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Unread 10-04-2010, 17:58   #81
Cllr Joe Ryan
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Would I be right is assuming that the costs of installing modern automated level crossing systems on the Rosslare Waterford Limerick Junction / Nenagh lines is one of the reasons why the closure plans have been drawn up to save costs?

I know there are numerous level crossings from on the South Wexford line for example. Not to mention the rail line running through the Wexford Town Quays

Would it be possible for Wexford Council / IE to close at least some of these backroads / level crossings or perhaps to contribute towards modernisation / upgrade budgets?

If the rest of the railway network is being bought up to modern safety standards, then a way to resolve this issue would make the future for these lines more viable, & hopefully provide faster & eventually more frequent services for passengers.
Wexford Borough Council have a car park on the Quays for day long parking. Access to the car park is charged to WBC at €50K per annum. I know that that figure is accurate as I voted for it in our annual estimates!
It pays for a person to open and shut the gate as the train passes along the Quay. I dare say that it is quite profitable and may well be indicative of other charges levied to statutory bodies such as local authoroities or harbour boards for access. Much of the land along the Quay on the far side of the railtrack actually belongs to Wexford Harbour Commissioners.
BTW excellent turn out at Wexford O'Hanrahan Station for the first of the protests against closure.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 19:38   #82
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For my next RailSail trip I am planning to go via the Stena Line route from Fishguard to Rosslare.

Imagine the noise of my jaw hitting the floor, at the news that the last IE service from Rosslare north is at 1755hrs, when the Stena Line and Irish Ferries ships arrive at 1800hrs and 1845hrs respectively, with no service West at all at that time.

Don't they like each other?
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Unread 10-04-2010, 19:48   #83
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The UK model is based on input from passenger groups, the overall strategic goals and consultants and the rail regulator which sets a set of franchise requirements in terms of what must be provided

Failure to meet those standard results in serious trouble and potential loss of franchise, i.e Connex and most recently GNER who couldn't meet the financial premium (GNER was a profitable franchise and paid a fixed sum per annum to the UK exchequer). Despite these restrictions, any company which can exceed the baseline is free to do so, e.g Chiltern
GNER and that poisoned chalice (otherwise known as the UK's flagship railway line/franchise) isn't a good example, as the company that won the franchise after GNER also defaulted. That was National Express East Coast. So now the flagship railway line is back in "public hands" for a year or two. An example that the UK system is by no means perfect, and in fact some here look longingly at IE's integration.

A better example, and a network that more closely mirrors IE is First ScotRail. Some prime routes : Glasgow to Aberdeen, Glasgow to Edinburgh, Edinburgh to Aberdeeen etc. An extensive Suburban rail network, and some basket case lines such as Inverness Wick which are well patronised but loss making. Services are stipulated by the Scottish government, and First are paid an amount to run them, with heavy penalties for failure. The Scottish parliament, infuriated by the numerous logo changes, paint jobs and marketing activity initiated by each franchise winner also developed a ScotRail logo - to be used WHOEVER wins the franchise next time.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 19:51   #84
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The morning arrivals have connections to Dublin and Waterford

Irish Ferries arrives 6:45 which connects with the 7:50 to Dublin
Stena arrives 6:15 which connects with the 7:00 to Waterford and 7:50 to Dublin

The evening Waterford - Rosslare service arrives with plently of time for the evening departures

There is no evening connection from Dublin, the 18:30 from Connolly has departed at 18:30-18:35 since at least the 1970's and arrives in Rosslare earlier now than ever. The lack of connection there is a matter for the ferry companies not IE
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Unread 10-04-2010, 19:58   #85
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Well, there IS a train standing on Rosslare platform as of 1835 - it just doesn't go anywhere. 25 minutes away in Wexford, a train departs north at 1930. If the Waterford train shuttled north to Wexford and back it would also bring passengers arriving on the 1904 into Wexford back to Rosslare Strand - giving Rosslare passengers the option of the 1630 rather than waiting for the 1830. It should be possible to get this done now that the CTC project broke the section between Enniscorthy and Rosslare at Wexford.

Unfortunately IE operations can't figure out a way to make the crewing equations line up, gearing their requirements to the Bus Eireann Rosslare-New Ross-Waterford timetable to get crew back to Waterford.

Meanwhile, once IE has given up for the night, BE manages 1930, 2030, 2330, 0130, 0330, 0530...

Last edited by dowlingm : 10-04-2010 at 20:04.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 20:09   #86
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That option was put to IE last Sept/Oct when the proposed timetable pulled the service. There was a connection at Enniscorthy in place 2008- 2009 and uptake was very very low, some did travel to Wexford but I didn't see anyone with luggage suggesting a ferry trip.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 20:54   #87
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Fair enough, but the CTC resignalling means that the train doesn't have to go as far now to make the connection. If we are saying send the train up line then we are throwing out the crew bus home anyway and thereby the excuse not to delay connection with the incoming Dublin-Waterford. I'm not familiar with the platform layout in Wexford since resignalling so maybe this is less possible than I think.

After Heuston arr from Dublin 1733
departs for Rosslare 1740 (not 1720)
arrives Rosslare Hbr 1850 (not 1835)
departs Rosslare Hbr 1855
arrives Wexford 1920 (drops off passengers for 1930, picks up from 1904)
departs Wexford 1935
arrives Rosslare 2000

Of course, a simpler exercise would be if the "sister company" allowed IE to timetable their 1900 dep for Wexford as an IE bus "codeshare" service, since its 1925 arrival is just before the 1930 departure for Dublin.
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Unread 11-04-2010, 10:36   #88
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The lack of connection there is a matter for the ferry companies not IE
But to miss the last train of the day because of a timetable difference of 5 minutes* doesn't seem to indicate that they want to work together.

*with the caveat that it would take more than five minutes to get from the boat to the train, but I still think even if they can't change the Dublin service due to other pressing demands, Rosslare - Waterford - beyond would be in effect a new service.

So you can get from Waterford to Rosslare for the morning service... but not on the way back.

I know that Rail and Sail isn't a money spinner, but if IE say that the train Limerick to Rosslare line is used by less than 25 people a day, can't they look at how to grow that?

And isn't "a matter for the ferry companies" the reason why the service is in decline? "If they wont change, we won't change" style thinking?
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Unread 11-04-2010, 11:02   #89
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You can get from Waterford to Rosslare for the evening ferries departure and similarly you can get a connection from the ferry in the morning

Evening ferries are 20:45 and 21:15, evening train from Waterford leaves 17:20 arrives 18:35 a little early but still a reasonable connection. Obviously there is sense in putting the departure time in Waterford to 17:40.

The fact is there has always been a 18:30 departure from Dublin it has always arrived Rosslare about 21:30 Its been like that for 30+ years yet the ferry companies set a timetable to depart before it arrives. If the 18:30 left earlier it would leave 100+ commuters without a way home to Wicklow, Arklow etc and that is daily repeat business which is what is extremely important to maintain.

You can't have the 18:30 leave earlier, it already leaves Dublin too early to start with. Anyone near Dublin will travel via Dun Laoghaire or Dublin Port which have more services and shorter crossings (Rosslare's fast craft is on DL - Holyhead till the Summer)

Anyone I know who has used the rail/sail option leaves in the evening, travels overnight and arrives the following morning, which is 100% possible in both directions if you start from Waterford or from the UK side to Waterford.

We need to focus on positives here the fact is the connections are there to the south Wexford line and with only a single train a day it does quite well in integration terms
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Unread 13-04-2010, 08:27   #90
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The official view about ferry connections has always been that numbers of foot passengers have declined so much that it’s not practical to provide trains for them. I don’t believe this. Any time I travel on a ferry, there are plenty of foot passengers. I reckon that IE has just ignored the market. They will need to be pro-active in co-operating with the ferry companies and British rail companies.

But how can we substantiate this? Has anyone any hard evidence to use in the debate? To me, the most obvious point is the large number of successful introductions of trains on other lines, where previously they had argued that there was no demand for them.

Turning to timetable improvements in general on this line, I would certainly be in favour of a train every two hours between Galway and Waterford, without changes. I’m not quite sure whether all of them could continue to Rosslare. Planning a timetable for boat trains has its own complications. I don’t mean it can’t be done – but it might not fit easily into a regular two-hourly pattern. But perhaps if a two-hourly service would mean that if ships are late, or their timetables change, there will always be some connection, even if not immediately. The Stena ferries, however, should have proper connections, since they are rail connected at the Fishguard end.

Another idea for improving local traffic would be to pick one or two stations in South Wexford – perhaps Campile and Wellington Bridge – and make them park-and-ride stations for those who want to go to Waterford, but not for the whole day. All new daytime trains would stop here.

Sometimes I like to work out timetables to see what can be done. I have looked at this line and it’s difficult! Some of you are good at this – are you interested in my ideas? Or are timetable compilers two a penny?
A starting point would be to use the existing Limerick- Limerick Junction service, which is approx. hourly, and extend trains both ways. North of Limerick, this means crossing at Ennis and Athenry, but south of the Junction we run into difficulties. Trains from Waterford and from Limerick would have to arrive at the Junction about 27 minutes past the hour, but not leave till about 50. Not ideal, but this is needed to make connections both ways. A two-hourly pattern becomes virtually impossible, unless we allow every second train to arrive about 35 and miss the connection to Dublin.
So to answer the question “what can IE do now to improve things?” I have improvised a timetable based on extending the existing Galway-Limerick trains. Departures from Waterford would be about 06.45, 08.45 (07.00 from Rosslare), 11.45 and 15.50. Trains from Galway would leave the Junction for Waterford about 09.50, 12.50, and 15.46 (to Rosslare), and then the existing 18.45 would come through from Ennis at 17.15. All this can be done using the same number of trains as at present. Some crossings are at Tipperary, which isn’t ideal. But it means the boat runs all the way to or from Galway. Of course, there would still be delays at Limerick as at present, but at least people can stay on the train.
Adding one more train, based in Limerick, would allow a commuter service to Waterford from the Suir Valley, and whatever number of daytime trains is considered appropriate on the Waterford-Rosslare section. Extending the 06.45 from Galway to run to Rosslare would connect with the Sea Lynx service in the summer.

If a Waterford crew is still to operate the 07.00 from Rosslare, then the positioning runs would still be useful as boat trains, though the 05.45 from Waterford isn’t ideal. The 19.15 Rosslare-Waterford would be the restoration of an old service.

So this is all about IE putting their eggs in several baskets, not just the dodgy one of local commuters. Another possible egg-basket is the connection from Waterford to the east coast. I’m more doubtful about this one, because even with good connections the route is much longer than by road. It would be a matter of running trains to meet the other two requirements, and adjusting them when possible to connect with trains on the Rosslare-Dublin line. Any views on this?

Properly, of course, the aim should be to have at two-hourly clock-face service generally throughout the country. Has anyone tried to work out a pattern that would maximise useful connections? (There would be more than one right answer.) Such a service would need crossing loops every 55-60 minutes’ journey. From this, we could make a list of minimum additional works such as extra crossing loops.

If it’s any encouragement, I think we are better prepared this time round than the protesters of the 1970s were. When the Western Corridor closed originally in 1976, or the Suir Valley line nearly closed in 1977, the objectors hardly mentioned their strongest argument – the bad timetable. They used more vague arguments such as a station giving status to a village, or that they should have the newest trains (then the Mark IIs). This time, everyone has pointed out the poor timetable, and the taxi story was mentioned in a letter to the Irish Times recently.
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Unread 13-04-2010, 09:19   #91
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A starting point would be to use the existing Limerick- Limerick Junction service, which is approx. hourly, and extend trains both ways. North of Limerick, this means crossing at Ennis and Athenry, but south of the Junction we run into difficulties. Trains from Waterford and from Limerick would have to arrive at the Junction about 27 minutes past the hour, but not leave till about 50. Not ideal, but this is needed to make connections both ways. A two-hourly pattern becomes virtually impossible, unless we allow every second train to arrive about 35 and miss the connection to Dublin.
The trick is to build a proper Cork-bound platform* in Limerick Junction with the associated bridge and lifts. Potentially the Cork-bound and Dublin-bound trains pull in at XX:00, five-ten minutes after the arrivals from Limerick and Waterford. Everyone moves to the appropriate train and then they all depart

For those hours when there is no Waterford-bound train, start the Limerick-bound train in Tipperary town.

Personally, I see the minimum of scheduling the Galway-Limerick trains to continue relatively promptly to Limerick Junction as important. It means one connection / layover in a Galway-Cork/Waterford journey instead of two. Doing Cork-Galway typically means sitting around for about 40 minutes waiting for connections and then add for padding.


* Perhaps back to back with a Waterford-bound platform that mirrors the Limerick platform.
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Unread 13-04-2010, 09:59   #92
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There was a Cork-bound platform (marked "Waterford bay" on this map), but it's been covered with rubble.
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Unread 13-04-2010, 10:10   #93
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There was a Cork-bound platform (marked "Waterford bay" on this map), but it's been covered with rubble.
Its quite useless due to its position. I think they've also shortened the "Cork" platform.
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Unread 13-04-2010, 10:44   #94
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Yeah, it's shorter than platform 1. Used to be called platform 3 before they changed it so that the rear of the former platform 2 became platform 3.
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Unread 14-04-2010, 08:40   #95
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Default [Article] Howlin says rail line closure part of 'vendetta'

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...268305849.html
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Howlin says rail line closure part of 'vendetta'
CIARAN MURPHY

WEXFORD TD Brendan Howlin (Labour) has claimed the Government has a vendetta against the southeast region.

Mr Howlin made the remarks following the announcement of the closure of the Waterford-Rosslare rail line by Iarnród Éireann, as recommended in the McCarthy report. A closing date is expected to be announced by the company shortly.

Mr Howlin, who is Leas-Cheann Comhairle in the Dáil, said in a statement that an “admission” by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey in the Sunday Tribune newspaper, that he was to “sacrifice the Waterford to Rosslare link in order to open rail lines elsewhere is the country, is nothing short of scandalous”.

“The notion that rail links in Co Wexford and the southeast, that have existed for decades, are to be plundered to provide services in other parts of the country is absolutely outrageous.

“There is absolutely no doubt that the services on the western rail corridor are badly needed, but that does not mean that communities in other parts of the country should be deprived as a result,” Mr Howlin said.

“The people of Co Wexford and of the southeast in general are now convinced that this Fianna Fáil/Green Government has a vendetta against us,” he added.
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Unread 16-04-2010, 11:30   #96
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Angry Rosslare to Waterford Railway

It is very strange that this line which has survived during the time when railways were unpopular during the mad growth of car ownership. Now when countries around the World are appreciating the value of rail transport and its green credentials that this line should be closing now. The one train each way is a completly inadequate service and hardly going to encourage people to leave their cars at home. A service must be at times when people need it!! Why is it not possible to run a more regular service as a trail to see if there is a public demand as has happened on the Western Corridor Rail line. If the route closed and heaven forbid the track was lifted it would take millions of Euros to reinstate the route. Look how much it has cost to relay the mothballed Ennis to Athenry Railway. (Money well spent however!!) Lets hope for the reopening to Tuam and Claremorris as soon as possible and dare I hope Sligo. How about a Rosslare - Limerick Sothern Rail Corridor. If all else fails how about it (Rosslare to Waterford) becoming a heritage like The North Yorkshire Moors Railway and West Somerset Railway etc, in England. Why is there no major heritage line in Ireland? Look at the number of tourists attracted by these railways especially the historic nature of the Rosslare - Waterford railway. Come on Iarnrod Eireann wake up and smell the coffee!!
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Unread 17-04-2010, 07:47   #97
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Like other contributors to this thread, my view is that in the medium term, the Waterford to Rosslare route should be part of a Galway to Rosslare (or Wexford) service that has convenient connections at each point where a radial route from Dublin is crossed. Unfortunately, it is obvious that this is not going to happen in the short term.

From the point of view of Irish Rail, the main savings that will arise from withdrawing the current service will be under the following headings:
(a) Withdrawal of staff from level crossings
(b) Withdrawal of staff from Wellingtonbridge Station
(c) Taxi fares for crew transfers
(d) Maintenance of track and buildings
Bearing in mind that the line is to remain in situ, there will still be some expenses under (d). In addition, there will be an expense in providing whatever alternative bus service is put in place.

From the point of view of the customer, the main advantage of this route is that it offers very significant time savings: in the evening peak for example, the train from Waterford reaches Campile in 23 minutes as against 65 minutes for the corresponding Bus Eireann service. Travel times by train are also significantly lower than the best that can be achieved by car.

Bearing in mind the time advantage achieved by the train by virtue of using the Barrow bridge and the expenses currently being incurred by Irish Rail in providing this service, I am surprised that no suggestion has emerged to retain train service between Waterford and (say) Campile with a dedicated bus service with through ticketing operating onwards from there including to places of significant size that are not currently served by the railway. Implementing such a proposal would mean ‘mothballing’ the greater part of the route which would achieve a significant proportion of the savings in (a) – (d) above; yet, the significant time savings that customers are currently enjoying would be retained.

It goes without saying that a revised service of the type suggested above should run more frequently than at present and offer convenient connections to/from Dublin at Waterford. It should use railcar sets/crews that are laying over at Waterford between runs to/from Limerick Junction. If such a service was a success, it would in time provide the argument for extending train service back towards Rosslare.

In a nutshell, my view is that while Irish Rail currently finds itself in a situation where money must be saved, it should attempt to do this in such a way that its customers can continue to avail of the major time savings and associated fuel savings and environmental benefits that this route confers. Of course, I agree with the other contributors to this thread who feel that the present situation would probably not have arisen if Irish Rail had made a serious attempt to develop this route by utilising the resource that it represents in a more enlightened way.

Last edited by JamesK : 17-04-2010 at 07:50.
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Unread 17-04-2010, 16:05   #98
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Taxi fares will not be saved - they are using Bus Eireann to ferry crew back to Rosslare. This is why the 1720 ex Waterford can't be deferred as the crew can't secure the train and get to the bus in time, and IE don't seem to be able to persuade "the sister company" (aka the competition) to defer the bus.

I had the same thought re: Campile, given that this is where the diversion is greatest but given the nature of the signalling a cutback to Wellingtonbridge would probably be easier to do and a replacement bus would be able to pick up the R733 (although it means more LCs retained and Taylorstown Viaduct). It would also mean deadheading the train to and from Waterford station in the mornings and evenings as Wellingtonbridge and Campile are hardly likely to be considered places to overnight crew or equipment. That seems like saving only to spend again.

A bus goes through Campile from Duncannon in the mornings 24 minutes before the train arrives and arrives 20 minutes later. I'd love to know what the usage of that is right now.

In fairness, my understanding is that layover crews were used for Limerick Junction section services in the past, but there wasn't uptake - there isn't anything in Limerick Junction. Through services to Limerick is the key that don't involve sitting in Limerick Junction either on the platform or even the same train for half an hour to coordinate with Cork-Dublin.
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Unread 18-04-2010, 13:55   #99
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Surely pressure must be brought to bear on the Green Party. This is their first time in power and they are allowing a railway to close.

The message that must be put is out is a simple one, the Green party are closing railways.

The people who vote for the Greens are the most likely people to be annoyed at railway closures and that should be the target audience in any campaign to save the line, make this not only a question of bums on seats but one of greens on seats. After all, whats the point in voting for a green if they are going to axe passenger rail services.

http://greenparty.ie/en/people

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Unread 19-04-2010, 22:06   #100
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Surely pressure must be brought to bear on the Green Party. This is their first time in power and they are allowing a railway to close.

The message that must be put is out is a simple one, the Green party are closing railways.

The people who vote for the Greens are the most likely people to be annoyed at railway closures and that should be the target audience in any campaign to save the line, make this not only a question of bums on seats but one of greens on seats. After all, whats the point in voting for a green if they are going to axe passenger rail services.

http://greenparty.ie/en/people
they also allowed over one hundred buses to be withdrawn from Dublin - at the same time there are more than one hundred buses worth of cars cloggin up the roads at rush hour. Using imagination + having to do some work is a lot harder then cutting services. Like I said at a recent meeting should this go on the easiest way to achieve amazing savings is to shut down the entire service.
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