance did anyone use some foresight?

    The track is in the centre of the permanent way. Rather unfortunate.

    Important to note that this line opened in 2009 so 12 years later it’s obsolete, and in the meantime we’ve had a massive recession and a global pandemic and it’s still obsolete.


  • #2


    namloc1980 wrote: »
    This is what it appears it actually includes:

    - construction of a through platform at Kent Station,
    - line doubling between Glounthaune and Midleton,
    - re-signalling,

    It doesn't appear to include electrification or any new stations. Examiner jumping the gun.

    I'm absolutely no expert on this but that doesn't seem like a lot for 185 million? How much is the entire suburban rail upgrade supposed to cost?


  • #2


    marno21 wrote: »
    The track is in the centre of the permanent way. Rather unfortunate.

    Important to note that this line opened in 2009 so 12 years later it’s obsolete, and in the meantime we’ve had a massive recession and a global pandemic and it’s still obsolete.


    Perhaps so, just to add, its the way things are done here ;).


    So what are the chances of that line having to be lifted and replaced with doubles? Or is there room to put another track alongside ?


  • #2


    You don't need protracted and expensive consultants for projects like Cork, which are by international standards very straightforward. Once you have the technical specifications worked out the project should be doable in 5 years. A critical decision will be on the electrical system to be used: 3kv DC like the DART or 25kv AC which is standard for long-distance lines. My view would be go for 25kv AC which would tie in with future Dublin-Cork electrification (which in present circumstances should not be regarded as utopian)

    We are really backward in this area. Portugal (the poorest country in Western Europe) began 25kv AC electrification of much of the Lisbon Area suburban lines in 1957. They then extended electrification north to Porto, which was reached in 1966, a distance of 330km or 200 miles. Shows you what you can do if you get your act together, even under a supposedly frugal conservative like Dr Salazar!


  • #2


    You can't compare anything from that far back to current projects. The environmental considerations alone add a massive level of additional complexity to projects which were not there in the 1950's


  • #2


    Also I wouldn't be so sure that we will actually end up with overhead power lines, battery and hydrogen train technology is advancing quickly and might prove to be a sufficient alternative. The Cork Commuter routes are definitely short enough for battery trains.


  • #2


    Massive hydrogen plant planned for Cork also.


  • #2


    marno21 wrote: »
    The track is in the centre of the permanent way. Rather unfortunate.

    Important to note that this line opened in 2009 so 12 years later it’s obsolete, and in the meantime we’ve had a massive recession and a global pandemic and it’s still obsolete.
    At the time of the re-opening of the Glounthaune to Midleton commuter line, many were saying it would never work etc, Now the route is very busy and popular and a significant population growth since 2009. Great that it's expanding the capacity. The new station at Blackpool is great for the Northside as well.


  • #2


    There's no way a battery can store enough power to move a train at 200km/h or more between Hazelhatch and Mallow even in the distant future, that's electric jet plane talk. Hydrogen is a tech that will be useful to replace diesel on the lesser used lines, that's the approach Germany has taken. You may see it being used on Dublin to Westport in the future but it doesn't offer the breaking and accelleration efficiency that electric trains have and there's still bulky transport of fuel to consider and of course the energy inefficiency of using electricity to create hydrogen to power trains vs using just using electricity to directly power trains.


  • #2


    You don't need protracted and expensive consultants for projects like Cork, which are by international standards very straightforward. Once you have the technical specifications worked out the project should be doable in 5 years. A critical decision will be on the electrical system to be used: 3kv DC like the DART or 25kv AC which is standard for long-distance lines. My view would be go for 25kv AC which would tie in with future Dublin-Cork electrification (which in present circumstances should not be regarded as utopian)

    We are really backward in this area. Portugal (the poorest country in Western Europe) began 25kv AC electrification of much of the Lisbon Area suburban lines in 1957. They then extended electrification north to Porto, which was reached in 1966, a distance of 330km or 200 miles. Shows you what you can do if you get your act together, even under a supposedly frugal conservative like Dr Salazar!

    We should have completed this work around the end of WW2 but here we are. And unlike Portugal in the 60s we've seen that residents can get infrastructure projects blocked. The regime in Portugal at the time wasn't asking anyone for their thoughts and feelings in 3 or 4 rounds of public consultation.

    We could upgrade the line quickly and cheaply but we'll have to make a meal out of it, hear all the objections have a tender process and build a half and half solution that pleases nobody. Then redevelop after a decade of economic growth.


  • #2


    Portugal of the 1960s also had a state-founded domestic train manufacturer, whereas we had basically only had some reassembly from knocked-down parts being done by a maintenance operator. This provided more impetus to build new units and generate demand for new units by electrification.

    If the remaining kit in use can be used as a baseline, Sorefame weren't great, as anyone who has been on the INCREDIBLY LOUD Lisbon Metro can attest to


  • #2


    In reply to cgcsb and L1011: I know that this is getting a bit beyond the Cork Commuter area, but we need to do just a little strategic thinking.

    The reference I made to Portugal in the 50s and 60s was obviously not the whole story. They have extended electrification right up to 2021, line by line, and the system is now over 75% electrified. Spain is another interesting example, and in fact almost every mainland European country has largely electrified rail networks, often including fairly lightly-trafficked lines. The real scandal is that the UK and Ireland are total outliers when it comes to rail electrification.

    RE Portugal again, SOREFAME is no longer all that relevant and I think their main plant no longer functions. What is relevant is that CP have re-opened closed railway workshops and are re-conditioning used passenger stock (aged anything from 15 to 60 years). In Ireland we seem hooked on gold-plated solutions.

    I have my doubts about battery except in limited circumstances. Hydrogen is not yet really proven in service. Why is there such resistance to putting up the wires? Its old well tried technology and EMUs are much more economical to operate than the alternatives.


  • #2


    cgcsb wrote: »
    There's no way a battery can store enough power to move a train at 200km/h or more between Hazelhatch and Mallow even in the distant future, that's electric jet plane talk.

    If you are talking about 200km/h trains to Cork, you are already into fantasy land.
    I have my doubts about battery except in limited circumstances. Hydrogen is not yet really proven in service. Why is there such resistance to putting up the wires? Its old well tried technology and EMUs are much more economical to operate than the alternatives.

    It is very expensive to put up and there really isn't enough demand between Cork and Dublin to justify the cost.

    It might happen still, but we are currently in a disruptive period when other options might make that expense unnecessary.

    It kind of reminds me how we were so late to digitising our phone system that for a while we actually ended up with one of the most advanced digital phone networks in the world. But it also just came too early for the fiber and broadband revolution and we ended up with an expensive, unnecessary asset and way behind on the broadband revolution.


  • #2


    It's a total farce though that just 12 years after (re)opening the Glounthaune to Midleton line that millions now have to be spent on it to double track it. Just 12 years later! Not surprising but quite embarrassing.


  • #2


    bk wrote: »



    It is very expensive to put up and there really isn't enough demand between Cork and Dublin to justify the cost.
    There are many electrified lines in Europe with less traffic than Dublin-Cork. Sure, the cost of the overhead and other infrastructure is not trivial, but often these projects include track and signalling renewal of which would not be a big issue here.

    As for the need to double Glounthane-Midleton, the existing infrastructure is adequate for a much greater level of service: at present its one 2-car train per hour to Midleton for most of the day. The line can easily accommodate a 30 minute frequency with 4-car trains, effectively a quadrupling of capacity.


  • #2


    bk wrote: »
    If you are talking about 200km/h trains to Cork, you are already into fantasy land.



    It is very expensive to put up and there really isn't enough demand between Cork and Dublin to justify the cost.

    It might happen still, but we are currently in a disruptive period when other options might make that expense unnecessary.

    That's the future of intercity rail. 200kmh isn't ambitious, this is common in Austria, Sweden, Portugal etc on less heavily used lines. Dublin to Cork is very heavily subscribed, so much so that the service is going to one train every half hour as part of the 2027 strategy.


  • #2


    Portugal did very extensive rural, diesel, network closures in the late 00s - that will have significantly improved the electrified %.


  • #2


    There are many electrified lines in Europe with less traffic than Dublin-Cork. Sure, the cost of the overhead and other infrastructure is not trivial, but often these projects include track and signalling renewal of which would not be a big issue here.

    As for the need to double Glounthane-Midleton, the existing infrastructure is adequate for a much greater level of service: at present its one 2-car train per hour to Midleton for most of the day. The line can easily accommodate a 30 minute frequency with 4-car trains, effectively a quadrupling of capacity.

    The upgrade seems to imply significant increases in capacity to cater for development at Carrigtwohill, Water Rock and Midleton.


  • #2


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Dublin to Cork is very heavily subscribed, so much so that the service is going to one train every half hour as part of the 2027 strategy.

    So matching the intercity coaches frequency by 2027!

    Joking aside, I'd love to see it but is this actually happening? Has it been approved?

    AFAIK it is just part of the Irish Rail 2027 strategy, but is actually part of Project Ireland 2040, which seems more likely, but hasn't actually been approved. And even then, they only mention:
    Additional services to achieve 30-minute intervals at peak times. Renewal of all track on the Dublin/Cork line and removal of level crossings towards improving journey times.

    It is welcome, but doesn't sound like high speed or electrification to me.
    L1011 wrote: »
    Portugal did very extensive rural, diesel, network closures in the late 00s - that will have significantly improved the electrified %.

    Jeez, don't be go giving Irish Rail ideas. They would love to close all lines but the DART, they could claim 100% electrification then! :eek:


  • #2


    bk wrote: »

    Jeez, don't be go giving Irish Rail ideas. They would love to close all lines but the DART, they could claim 100% electrification then! :eek:

    They quite like Cobh too, you know.
    I see it as something that Cork City and County should be pushing for as much as possible. There's not the reluctance within IÉ towards that Cobh line, that there is in other parts of the country. Cork suburban rail has a future IMO.


  • #2


    bk wrote: »
    Joking aside, I'd love to see it but is this actually happening? Has it been approved?

    AFAIK it is just part of the Irish Rail 2027 strategy, but is actually part of Project Ireland 2040, which seems more likely, but hasn't actually been approved. And even then, they only mention

    It's not really in anything at the moment. The National Development Plan 2018-2027 commits to a feasibility study for high speed rail between Belfast and Cork. But this will also look at opportunities for higher speed rail and general line speed improvements. This is being done as part of the all-island Strategic Rail Review. The tender for that will be awarded this summer and should take about a year.

    I expect it to recommend higher speed rail operating at around 200 km/h along with general line speed improvements. Whether it will be implemented or not is another story. Proper high speed rail in Ireland is a pipe dream for now.


  • #2


    Is the suburban service running to Mallow or just Blarney on the North bit?


  • #2


    What will it be called ? CART?


  • #2


    namloc1980 wrote: »
    Yeah I think it's to have a 3rd through platform to avoid issues with Intercity trains.

    This image from CMATS gives you an idea of where it'll be - on the outside of the main station where the commuter train in the second image is running on the left of the picture.

    1950890_6_articlelarge_LUAS1.jpg

    li2-NIpFBxtEPFT9fDDIN5obCNA0MnAJOoFNxZOBDgCwOK4RLHJQfzXAFs32zzLqbNO_1zNBJM1I7kum7DmgV0Q9QtUdjWMLQQqnxillYClZV1MvRyOtteVRnwi1

    That platform looks like it's down the outside of the current platform 5, which is used to branch off to shunt trains to the sheds/fueling sidings.

    You can run around there and back out towards the Midelton/Cobh roads.

    Interesting times ahead for Cork.


  • #2


    Is the suburban service running to Mallow or just Blarney on the North bit?

    They talk about overtaking on the line which would presumably mean Blarney would have turn back platforms. Can't see Mallow requiring a 10 min frequency either. The hourly Dublin service and possibly an hourly Mallow/Tralee would be more than adequate for Mallow.


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