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Unread 22-05-2017, 20:48   #1
Thomas Morelli
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Default Does Waterford-Limerick have passenger potential?

Hello,

I am wondering if the Waterford to Limerick railway could see a higher patronage if changes were made on it, such as making the service more frequent.

I have read an article about the line on the Irish Times.
It was about Carrick-On-Suir railway station.
This is part of the article that makes me think that this line could carry more passengers:


Quote:
It appears the train service for a town of more than 6,000 located on the border of Tipperary, Waterford and Kilkenny is not being availed of because the timetable is very limited and unreliable.

For years, pleas to Irish Rail to put on more services and promote the line have “fallen on deaf ears”, said Seamus Campbell of the Carrick-on-Suir Business Association.

“Every town needs a train station. The timetable is just not conducive to allowing people travel by train to Waterford or Clonmel for work. It is just not possible. Because the service is so restricted people car pool to get to work. The train station is of no real use to people as it is,” he said.

In recent years Irish Rail has stripped out one of the two lines that ran through the station and about 10 years ago cut the services in half.
Does anyone know of other changes which could be made in the line?
I am aware the speed is very slow, but would that be feasible to improve?
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Unread 26-05-2017, 12:54   #2
Inniskeen
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Tens of millions have been spent on this line on new track, bridges, fencing, level crossing and vegetation control.

Zero effort has been made to leverage any benefit in terms of more frequent or more relevant services. The existing timetable serves primarily those travelling to/from Dublin and somewhat accidentally shoppers heading into Waterford for five hours or so shopping.

Every excuse under the sun is used to avoid catering for special events be it Spraoi, Winterval or Sporting. Irish Rail regard the line as a nuisance and treat it accordingly.

Ironically this is one of the few lines in the country where the railway could easily compete on journey time with other modes.
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Unread 26-05-2017, 21:44   #3
Thomas Morelli
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Quote:
Ironically this is one of the few lines in the country where the railway could easily compete on journey time with other modes.
I agree. I was thinking the same thing when I looked at the journey time by road according to google maps.
What is the most effective thing that could be done to improve journey times so the line would be competitive with other modes of transport?
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Unread 26-05-2017, 22:18   #4
Jamie2k9
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Quote:
Every excuse under the sun is used to avoid catering for special events be it Spraoi, Winterval or Sporting. Irish Rail regard the line as a nuisance and treat it accordingly.
They did run Winterval specials maybe 3 years ago, not sure how loading were but they were well advertised so if they failed to attract enough people then it's hard to justify it.

Surly it's the NTA who need to fund extra services, then again they should be ensuring the current schedules are operated fully but reliability has been poor this year due to crew shortage but it has improved lately.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 26-05-2017 at 22:21.
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Unread 08-07-2017, 14:35   #5
Thomas Morelli
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Has this idea ever been suggested?

Tipperary County Council strongly oppose the closure of this line, and they also strongly support upgrading the N24 Waterford to Limerick road to motorway status.

If the motorway is built, plenty of infrastructure such as cuttings and embankments will have to be built for it, and the Waterford to Limerick railway could be rebuilt on this infrastructure as well, and it could return to the original alignment briefly for the four sections where it goes through towns.

Building the motorway infrastructure slightly wider to allow a railway as well would be of minimal additional expense, and the straight level alignment with no level crossings would allow for a very reasonable speed of trains.

The original alignment would then be largely open to use as a cycle track.
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Unread 10-07-2017, 15:54   #6
ACustomer
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Sorry but this proposal is to say the least totally unrealistic. For one thing motorways are built with gradients which are much more severe than railways, and they are often quite curved by railway standards.

It Tipperary CO Council want a motorway to replace the N24, then this would kill off the railway for sure. I suppose the CO Council would lobby for both railway and motorway given that taxpayers elsewhere would largely be the payers.

A serious upgrade of the line would cost a lot less than any motorway proposal, and could result in genuinely competitive journey times, but that would be totally counter to NTA and Dept of Transport thinking.
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Unread 10-07-2017, 18:49   #7
Inniskeen
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The line has been substantially upgraded over the last 10 to 15 years and is now in a far better state than it was when heavy freight traffic and faster passenger trains were operating. It is frankly scandalous that so little effort has been made to capitalise on investments already made. The current situation is a case study in stupidity and paucity of intelligent policy.
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Unread 11-07-2017, 09:36   #8
comcor
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Where I can think that this has been done (e.g. along the A4/A10 in Amsterdam), it's generally been to allow realignment of line in suburban areas. The trains that serve those lines don't go too fast.

The Paris-Brussels TGV line does parallel the A1 motorway for a decent distance, but if you look on a map, it's not just built in the motorway margin. It follows a much straighter line and the motorway often drifts away by as much as 300m.

If we ever considered this in Ireland, using it to rebuild an existing line doesn't seem the way to go. Maybe it could work if the M20 was ever built from Limerick to Charleville, as it would be a commuter line and cut off the Limerick Junction corner on the way to Cork, but that's really the only instance where I could imagine it working.
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Unread 11-07-2017, 10:00   #9
Thomas Morelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comcor View Post
If we ever considered this in Ireland, using it to rebuild an existing line doesn't seem the way to go. Maybe it could work if the M20 was ever built from Limerick to Charleville, as it would be a commuter line and cut off the Limerick Junction corner on the way to Cork, but that's really the only instance where I could imagine it working.
That sounds like something that would work quite well.
It would link Cork, Limerick and Galway directly by rail.
The plans for the M20 are all over the news at the moment.
Do you think the infrastructure of the M20 would allow a reasonable speed by train?
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Unread 11-07-2017, 12:09   #10
comcor
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It's more that you're only looking at 30km, so even if speeds of 100km/h could be acheived, you could get Cork-Limerick below the hour mark.

However, if the Dublin-Cork mainline does ever get to 200km/h, it should be able to get close to that via Limerick Junction (and match it if there was a bit of investment into Limerick Junction to Limerick), so it's questionable as to the benefit there.

It could also allow for commuter services along a Charleville-Croom-Patrickswell-Raheen-Limerick route, but realistically, you may as well run an all stops service from Cork to Limerick and vice versa as the two cities commuter belts come within touching distance of each other (Charleville is arguably in both).
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Unread 12-07-2017, 19:10   #11
Thomas Morelli
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I got the idea from an article on engineersjournal.ie, which was comparing Ireland's transport system with Denmark's. http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2016/...he-right-track

Quote:
The Danish King Frederik V in 1761 had to rely on the expertise of French engineers to design many ‘straight-line’ roads as there was a lack of expertise available within the country. In the 1790s, road design standards were published and included details on cross sections, structure and curvature.
Quote:
Subsequently, roads lost much of their significance in Denmark, with some being converted to railways (those straight lines coming in handy) to further service industry. Rail lines also continued in Ireland, peaking at 3,500km of track in 1920.
Do you think this would work for the Western Rail Corridor between Tuam and Collooney (if it returns) and the M17, considering there are a lot of gradients, sharp turns and level crossings on the line's original alignment?
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