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Unread 15-05-2007, 07:12   #1
purplepanda
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Default South East Ireland transport

As someone who travels over a lot in the summer from London I am extremly surprised at the lack of any serious train service on the South Wexford line from Rosslare Strand to Campile.

It is hard to get around the whole south east region without a car & there are no long distance bus services to places like Dublin or other main towns cities from the south coast area either. Wexford county especially south coast has to be one of the most unacessible areas in Ireland after Donegal! Traffic jams at Gorey & New Ross & only one road bridge connecting the county with Kilkenny, Carlow & Waterford / Munster.

The ferry passengers are very few judging by the times I've traveled, there are probably more commuters going to Waterford using the one train each way daily.

The costs of keeping this like open must be high & there has been upgrading carried on over the last few years adds to the cost.

So why instead doesn't IE try something new by introducing direct services along this section of line to the other main towns in the region like Wexford Enniscorthy & Gorey / Kilkenny, Carlow, & continuing to & from Dublin by either of the main lines.

The Wexford south coast region would benefit by being connected to the regions nearby & visitors & tourists numbers to the area could increase because of better access.

Or do IE keep this line open for a few ferry passengers to use?
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Unread 15-05-2007, 14:58   #2
dowlingm
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On IRN there was a post about a proposal in the local papers for a second Barrow bridge - it occurred to me that since the Barrow rail bridge is quite speed restricted this might be a good time to suggest a double deck bridge to carry rail and allow the old bridge be decommissioned. An opportunity was lost with the Boyne bridge to make the NRA pay for rail infrastructure - this could be an even better one.
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Unread 15-05-2007, 15:24   #3
Colm Donoghue
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you mean no services like these?

http://www.ardcavan.com/todublin.htm

http://www.buseireann.ie/site/your_j...pressway/2.pdf
http://www.buseireann.ie/site/your_j...pressway/5.pdf
http://www.buseireann.ie/site/your_j...ressway/40.pdf


There's only one road bridge up to New Ross but Mountgarret Bridge is only two miles above New Ross and leads to Kilkenny
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Unread 15-05-2007, 16:36   #4
Thomas J Stamp
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Dont despair, Mr Panda. For there is a spanking new motorway coming to the south east that shall solve all your problems.

I am serious by the way..... trains provide mass public transport. Given the capacity problems that exist on the network it would be idiotic in the extreme to throw money at this small problem.

If there is a demand (and I think there is btw) for a localised Waterford Commuter run, it should be promoted. For everything else - the exisitng service to Waterford is fine and dandy (dont forget it'll be two hourly next year - same as to Limerick) and as for Wexford/Rosslare....

..... we did that to death earlier in the year. Compare yonder bus and rail timetables. Notice that as far as Arklow the train is marginally faster. Then disaster, train gets smashed into the ground by the bus, even allowing for the bad traffic around Merrion Square to Bus Aras (if anyone goes that far that is). Why? Because of the state of the track up along the coast, and the PSR that exists along it. To upgrade would cost such a vast amount of money that it makes no sence at all.

So, you have a choice, Waterford every two hours.... commuter onwards perhaps and/or motorway.

Sometimes motorways are the solution, not all the time but somtimes.
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Unread 15-05-2007, 16:39   #5
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Thanks for that colmd, the timings are a bit....sedate.
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Unread 15-05-2007, 23:22   #6
Mark Gleeson
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The Waterford Rosslare line exists not as a passenger route but primarily as a freight line to haul Sugar beet from Wellington Bridge to Mallow (and previously Thurles) thanks to the EU that is now gone, that somewhat explains the timetable which was laid out to run the beet trains and a token commuter service

The costs are exceptionally high as its all manually signalled, all manual level crossings and the Barrow bridge is hole where money is just poured

There is talk the line will be resignalled in the next few years which will slash running costs. Rosslare ferry foot passenger numbers are down which was the principle source of traffic in Rosslare.

Of course the fact the minister for transport lives in Waterford and has a fear of travelling by train probably is the biggest issue, he loves busses though.

The big question is how to deal with the Waterford - Rosslare - Wexford triangle, direct Waterford Wexford has merit but leaving Rosslare out is a problem since a more frequent service could pick up a lot of business off the ferry since Stena have some excellent through ticketing options, so you can't win and even with an expanded service the numbers wouldn't even come close to justifying it, the capital costs to lift the status quo to full modern spec are huge, that said like almost every existing line which is open its probably a lot more realistic than the WRC
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Unread 16-05-2007, 01:15   #7
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Both Arklow to Rosslare and Waterford to Rosslare have a lousy farebox operational cost ratio. The motorway is much faster. Upgrading cost benefit analysis gave a negative rate of return.

This mitigates against putting high class rolling stock such as the 22000's on either route, and it would be a waste to put a 100mph capable unit on a line limited to 70mph.

Resources have to be allocated wisely, as there is only so much to go around.

They've got to go where they perform best.

The strategic rail review recommended a "do nothing" option with Waterford to Rosslare. But there are some minor improvements.

1. Terminate the Dublin to Rosslare service at Wexford, and have that running 5 times daily.
2. Run the 2 car "bubbles" from Wexford to Waterford, with a split at Rosslare strand, but allocating a driver to cover a 5km branch is highly inefficient.
3. Run two seperate shuttles, Wexford-Rosslare Harbour, Wexford-Waterford

The foot passenger option is dying off, and the boat train is an archaic concept. When Wexford is a town of 8,931 people (2006 census), with 9.359 in its environs, and you compare it to Rosslare, which in fairness is only going to attract a bunch of tourists and interrailers, its easy to see that the best option is to service the travellers who are likely to use it more frequently.

Someone has to lose in order that the majority gain.
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Unread 16-05-2007, 01:42   #8
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It would be better to make more use of this line as the best way to improve transport links from SW Wexford to Waterford city which is what I was interested in from my experience. If a better more frequent service was introduced to connect up also with Dublin bound services from Wexford & Waterford it would also result in more passengers using the trains.

At present SW Wexford is cut off from Waterford City apart from a car ferry & bus sevices which travel all the way up to New Ross to get back down to Waterford.

I've heard that the railway bridge over the River Barrow was built in 1904 & it certainly seems like it traveling across it? Until the bridge is replaced with perhaps a joint rail / road bridge at some stage in the future, the railway is the best bet for improving transport around the region. I certainly agree with the idea of a shuttle service being introduced between Wexford, Waterford & Rosslare as a better option as the ferry service travelers are mostly seasonal anyway.

PS. Why doesn't someone integrate the private bus operators services onto the Bus Eireann website?
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Unread 16-05-2007, 02:31   #9
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Based on the following statistical sources

http://www.cso.ie/statistics/popofea...tycity2006.htm

http://www.wikipedia.org

Type in town name, look for information on associated links.

Rosslare has a population of roughly 1,000
Bridgetown 747
Wellingtonbridge, no information, gather its <250.
Ballycullane, no information, as above.
Campile, no information, as above.

For: No proper regional airport in the South Wexford region with direct flights from the UK.
Poorly linked by roads to regional capital (Waterford)

Against: Passenger traffic has never been good on this line. The Boat train is an archaic concept, and foot passengers with any sense only use the boat in a month without an 'r'.

Observations: In 1994, French and Spanish students wanted to travel from Waterford to Rosslare. Iarnrod Eireann wanted to charge IEP10.50 for the 30 mile (50km) journey. With a comparison to similar SNCF/Renfe routes with the exchange rate at that time being FFr8,80 to IEP1.00 and Ptas200 to IEP1.00 this converted to FFr90.00 and Ptas2,100. This was 2.5 times the French rate, and 4 times the Spanish rate that these students were used to in their home countries, since SNCF base rates were FFr1.00 per km, and Renfe charged Ptas10 per km on comparable regional routes. Routes which had a better service, and served more densely populated areas. While everyone gets crazy over the TGV, ICE and AVE, they never realise the actual reality of Irish population densities and make appropriate comparisons to the regional routes in France, Spain and Germany which are a more valid basis for comparison. Even taking into account inflation in the 13 years since, Iarnrod Eireann wanted to close it by making it as expensive as possible and drive away passengers. They have been doing this since 1977, and they do not want this line.

By contrast Bus Eireann were charging IEP5.50. The students smiled, and they bought. A Fiver saved for some food and beer.

(Exchange rates today IEP1.00 = EUR1.27, EUR1.00 = 0.79)
(FFr6.55 = EUR1.00, Ptas167 = EUR1.00)

Based on population densities, and operational expenses without Beet traffic, its got a difficult future ahead, unless the service is restructured to go from Wexford to Waterford. This was one factor in favour of railfreight justifying the existence of regional lines of this nature. With the end of Sugar Beet, the outlook is poor.

Option 1. The two bubble cars, 2751 and 2752 run from Wexford to Waterford and split at Rosslare Strand.
Option 2. Shuttle - 2 car from Wexford - Rosslare Harbour, 2 car from Wexford - Waterford
Option 3. Wexford - Rosslare Harbour (reverse) - Waterford
Option 4. Wexford - Rosslare Strand - Waterford, Bus shuttle to the Harbour (4km).
Option 5. Closer integration with Bus Eireann and private bus operators.

I state that this kind of railway goes against the very concept of modern, efficient, integrated rail transport, and that this is the very kind of railway that rail enthusiasts love. This is in contrast to regular travellers, who will sustain the link on a long term basis, which MIGHT justify Wexford to Waterford direct. But don't hold your breath on this.

The conclusion, in accordance with 'best international practice', and observation of similar scenarios in Spain, France, Germany and Scandinavia is that if.

(a) A route/station/halt serves </= 50,000 passengers per annum, whichever is greater.
(b) Farebox/Direct operational cost, excluding infrastructure </= 30%

A line will close, and will be replaced by a bus.

Other sources:

Rail Gazette International
Todays Railways

Last edited by dermo88 : 16-05-2007 at 02:59. Reason: Inexact currency exchange calculations per kilometer.
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Unread 16-05-2007, 07:42   #10
Colm Donoghue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplepanda View Post

PS. Why doesn't someone integrate the private bus operators services onto the Bus Eireann website?
you mean why don't ryanair show BMI services on their websites?
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Unread 16-05-2007, 08:26   #11
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Talking Rosslare, Waterford Line

Hi All,

Long time reader, first time poster here.

I have been reading this thread and am very disappointed by what I read. I am originally from Wellington Bridge and I know that a lot of people use the morning train to get to Waterford for college and work etc. The Wellington Bridge area has in the last few years expanded and a lot of housing estates have been built and a lot of people from these estates now work in Waterford commuting on the train to avail of the cheap housing.

With a travel time of 40 minutes between Wellington Bridge and Waterford the train is by far the quickest and most reliable way of getting into Waterford from south Wexford even with the current slow travel time on the line.

In short, more local people do not use the line because of the way the line is currently run and because of the way it has been run for as long as I can remember. There is no promotion of the line locally within Wexford and I could almost guarantee you that most local people in south Wexford do not realise the number of connections and possibilities that would be available to them via a change in Waterford if there was a regular service on the line. Currently anyone living south Wexford or even along this line in Campile, Ballycullane or even Wellington Bridge areas all take the bus or drive if they are going to Dublin because there is no connection to any main line rail service from the line that actually is competitive to road transport. Most localís never even see a train service operate on the line.

Also the current timetable on the line is also not favorable with one service a day in both directions. How does Irish Rail expect the line to be viable with such a level or service? Even if both of these services were at maximum capacity there would still be no hope of the line ever being viable with such a timetable.

Finally, yes the sugar beet is now gone from the line, but doesn't this mean that there are now opportunities to be exploited on the line? Given that this is probably one of the best lines in the country for connections to other services along the route from Rosslare to Limerick shouldn't we at least give the line a fighting chance?

I firmly believe that a Waterford, Wexford, Enniscorthy service of some sort that was marketed correctly and that had a thought out timetable with good connections and travel time that was reliable would do very well.

Finally just a note on the quality of the rail service that Wexford has being receiving from Irish Rail in the last few years on both the Dublin Rosslare line and the Rosslare Waterford line. Irish Rail has in effect killed off both lines, weekend summer closures, bus transfers, late and early running of trains, bad timetables, slow journey time, lack of decent station information, delays, breakdowns, lack of marketing of the connections and possible options for connections for customer, unfriendly staff and finally poor planning and management of the line not to mention those commuter trains has meant that the local people have been lining up to take the bus to both Dublin and Waterford and to be honest is sickens me but then again who can blame them. If the bus is reliable, frequent, clean and on time.

I know I have ranting on here but just one final thing...... Bus Eireann manages 5 direct services a day from Rosslare to Waterford via Wexford with a further two more possible via a connection so there is obviously a demand for a greater service on the Rosslare Waterford route than what is currently being served by Irish Rail.

Ok thatís the lot, apologies for the long post.
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Unread 16-05-2007, 13:26   #12
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Wexford 131,749
Wicklow 126,194
Kilkenny 87,558
Carlow 50,349
Waterford 45,748
Waterford County 62,213

Connacht 504,121

The latest census figures 2006 indicate that the SE region has the same population as Connaught & that Wexford itself has increased from 105,000- 132,000 since 1996. We are always hearing talk of unbalanced population growth in Dublin & the surrounding areas compared to the rest of Ireland which is now fast approaching saturation point. And we hear proposals for building new cites in the West of Ireland & opening long closed railway lines at a cost of many millions.

The South East region, if the infastructure & long term planning was put in place, could become a thriving expanding part of the country. Like recent years in Gorey & the north of Wexford, the rest of the region located near & around Waterford City & the surrounding counties could easily see a substantial rise in the population.

Closing down the railway would be a grave mistake in the long term, without at least trying to promote its use by the introduction of new routes & services in the meantime.
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Unread 16-05-2007, 14:30   #13
Colm Donoghue
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I agree a realistic commuter service to Waterford from south Wexford would be a good thing.
you'ld need 2 trains arriving in Waterford before 8:40 at the latest and probably another to arrive at tenish and early afternoon.
I don't know when the New Ross second bypass is to be built. but it will in the next 10 years giving a short payback time for any rail service.

There's no great growth in Wexford though. When I was growing up it was twice as big as Arklow now it's smaller.
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Unread 17-05-2007, 10:26   #14
Thomas J Stamp
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Best thread in ages.

Newbahn welcome to the board, and also purple panda.

newbahn makes a good point, and it is one that we have made in relation to both this line and others. Irish Rail do not operate a service that has any relevance whatsoever to modern Ireland. One or two services a day, going at times and in a direction that dosnt suit any commuters in 2007 but would have in 1897? Sounds exactly like the Limerick-Nenagh-Roscrea-Ballybrophy line.

Both suit only the workers and managment of Irish Rail.

purple panda also walks upon hallowed and tired ground, forgivable as he is new here. Connaught and Mayo in particualr will appear to recieve more favourable rail developments for a couple of reasons:

1. The political landscape
2. A perverted view of the world that on the one hand advertises the west as some sort of unspoilt heaven, come an live here we have no such thing as traffic jams and on the other said we need to spend hundreds of million of a rail service because there are massive traffic jams and they really want massive industry and thousands more people living there.
3. Rail is not an issue in the vast majority of eastern dail constituancies, including dublin for the election. Where it is an issue the local polititiions turn it into a Dublin v Us sort of thing and you can see that any day of the week in the local papers in the west, not the midlands because that's the "Greater DUBLIN area - the swines"

dermo's solution is actually quite close to what i think will happen eventually. Dont forget IE are moving to a hub and spoke system when the services are rolwed out in the hourly (Cork and Belfast) or two hourly (everywhere else) scheme they are planning. Waterford will be the hub in this case.
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Unread 17-05-2007, 14:46   #15
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I guess the other issue is to have matching trains from the west of Waterford,
at least from Limerick Junction to get people in before 8:40 and home again at 17:30 or 19:00

However. I don't think this is ever gonna happen. At the minute the earliest train from Dublin to Cork gets into Cork at 09:53
If Irish Rail won't get people into Cork for ~8:40 then Waterford is screwed.

Why won't Irish Rail run a sensible service?
it must be either
a) pigheadedness
b) running more servces will lose Irish Rail more money, while society gains, the govt doesn't account for this.
c) incompetent management of Irish Rail
d) resources won't allow more services.


None of these explain why you'ld run a service that is no use to most people

The other thing about the south wexford line is it's probably the most direct line in the country. And comparing AA vs IE websites it's quicker by train. And I assume the AA don't allow for the several miles of tailback in New Ross
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Unread 17-05-2007, 15:40   #16
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Quote:
Why won't Irish Rail run a sensible service?
it must be either
a) pigheadedness
b) running more servces will lose Irish Rail more money, while society gains, the govt doesn't account for this.
c) incompetent management of Irish Rail
d) resources won't allow more services.
well, it's d becasue of c and a.
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Unread 17-05-2007, 17:48   #17
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Like running a reverse comuting pattern to Clonmel from Waterford?

I meant there were no trains but there must be actual trains if there's 3 services a day from Waterford to Clonmel. just not at times people want to go at....

actually now that I look at it, the first train from Waterford to Clonmel leaves before the first train from Dublin to Cork....

Last edited by Colm Donoghue : 17-05-2007 at 17:49. Reason: added bit about cork train.
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Unread 17-05-2007, 23:30   #18
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Thanks for the welcome!

One point that comes to mind, thinking about this issue, especially given that there is only one road bridge into Waterford City from Kilkenny, Wexford & Carlow, is that there are no stops on the line between Campile to Waterford & onwards to Carrick on Suir. Or northwards to Thomastown.

With the continued expansion of housing on the Kilkenny side of the city & commuters driving from further away perhaps there could be a case for more stops on these lines if a more viable commuter service was introduced in the future as the city & SE region continues to grow as I think is certainly going to be the case.

Perhaps Park & Ride stations south of Slieveroe on the present line or an stop inbetween between Waterford & Thomastown / Carrick on Suir of similar could be needed in the future.

I suspect that there is very little long term planning regarding expansion of populations & development / infrastructure of cities & major towns by the government agencies judging by the ad hoc growth of Dublin & the nearby counties over the last 10-15 years. Also according to the last census the 5 SE counties population has grown by 9.5 - 13 % from 2002-2006 & apart from the Dublin related growth is the fastest growing region of the country.

Kilkenny suburbs of Waterford City have increased by 61% in the same period!
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Unread 17-05-2007, 23:54   #19
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For somebody from London who travels over, you sure have a lot of knowledge about the local situation.

May I ask you why you don't take a plane, as ferries are now just for trucks and cars. (your own admission.)

It must be a very time consuming and gruelling trip from London.
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Unread 18-05-2007, 08:34   #20
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Purplepanda: The first step in any rail-based commuting to Waterford would be to use existing stations in Carrick on Suir and Thomastown, where the train would have distinct speed advantages over the clogged roads. Also remember that there will soon be a new bridge over the Suir near Waterford and a fancy by-pass linked to a dual carriagewat allowing fast access from Thomastown, so the rail option might get badly hit by that.

By the way, Slieveroe is nowhere hear a functioning railway. The line which passes a mile or so south of Slieveroe is the old New Ross branch, which is more a linear nature reserve than a railway. Do you mean to refer to the South Wexford line where it runs beside the Suir, near Belview? This is quite a remote area, not much use for park and ride. If the South Wexford line has any potantial it is on the far side of the Barrow Bridge in Co Wexford, and not in South Kilkenny.
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