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M11/N11 - M50 (J4) to Coyne's Cross (J14) [options published]

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,418 ✭✭✭prunudo


    I agree, offline or underground should have been done years ago but it will never happen now.

    I've resigned myself to the fact that, upgrading the trainline is where any hope of seeing infrastructure improvements will be in this neck of the woods. And even at that its slim.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,875 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    No, in Europe they would have provided suitable public transport alternatives as most of the issue is volumes of commuter traffic. A six lane tunnel is an American solution and would have done nothing to solve the bottleneck further north and would only make that problem worse.



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    Couldn’t we do both? A proper tunnelled railway through Bray Head along with a motorway grade road under Glen of the Downs with 3 lanes in either direction? Instead of a single track cliffside railway and a messy dual carriageway through a nature reserve with clear and obvious safety issues. The road doesn’t need to be a US style interstate commuter road, more like the A3 tunnel at the Devil’s Punchbowl in Surrey



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,875 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    How much will a tunnel with three lanes in both directions cost? With two lanes already in both directions the benefits aren't huge but the cost would be enormous. If the road through the Glen was removed, the gain is only one lane in each direction, the business case would be very poor. That's before considering that such a road tunnel to facilitate car commuters would be against every bit of national and EU policy.

    A road tunnel would also kill the business case for a rail tunnel as very few would switch from driving when additional road space is provided. A rail tunnel at Bray Head doesn't even solve the full rail issue as capacity limits north of Bray would remain. To do public transport right, you'd have to build the Bray Head tunnel, then put the cost of the road tunnel into the rail network north of Bray.

    The road tunnel is a fantasy, it's not going to happen for decades anyway (even if it was approved as a project for design now) so shorter term solutions need to be advanced before that.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,446 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    I'd say to do public transport right, even alternative options to Bray Head/ coastal line would be considered (based on the N11 corridor), including tunnels. Sections of the coastal line are fighting a losing battle with erosion (notwithstanding sea level rises).



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  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89


    Instead of a tunnel, could they not just cover in the entire route like an effective "cut and cover" job. Some soil could be placed over the new roof and you've achieved the same result at a fraction of the price.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    The problem is that before you get a chance to replant, the widening would already have involved the destruction of a protected woodland. It doesn’t matter that you’re replanting afterward, once the ancient forest is gone, it’s gone.

    The solution here is as plain as day: bring the road to the east of the Glen, closer to Greystones by taking lands from the golf club. But golf-clubs and racetracks are sacred sites in this country, and can never be touched by infrastructure projects.



  • Registered Users Posts: 23,716 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    A solution that works. They build proper roads.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    @Kermit.de.frog What American cities have you driven in? I know the Bay Area cities in California, and Austin, TX. Both are absolute shitholes for traffic congestions, despite repeated road-widenings.

    After 2 lanes each way, there's a really sharp diminishing return for adding more.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    Yes, Spain built lots of motorways, and nobody uses them - construction really tailed off after the 2010 financial crash. Many were built as toll-roads, but traffic levels were so low anyway that locals were fine on the existing network, and tourists (the intended target) quickly learned the same, thanks to Sat-nav systems.

    The reason why Spain has so many motorways is that the regional governments in Spain were able to borrow directly and had full control over infrastructure investment: that meant motorways were built in areas where there was no demand for that kind of capacity - this wild spending on vanity motorways by the regional governments was something of a scandal in Spanish politics at the time. The closest thing in terms of insane spending would be Northern Ireland's oversized motorway network as planned in the 1960s, but the start of the Troubles and imposition of direct rule prevented those plans from proceeding.

    Actually, Spain built shitloads of infrastructure that it had no use for, on the assumption that cheap international credit and the holiday property market bubble would never burst. It's not just motorways: there's airports, hospitals, whole towns that are still just ghosts.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,902 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    IMO apart from the eastern section of the Belfast Motorway Box, the completed NI system from the 1960s would be what is required.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    No it wouldn't... they planned the sort of network you'd see in a conurbation of 5+ million, for a province that still has a population under 2M.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    Off topic about Spain, but one other factor in the lower use of motorways was that at the central goverment built out a comprehensive high speed rail network between Madrid and the coastal cities, and it's now filling in the links between the major cities, and increasing connections to France. For inter city travel in Spain, it's often cheaper and faster to go by train now than drive.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,418 ✭✭✭prunudo


    And to tie it back to this topic, thats where the Irish government need to turn. It evident there is no appetite in government to proactively address the issues with the n11, so the next step is either upgrade or new trainline.

    Because the reality is, they can't keep building houses at the pace they are, in every town and village along the east Wicklow coastline without a serious investment in infrastructure.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    Right, and I know this is really not on topic now, but we also need to start building rail where it's needed, not where there happens to be an existing permanent way. The location of Greystones DART station is about the worst place you could put it off you had a choice.. it's fine for Dubliners coming down for a day trip, but for people living in the town trying to get to work in Dublin, it's really far from where people live.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,946 ✭✭✭✭josip


    I can't see high speed inter city rail ever being a viable alternative to car/bus in Ireland. Spain is 6 times bigger.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,875 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    The problem there is that most of the population live further inland so the only way to get the rail line to serve them in to tunnel. The same applies to Bray. A tunnel from south of Bray station to south of Greystones would be the only way to serve more of the populations of both towns. It would be about 10km, it might be possible to have some ground level section between the two towns but given the terrain, that probably wouldn't be much cheaper than tunnelling.

    Another option would be a shorter tunnelled spur (maybe even single track) in each town that only connects to the existing line on one end. So Bray DARTs would continue inland in a 2km tunnel, terminating at the end of the tunnel, then head back north serving all stations. Something similar could be done in Greystones, although I'm sure removing DARTs from the existing station wouldn't be popular with businesses in the town.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,902 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    The problem is that any fix for Bray - Greystones trains is going to be monumentally expensive. But they don't know any more than I do about that, because for some reason they have absolutely no plans to ever do anything about it. It really is depressing how much more ambition the Victorians who built this line had. Our lot don't seem to be even thinking about it and eventually there'll be a major rock fall (like there has been on the walkway) that will close it for an extended period. Then the M11 is screwed as there'll be no trains at all.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    Absolutely. I was not suggesting that Ireland should do the same, just noting that it is a major factor in Spain's transport.

    A high speed (300+ km/h) rail service won't work in a country our size.. you need a network with over 400km between large centres before HSR can work for you.

    But.. roads now?



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,418 ✭✭✭prunudo


    Storm Betty took a good chunk off the Murrough in Wicklow too so that problem isn't going away either.


    And again I'm going OT here, but while we all wish for tbm's under Bray head or new inland routes. The reality is the line north of Bray to the city is seriously congested so without a rethink on that section, adding extra capacity south of Bray is wishful thinking.

    The appetite just doesn't appear to be there to address any of the situations, both present or future, on the south eastern line.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,936 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    while we're on the subject of Bray-Greystones, one of the local councillors (who is generally quite on the ball about public transport issues) has said the Dart+ plans have been scaled back from doubling the whole line between Bray Head and Greystones station, to just a passing loop, presumably just before the long tunnel where there is already space.

    I guess they think that as the trains will likely to be passing each other there 90% of the time anyway, there's not much benefit to doing the rest of that section which would require widening cuttings and bridges.

    I know this is wandering off topic, but at least it's something that will probably happen rather than crayon fantasies about tunnelling under Glen of the Downs.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    I don’t know about “scaled back”, because even the pie-in-the-sky Strategic Rail Review predictions show Bray-Greystones as a single-track railway (other double-trackings that we know are happening are shown as such on their proposed system map). I don’t think any doubling was planned for DART+ Coastal South, all the statements say is “Track modifications and additions to improve capacity." (Coastal North is already double-tracked)

    That is also a good indication that there is no long-term intention to extend DART beyond Greystones. I can believe that - only Wicklow would have the population to support a DART station, but it’s too far away to build out to there (and the coastal line south of Greystones is not slated for electrification).



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,936 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    there is a plan commissioned by Irish Rail that proposed doubling the track between Bray Head and Greystones station, this would have allowed for a 20 minute each-way frequency. It was assumed that this would find it's way into Dart+ but I guess they believe they can achieve the same result with a shorter cheaper passing loop.

    I have my doubts, Irish Rail are not exactly known for their operational efficiency and punctuality, the shorter the section of double track, there more likely the "operational difficulties" if trains are running behind.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,446 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    If they were tunnel, then it could only really be justified by rail. Pie in the sky anyway, but they probably should be looking at a new line or new alignment, given erosion issues aren't going to get better.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    I suspect that the sum of exactly €0.00 invested by the government in the railway system for the past decade has more to do with operational problems on the network than the competence of the engineering staff.

    The terrain makes double-tracking below Bray very, very expensive, and it’s the last line segment on the DART system, which puts a hard, and low, limit on the number of through trains you’ll see on section. Even with more inter-city services coming through, 3 DART trains per hour each way is a modest goal and easily reached. A “passing loop” can be pretty long: long enough that neither train needs to slow down much: Japanese rail lines are often single-tracked, with double tracked stations and one loop midway between stations.



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,936 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    500 metres is what I saw mentioned so I'd imagine it's planned for the section between the level-crossing and the first tunnel:




  • Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭dublincc2


    They should’ve continued the motorway to Derry via the Ballymena bypass. Also built an actual motorway link to Newry which will probably have to be built anyway in 25 years time when a united Ireland is achieved.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,902 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    Both of those plans were in there. M22 to Coleraine via Ballymena, M2 to Derry, and there was an M that would directly go from Belfast to Newry. AFAIK that one wasn't really explored too much because they didn't want to be seen to be encouraging trade with the Republic.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    In Northern Ireland’s plan, M11 was to be the motorway to the border. The numbering tells you the importance of that route to the Stormont government, and it’s no surprise that no work was done on it before London called a halt to the whole circus. It was originally to have had a free-flow interchange at J8 of the NI M1, but that was scaled back dramatically to the current A101/M1 junction.

    Okay, now that I’ve used M11 to speak of an entirely different road, and one that doesn’t even exist, I think we can say we’re all off topic?

    I’m as guilty as everyone else, but N11, anyone?

    Post edited by KrisW1001 on


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,418 ✭✭✭prunudo



    For some reason the site won't allow me share a facebook link, but Stephen Donnelly had a post yesterday about a proposed planning application for a park and ride at jn6 Fassaroe.



    https://www.facebook.com/100064447699508/posts/pfbid02KNzFTx2f5yU5PbhGnamMwprjUc81hwG2fqiEVJjeG8XCX69ZmCNDgKHLgKY8iY12l/?sfnsn=mo



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