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Unread 26-03-2010, 21:29   #2
Mark Gleeson
Technical Officer
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Coach C, Seat 33
Posts: 12,651

The reason the WRC is slow is it was never built for passenger services, it was built for freight. Its got too many corners and too many hills to allow a reasonable speed to be maintained. Compare that with Dublin Cork which hasn't a single corner which requires a limit of less than 80mph

The government where given three options

1. Minimum cost option to make safe for passengers circa 40mph
2. Best achieveable within existing route (i.e avoid major civil works) 60mph
3. Build from scratch a new direct and straight line (anything between 400million and 1 billion euro if you go via Shannon)

Option 2 was the chosen option and trains will run at 60mph except where the curves get in the way.

There is no business case for the line and all the reports say that, compare that with Midleton which had a strong case

The stop at Sixmilebridge seems justified, but Craughwell and Ardahan are a waste of money, considering the low speeds and the type of train a stop costs more like 3-4 minutes.

Given Ennis generates 200,000 journeys per annum, a stop is essential, Sixmilebridge is to have a bus to Shannon Airport. Even non stop the train can't win as the rail distance is much further than by road. the stop in Athenry cannot be ommitted as the train must reverse there, a stop in Gort is required to allow for a train passing the other way

The only workable investment would have been a second track from Athenry to Galway (it was two tracks till the early 1900's), add in a few extra stations and run every 30 minutes, very similar to Cork-Cobh would be cheap, effective and most of all be attractive to use
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