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Unread 17-07-2009, 06:25   #1
Traincustomer
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Default A Rosslare to Galway (ideally Sligo) vision

It never ceases to amaze me how the stereotypical lines regarding lesser used lines (for want of a better term) are rolled out and the Bord Snip Report is no exception. Most bureaucrats have probably never even travelled on the line. No vision, no analysis, just negativity.

While recognising the need for cost savings and effective practise it is not in order for lines to be closed when they haven't been really given a fair chance in the first instance.

Various excellent posts in this forum have already identified the need for raising line speeds and marketing so I won't repeat this need.

And now to a vision which is both realistic and has potential. Operate a Rosslare (Europort) to Galway through train. Ideally with a 22000 railcar set, but in the interim a commuter set may have to be deployed (I appreciate other lines might have priority for the 22000s and am unsure if these railcars are cleared for all sections of the route?). Such an operation has a myriad of benefits thus:

(a) Through service - much more attractive for passengers and much more likely to entice people. Catering service too.
(b) Optimum use of resources (rolling stock).
(c) Serves numerous roles - integration with ferry at Rosslare, commuter traffic into Waterford, cross-country traffic, traffic between the major centres of Waterford, Limerick and Galway.

In this vision the 22000 would depart from Rosslare Europort as per present timetable (0705) and continue through to Galway to arrive there circa 1230. After a layover of 45 minutes to one hour at Ceannt Station it would depart say at 1320 and assume the existing timetable at Limerick Junction (1546 hrs.). A minimum of dwell time at key stations. For instance four minutes maximum at both Limerick Junction and Limerick (Colbert).

In fact there is scope for the majority if not all Galway to Limerick trains to run through to Waterford, with perhaps a second train in each direction onwards to Rosslare Europort and possibly Wexford.

I know some will say there's not a massive amount of traffic but there is potential to grow traffic on all sections of the line. Starting at the Rosslare end we have the ferry. Ok, not hundreds of people but from my observations a few day in day out. And Rosslare now offers the only overnight connection from Éire to the UK since the abolition of the early-hours train ex Holyhead. Many are tiring of the airlines and the relentless need for doing everything online and all the charges and restrictions. As a nation we took the boat in hard times long ago and it amazes me there is a certain snobbery out there against using it nowadays; granted it doesn't suit all purposes and trips. Secondly is the commuter flow into Waterford from the South Wexford stations - ok, not giant figures but a large catchment area and the rail route (across the Barrow Estuary) offers a much more direct route into Waterford that the circuitous road route. Increase line speed to 60mph or more and rail becomes much more attractive and will be economically sustainable. Under the present set up a Waterford to Galway journey is going to involve three trains - not remotely attractive. With one train and onboard catering and faster point to point timings things will pick up much more.

Our railways need to be given a chance to prosper, some people may have had so many bad experiences on them that they perhaps can't see the potential they have.

Last edited by Traincustomer : 17-07-2009 at 16:14.
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Unread 17-07-2009, 08:34   #2
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Excuse my lack of education on this but would it be possible for a waterford intercity service to continue on its journey from waterford to rosslare without the need of reversing because if it is why not just extend the waterford service to rosslare europort

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Unread 17-07-2009, 09:41   #3
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Excuse my lack of education on this but would it be possible for a waterford intercity service to continue on its journey from waterford to rosslare without the need because if it is why not just extend the waterford service to rosslare europort
NOT A BAD IDEA.

I think Rosslare to Galway would be a good idea but it needs to beat the car if travelling Rosslare to Galway. Not just a Galway service but also Rosslare to Sligo direct service.
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Unread 17-07-2009, 16:10   #4
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Default Some further thoughts

ThomasJ, no not at all, quite the opposite in fact - that would be another perfectly valid way of improving the service. At the moment trains from Heuston arriving in Waterford wouldn't have enough time to run to Rosslare and back but that is something that could be changed I guess. It would be attractive for people to say hop on the train in Athy, Carlow or Kilkenny etc... and have a direct run to Rosslare Strand, Wexford or the Europort.

The reason I suggested going through to Limerick and Galway was because this (Limerick/Limerick Junction) has been the ultimate destination of trains heading west from Rosslare in recent decades (and probably since the line opened?) and will allow the optimum number of through journeys opportunities. On reflection I guess another possibility would be for certain Connolly to Rosslare Europort trains to extend to Waterford.

Interestingly earlier this year whilst in Waterford I noticed the station display showed the 1734 Enniscorthy as being a service to Dublin Connolly which in a manner of speaking it is (bar the change at Enniscorthy).

In this vein I wonder could the bay platform (5) at Waterford be used for the arriving 1505 ex Heuston (arrives Waterford 1740) and the 1734 to Rosslare/Enniscorthy depart a little later (from Platform 4 (main platform)) at say 1745/1750. This would facilitate through journeys to South Wexford locations. Again not hundreds of people but a few day in day out, something worth doing for the sake of just six minutes.

I was trying to estimate (by looking) if the bay platform 5 could fit an Inter City railcar set and think it would.

I fully agree with you KSW - (I didn't mention Sligo - the Bord Snip report must have hit my subconscious!) but Sligo should be the ultimate destination. (I added this to the thread title, hope this is ok with you).

Line speeds really need to be pushed beyond the sedate 40/50mph which no longer has a place on the modern railway to 75mph/80mph and I would say ideally to 100mph. Certainly 75mph between Rosslare Europort and Waterford is ok, bearing in mind distances between stations. I haven't analysed the line in detail but where longer distances occur between stations and on sections where only select trains will serve all stations (the rest being non-stop) we really do need to push the limit too the psychological 100mph.

I realise this represents a sea change in thinking but it is the only way that a decent shift to rail will be achieved.

Last edited by Traincustomer : 17-07-2009 at 16:20. Reason: minor addition and spelling correction
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Unread 18-07-2009, 08:34   #5
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Originally Posted by Cavanrailbus
I know some will say there's not a massive amount of traffic but there is potential to grow traffic on all sections of the line. Starting at the Rosslare end we have the ferry. Ok, not hundreds of people but from my observations a few day in day out. And Rosslare now offers the only overnight connection from Éire to the UK since the abolition of the early-hours train ex Holyhead. Many are tiring of the airlines and the relentless need for doing everything online and all the charges and restrictions. As a nation we took the boat in hard times long ago and it amazes me there is a certain snobbery out there against using it nowadays; granted it doesn't suit all purposes and trips.
The boat was much cheaper than the plane in those days. Unfortunately, unless it's a leisure break, nobody is going to take the boat to UK/France when there's the plane option. The process might be cumbersome, but at least you know it will get you there on the day. Imagine sailing to France in our weather in November? You'd never get there. Most people would rather fly into Paris or London in an hour, rather than hoping the wind speeds are ok for sailing on the day.

As for the trains, it is an outrage, that major towns in this country have no rail service. There should be a line connecting Cork to Derry via Limerick-Galway-Sligo-Donegal.

Sadly, I can't see any major rail development or improvements for another 20 years. What we have now, we hold. If the Western rail corridor is abandoned, it will devastate the West of Ireland. And we in Dublin, think that losing the Metro is an inconvenience?
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Unread 18-07-2009, 18:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSW View Post
Not just a Galway service but also Rosslare to Sligo direct service.
There is one - change at Connolly.

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Originally Posted by on the move View Post
There should be a line connecting Cork to Derry via Limerick-Galway-Sligo-Donegal.
Realise that modern transport works best on a hub basis (look at the airlines). Cork-Dublin-Belfast-Derry has little through traffic, despite a reasonable service level. Cork-Limerick-Galway-Sligo-Donegal on single track, with tighter curves, steeper gradients, etc. won't be able to match speed.

You have to realise that few Cork people go to Derry and vice versa.
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Unread 19-07-2009, 04:55   #7
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Quote:
In this vision the 22000 would depart from Rosslare Europort as per present timetable (0705) and continue through to Galway to arrive there circa 1230.
Maybe we could concentrate for the moment on getting someone from Rosslare to *Ennis* before 1230 (at present 1325).

It would be interesting to see a situation where An Bord Snip's demands (sell expressway, close low performing routes) were met as follows:
  • Sell BE Expressway but tells them they have x months to vacate CIE yards and stations
  • IE acquires buses or subcontracts to bus operators to replace *or supplement* services like Ballina-Manulla, Limerick-Ballybrophy, Rosslare-Waterford and starts forming an integrated-ticket network which actively feeds the rail network
Suddenly we have a vertically integrated CIE again, but with pressure from a strong private operator which demands integration and cost-effective operations.
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Unread 19-07-2009, 09:57   #8
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Maybe we could concentrate for the moment on getting someone from Rosslare to *Ennis* before 1230 (at present 1325).

It would be interesting to see a situation where An Bord Snip's demands (sell expressway, close low performing routes) were met as follows:
  • Sell BE Expressway but tells them they have x months to vacate CIE yards and stations
  • IE acquires buses or subcontracts to bus operators to replace *or supplement* services like Ballina-Manulla, Limerick-Ballybrophy, Rosslare-Waterford and starts forming an integrated-ticket network which actively feeds the rail network
Suddenly we have a vertically integrated CIE again, but with pressure from a strong private operator which demands integration and cost-effective operations.
Yes, interesting points. I would like to see IE operating its own feeder coach services examples being: Galway station/Clifden, Goolds Cross station/ Cashel, Sligo station/Donegal, Midleton/Youghal. But, in the surreal world of CIE/IE this is never going to happen. For the railways to have any future CIE/IE needs to be replaced by a new dynamic organistion but this will not happen with our present crop of worthless politicians.
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Unread 19-07-2009, 12:19   #9
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CIÉ would serve the public infinitely better if its components didn't spend so much time and resources competing with each other. There is absolutely no need for a Bus Éireann service (for example) from Dublin to Cork or Limerick; the Iarnród Éireann services cover both routes admirably well. Price-sensitive customers are accommodated by the new graded pricing (€10/€20/€36 for Cork, €10/€15/€29 for Limerick). Equally, the motivation for the train service from Limerick to Waterford is questionable given Bus Éireann route 55. And then there's Dublin Bus running six routes that run parallel to the DART.
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Unread 19-07-2009, 12:52   #10
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CIÉ would serve the public infinitely better if its components didn't spend so much time and resources competing with each other. There is absolutely no need for a Bus Éireann service (for example) from Dublin to Cork or Limerick; the Iarnród Éireann services cover both routes admirably well. Price-sensitive customers are accommodated by the new graded pricing (€10/€20/€36 for Cork, €10/€15/€29 for Limerick). Equally, the motivation for the train service from Limerick to Waterford is questionable given Bus Éireann route 55. And then there's Dublin Bus running six routes that run parallel to the DART.
Agree with you on the nonsense of BE routes that compete directly with rail services but questioning the Limerick Junction/Waterford line on the same basis is ridiculous. If a bus service is removed it can easily be reintroduced at zero cost but if you close a rail line its reinstatement costs are enormous - a case in point being the Midleton line which was still passed for passenger trains into the late 1980s.
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Unread 19-07-2009, 13:01   #11
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But do people actually use the Limerick Junction to Waterford service?
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Unread 19-07-2009, 13:28   #12
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It has been highlighted here many times that the crucial part of this line is re-orienteering services to serve the Clonmel - Dublin market and not Limerick to Waterford.

Getting bums on seats is the ultimate aim here and the largest town on the route is pretty much ignored despite being rail connected.
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Unread 29-07-2009, 16:48   #13
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Default Low performing routes

There is a need for clarity in defining what CIE's social role actually is at present and a proper process for assessing services. The whole social role of public transport seems to be being conveniently watered down and cast aside altogether at present. Where's the accountability? Many low performing routes could be turned around and patronage increased with innovative marketing.

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Unread 30-07-2009, 16:20   #14
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There is a need for clarity in defining what CIE's social role actually is at present and a proper process for assessing services. The whole social role of public transport seems to be being conveniently watered down and cast aside altogether at present. Where's the accountability? Many low performing routes could be turned around and patronage increased with innovative marketing.
As I understand it, CIÉ have Memorandums of Understanding with the Department of Transport. These are deliberately not contracts - if they were contracts they would need to be tendered. Its suits CIÉ, the DoT and DSFA not to tender or have the associated transparency.
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Unread 23-09-2009, 16:55   #15
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I agree, hopefully the new legislative regime for public transport will be more progressive in this regard.
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Unread 24-09-2009, 16:23   #16
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CIÉ would serve the public infinitely better if its components didn't spend so much time and resources competing with each other. There is absolutely no need for a Bus Éireann service (for example) from Dublin to Cork or Limerick; the Iarnród Éireann services cover both routes admirably well. Price-sensitive customers are accommodated by the new graded pricing (€10/€20/€36 for Cork, €10/€15/€29 for Limerick). Equally, the motivation for the train service from Limerick to Waterford is questionable given Bus Éireann route 55. And then there's Dublin Bus running six routes that run parallel to the DART.
With due respect, that is wrong. The BE services provide a generally better service to INTERMEDIATE points than rail. Try Portlaoise - Cork, Newbridge - Limerick for example. No or limited through rail services, poor connections. Also, what about towns away from the rail network which get their "local" service provided by Express BE services operating commercially (eg Abbyleix, Cashel) - how do you think they would fare is the service was sold off / withdrawn? Do they not matter because they are not on the rail network? For most people, a through coach Abbeyliex - Dublin is far, far better than a bus to a railhead, change, wait, then train to Dublin - a fact that hub and spoke advocates appear to ignore on many occasions.

Relatively few passengers travel by BE through from Dublin - Cork I suspect, but many will make intermediate and overlapping journeys which support the through service. That said, the Gobus service I saw in Dublin the other day (non stop Galway - Dublin) appeared around 60% full on a mid week lunchtime Dublin arrival.
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