There is no business case for electrifcation, Mallow Limerick Junction currently is 8 passenger trains each way on a normal weekday, it becomes 14 each way next year. The DART logic was based on a increase in demand from 2000 per hour to 7000 which was achieved, thats 14,000 in total as northside and southside are considered. So number wise Dublin Cork currently moves in a day half of what the DART does in an hour. Ever other route is low frequency over single track so there is no justification
Depending on who you talk to rail has between 30 and 50% market share Dublin Cork so it would appear that there is no justification to spend heaps of money on electrification when the same benefits can be delivered quicker and at lower capital and operating costs by the proven diesel power solution, that could be bio diesel if such was available thus it can run off renewable energy.
As with many things the bulk of the benefits can be had by spending a small amount of money on specific issues, this talk of going to 200kph is quite premature as 160kph is still only possible on a fraction of the route, the time gained from going faster is disproportionate, say an increase from 60 to 70mph has a much larger impact than going from 90 to 100mph. Basics first dreams later, passengers are not impressed by heaps of investment they are impressed with service improvements that they can use
I just can't envisage a need, much better off electrifying the heavy suburban routes such as Drogheda Balbriggan Dublin (Drogheda Balbriggan was dropped because the Dublin Transport Office vetoed it) The only intercity line that has any chance is Dublin Belfast by virtue of the heavy commuter usage at both ends
The HST concept was developed in the UK in 1972 for medium to long distance intercity services, its quite tame in performance terms, 200kph 4000hp it is smooth after all it is an electric transmission. There is no vibration, the ride and passenger experience in a coach is the same regardless of what is pulling it. IE are not looking at a underfloor engine solution neither are the serious UK operators they are about to go out to tender so its a case of sit back and let them do the tricky and expensive R&D
It cost terms there is little between electric and diesel power and there is nothing stopping you from having the ability to run on diesel and overhead. The first prototype TGV was gas turbine powered they went electric since France had a large cheap supply of electrical power we don't
The raw energy required is roughly the same as power generation from fossil fuels is incredibly inefficient typically only 40% unless its one of the new combiend cycle gas plants so the environmental benefits are not as big as some may think
Originally Posted by probe
Electrification is not a project that can be done overnight. But if it isn't in the plan, new roads will continue to be built over railway lines with insufficient clearance for electrification, just like they did in the 18th century.
Total bull. New bridges built over railway lines are designed to allow for later electrification, note the M50 bridge in Dublin built in the late 1980's was built wide enough for 4 tracks and tall enough for electrification. Same goes for the M1 and proposed M3. Have a look at the bridge in Maynooth station it was replaced one of sufficent clearance. It has been standard policy since the mid 1980's on most primary rail routes, most of the more recent are designed to allow for double decker trains. First railway opened in Ireland in the 19th century, 1834 and the one and only bridge over the line is still in place unmodified from 1834
Unless someone comes up with a cheap plentiful and reliable source of electricity there will be no electrification beyond suburban areas