Navan of course is already linked to Dublin by rail via Drogheda, while not the shortest route it is available for use today. No one wants to talk about this line, Meath County Council even want to remove it, the line was to be removed under draft plans of recent years. It is possible to quickly and cheaply relay this line to the standards required for passenger operation. There is no need for planning permission to perform this work. We propose that a station with a park and ride facility be provide at Duleek and a new station be built on the outskirts of Navan town, to be called Navan East and the current Navan station be reopened. While planning permission would be required for Duleek and Navan East, the original station in Navan is still in place.
We have even prepared a full morning and evening rush hour timetable which fits into the current timetable. All the excuses of capacity are just a smokescreen. Iarnród Éireann have already admitted to Rail Users Ireland that at least one path we have identified is in fact available into Dublin in the morning rush hour, likewise one of our evening options has no capacity impact at all. We presented this proposal to Iarnród Éireann in October 2005 and our timetable was unchallenged, the capacity is there.
A full sample timetable for both the morning and evening rush hours are available,
These timetables are based on Iarnród Éireann's 2005 timetable, Iarnród Éireann have admitted that our timetable was practical despite for years claiming a shortage of track capacity.
Navan Drogheda €2.25 million/mile for 17 miles total, total €38.75 million. Two stations at €1.5 million each and one station with park and ride facilities at €5.5 million, total €8.5 million, cost including stations is €47 million or €2.78m/mile. We base our figures on other reopening projects such as the Midleton line in Cork and the Western Rail Corridor. These are fully realistic figures based on costs Iarnród Éireann have quoted themselves.
This would provide new stations at Navan East adjacent to the link road passing through Ballymacon and Ferganstown and a station at Duleek on the site of the former station with a park and ride facility. The current disused station in Navan would be reopened. Passing loops would be provided at Navan and Duleek. Automatic level crossings would be required for Navan station, Beauparc and at Factory A in Platin. The entire route would be as is Iarnród Éireann policy controlled from the control centre in Connolly.
Allowing for standard Iarnród Éireann risk and contingency of 15%, €7 million. Giving a total infrastructure cost of €54 million. It must be emphasised that the line will require extensive investment just to maintain current freight services so why not go the bit extra? Owing to the significant development potential in Navan and Duleek with the assistance of Meath County Council a section 49-development contribution scheme could be used to cover the costs of providing new stations.
Rails Lead To Navan
Looking westward from Duleek towards Navan during a September evening in 2005. The line is straight for miles on end so 75mph+ operation is practical allowing a extremely fast run by suburban standards from Navan to Drogheda.
The bottom line is €54 million and that includes a 15% contingency.
Iarnród Éireann have quoted a figure of €100 million, or €5 million per mile, it is quite interesting how a line open to the heaviest freight trains in the country is quoted at twice the cost of upgrading as that of an almost derelict and abandoned one. It is clear Iarnród Éireann wish to block this proposal by quoting grossly inflated costs. It is very interesting to note Iarnród Éireann's refusal to consider this line is based on cost when in the past they clung to a lack of capacity as a excuse. Rail Users Ireland destroyed the capacity myth by showing that not one but two rush hour services each way was possible.
The Rail Users Ireland report, Rails To Navan is available with full details