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Unread 13-12-2021, 11:27   #1
Mark Gleeson
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Default DART+ Order

First step of the fleet order today

Alstom to provide 19 half length, articulated sets, 13 of which are battery capable for Dublin - Drogheda and 6 for existing DART services.

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Unread 13-12-2021, 22:48   #2
James Shields
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They look good but I have a couple of questions...

The video shows 5 car sets. I thought 8 cars was the maximum for some of the stations on the commuter network. Am I wrong, or will some stations need platform extensions for them to run in pairs?

Am I right in thinking no toilets? I know the current DART cars don't have them, but on longer commuter routes it could be an issue.

Will the automatic wheelchair ramps work in stations with curved platforms, or will those continue to need a staff member with a ramp?

The end coaches seem to only have one set of doors per side. Will that slow down loading/unloading?
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Unread 22-12-2021, 09:03   #3
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The 5-car sets are articulated, which lessens the space between individual carriages, also the carriages are a bit shorter as according to Alsthom the units are 82m long, so two units working in multiple should fit the existing platforms.
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Unread 24-12-2021, 12:41   #4
James Shields
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Thanks!

That makes a lot of sense. As far s I know a 29K set is also approx 80m in length.

I'd quite like to see some full length walk-through sets (presumably 10 cars), which I think would be awesome at peak times. However, they would obviously limit flexibility. Hopefully there will be some longer sets in additional orders.
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Unread 29-12-2021, 12:31   #5
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Has there been any decision on when the expansion of the electrified network will actually start?

The first new trains won't arrive until 2025. If we were to actually start electrification now, we could probably have a fair bit of the network electrified by the time they start arriving.

If we were actually serious about electrification, battery trains seem unnecessary, as having at least one line electrified by 2025 should be quite feasible. For example, if Maynooth electrification started now, to be completed by 2025, the first batch of trains could be concentrated on that line, freeing up diesel railcars for other routes. Other lines could then be worked on for later batches.

Battery trains seem a lot like an excuse to put upgrading the network on the long finger.
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Unread 30-12-2021, 09:13   #6
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James Shields: I agree with you 100%. Electrification of lines incurs substantial up-front costs, but there are big long-term savings. All-electric trains are simpler, more reliable, almost certainly cost less, probably last longer. Also electric trains do not have to lug tons of batteries around with them, and the laws of physics are pretty definite on the consequences of this for energy saving. Finally, batteries need frequent re-charging and the result in terms of turn-around times and therefore fleet utilisation should be obvious.
What's not to like about electrification?
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Unread 30-12-2021, 16:19   #7
berneyarms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Shields View Post
Has there been any decision on when the expansion of the electrified network will actually start?

The first new trains won't arrive until 2025. If we were to actually start electrification now, we could probably have a fair bit of the network electrified by the time they start arriving.

If we were actually serious about electrification, battery trains seem unnecessary, as having at least one line electrified by 2025 should be quite feasible. For example, if Maynooth electrification started now, to be completed by 2025, the first batch of trains could be concentrated on that line, freeing up diesel railcars for other routes. Other lines could then be worked on for later batches.

Battery trains seem a lot like an excuse to put upgrading the network on the long finger.
Like it or not the electrification project have to go through the planning process.

DART+ West will see the railway order application submitted in 2022. After that timings are subject to the planning process, potential judicial reviews, and then final government approval of the business case at that point (the new fiscal controls to avoid the spiralling of costs as per the hospital).

Only at that point can construction commence.
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Unread 31-12-2021, 10:27   #8
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@berneyarms: Ah the good old dysfunctional planning system strikes again. The NTA (and whoever else) should have a portfolio of projects and draft business cases so that when the circumstances are right, the process can start quickly. Final Government approval should follow quickly if there has been proper planning done in advance.

You imply that the Govt business case approval must wait for the planning process and judicial review process to finish. This is surely the wrong sequence.

As for the railway order and formal planning permission, we need a radical re-think: Do we need such a convoluted process when developments are largely within existing railway property? You don't need planning permission to erect new signal posts, but you do need it if you want to erect OHLE. Why?
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Unread 31-12-2021, 19:22   #9
berneyarms
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Originally Posted by ACustomer View Post
@berneyarms: Ah the good old dysfunctional planning system strikes again. The NTA (and whoever else) should have a portfolio of projects and draft business cases so that when the circumstances are right, the process can start quickly. Final Government approval should follow quickly if there has been proper planning done in advance.

You imply that the Govt business case approval must wait for the planning process and judicial review process to finish. This is surely the wrong sequence.

As for the railway order and formal planning permission, we need a radical re-think: Do we need such a convoluted process when developments are largely within existing railway property? You don't need planning permission to erect new signal posts, but you do need it if you want to erect OHLE. Why?
The approval process for capital projects by government has changed following the childrenísí hospital costs spiralling.

The government has to formally approve the business case before planning applications (this has happened for DART+ West) but also again once planning permission is granted in order to ensure that the costs as at that stage (which is when tenders would be agreed) arenít getting out of control.
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Unread 01-01-2022, 21:24   #10
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Originally Posted by berneyarms View Post
The approval process for capital projects by government has changed following the childrenísí hospital costs spiralling.

The government has to formally approve the business case before planning applications (this has happened for DART+ West) but also again once planning permission is granted in order to ensure that the costs as at that stage (which is when tenders would be agreed) arenít getting out of control.
Thanks, for a very interesting response.

Transport project are subjected to huge extra analysis and delay because the health sector has screwed up in its cost control (as they usually do). I am reminded of an earlier rail cost-overrun saga. The mini-CTC project ran into huge cost and technical problems, but was eventually rescued when Irish Rail brought it largely in-house. Also the National Roads Authority eventually brought projects to completion on time and within budget. All of this was because there were some good project managers in place.
It seems to me that endless reviews by external bodies with not so much in the way of project management skills will solve nothing: imagine the delays when the NTA, DoT, Irish Rail and everyone lese have to sign off on everything and every change gets endless reviewed ....
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