Alex a genuinely well researched and positive contribution to the rail discussion in Ireland. Your experience from a country like Germany is refreshing though some will argue here against your points on the basis that in Germany there is a big population to use the railway unlike here.
I donít agree I think if the service is provided people will use it. Service like Rosslare has been gradually run down no longer linked to Waterford or Cork and once the train met the ferry not so today.
On the alternative route to the west through Mullingar certainly this is a good option to relieve the over used mainline route through Portarlington but no thinking in this direction and the Mullingar Athlone line is moving towards a greenway.
The future is rail but here in Ireland there is a reluctance to embrace this reality.