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Unread 26-12-2018, 14:32   #1
Mickey H
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Default New Trains

According to the latest issue of the British magazine "Modern Railways" Irish Rail intend to order 41 intermediate cars for 22K units as this has finally been approved by the NTA. They will be delivered over a two year period from March 2021.

From 2023 onwards IR want to start taking delivery of 480 new vehicles:

250 which will work off the overhead and additionally with either battery or diesel power

230 which will be overhead only.

Additionally the article states the 2700 reinstatement has been abandoned (one tender, deemed too expensive) as has the project to re-engine some or all of the 201 locos (no compliant tenders received)
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Unread 27-12-2018, 23:13   #2
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The order for extra cars for strengthening ICR sets makes a lot of sense. However given the cancellation of the 2700 and the 201 loco projects, I would not count the chickens yet.

The intention to order 480 vehicles from 2023 onwards begs a large question: the extent of intended new electrification. Maynooth looks fairly certain and also perhaps Connolly to Hazlehatch. What about the line to Pace? What about the Northern line to Balbriggan, or Drogheda?

More important the sheer numbers of vehicles would imply something much more radical: intercity electrification (probably 25kv, necessitating dual voltage capability).

Given ambitions to go over to electric cars, surely railways are much more amenable to electrification. Do we have any coherent and detailed plans for all of this?
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Unread 28-12-2018, 15:04   #3
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Any truth in the rumour that Irish Rail have secured Class 170 and Class 185 trains from the UK?
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Unread 29-12-2018, 09:49   #4
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The order for 41 cars has not yet been signed. Neither Irish Rail nor the NTA have been willing to give us a statement confirming the status of the program and we have been asking for this going back to late October. Until it is signed and the 30 day pause period that follows is completed and no challenge is made by another manufacturer then we have an order. Irish Rail made the request in 2016...

The DART2 order is still very much at a scoping stage, it is still being discussed internally by Irish Rail. But is envisaged to cover the Maynooth/M3 Parkway service as phase 1 then Balbriggan as phase 2 and so on, with replacement of the 8100 fleet as the last phase. It will be a 1500VDC/25kVAC dual power and may come with a diesel power car unit added in.

There has been some talk of leasing trains however it is unclear if this is practical given the conversion costs as well as the mountain of certification required. I wouldn't call the 2700 program dead, a basic overhaul could be undertaken and this needs only provide 5 years or so life until the first phase of the DART2 units arrive. It would be a lot cheaper and quicker than the lease option.

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 29-12-2018 at 09:51.
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Unread 29-12-2018, 12:48   #5
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Mark, that's interesting. I get the impression that projects get forever tossed around between Irish Rail (and maybe CIE for fixed assets), the NTA, and of course the Department of Transport. A case of too many cooks?

The 26kv/1500v dual-use issue seems to imply long-distance electrification of some routes. The Irish rail system is so small that partial electrification is going to bring problems with relatively small fleets constrained from system-wide use. Have the maintenance and the operational (i.e. inflexibility) costs of this been properly internalised into any investment appraisals? I have my doubts.

The rather pathetic decision-making process revealed by the 2700 saga does not inspire confidence.
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Unread 01-01-2019, 09:43   #6
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I wouldn't entirely rule out basic refurbishment of the 2700s either - surely if heritage groups can maintain and restore much older equipment, Irish Rail could manage to resuscitate the 2700s ?
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