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Unread 22-02-2012, 17:04   #1
dowlingm
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Default Rail Vision 2030: The Future of Rail Transport in Ireland

The latest investment by the Exchequer in the important sector of "rail consultants" can be found here:
http://www.irishrail.ie/cat_news.jsp?i=4482&p=116&n=237

That West on Track were found in the "who we talked to" section and the number of times the "National Spatial Strategy" is namechecked are only two of the depressing features of these documents.
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Unread 22-02-2012, 19:23   #2
Jamie2k9
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Just in relation to the Junction at Kilkenny. Run the current tracks from Dublin and Waterford into Kilkenny. There is room to do it as it was double tracked before. Services could cross there with little delay than there currently is as the train must be at the platform before the other service can use the junction. Train speed would not need to be reduced so early and it could say up to 10 mins. It would only require a few km of new tracks to meed the end of the current one at Plat 2 in Kilkenny which goes out quiet a but before it ends. The points to connect both platforms are there and it would only require one new signal to be installed.

Can't see it costing a huge amount and IE would not publish this on there blog.

The restrictions were not there when the Mark3 were operationg, what makes the ICR so different?

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 22-02-2012 at 19:25.
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Unread 22-02-2012, 21:00   #3
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Longer-term, electrification of key routes including Dublin-Cork and Dublin-Galway, enabling Galway and Cork to Dublin Airport rail services via Dublin city and DART Underground

No expert on electric rail but Dart at the moment would use 1.5kv and the underground would be less than 10kv. Wouldn't an intercity electric be over 15kv?
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Unread 22-02-2012, 22:07   #4
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Destructix - IE have a bit more scope to decide what voltage they want. Over here where commuter lines run on freight owned lines partially or completely, the word appears to be that the freight companies said "25kV AC catenary or not at all" - the problem being that the higher you push the voltage the lower the power draw which helps with substation spacing but it has the downside of needing heavier on-train transformers and also needs larger clearances from neighbouring structures.

In theory I suppose you could run intercity on 1.5kV DC but I'd say it's more likely that the train would be dual voltage with the ability to switch to 3kV DC or even 25kV AC outside the areas currently or likely to be served by DART.

Of course, the ideal would have been if IE had bought a bunch of SNCF B81500 or 82500s for outer suburban work rather than doubling down on the 22000s and trusting Rotem to keep making them the same way - then you could have had a Rosslare service coming into Greystones and raising its pantograph for an electric mode ride through to Malahide and back to diesel mode for a run out to Dundalk, with the same train kept on route even if the electric network expanded or contracted (for example a gradual electrification towards Maynooth). But what can one expect when the clowns can't even factory fit selective door opening and thus forced to keep six car 22K trains off the Wicklow line?
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Unread 22-02-2012, 22:21   #5
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IE plan to use 25kV AC

Its 15 years ahead before a decision will need to be made on this phase
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Unread 22-02-2012, 23:07   #6
dowlingm
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
IE plan to use 25kV AC

Its 15 years ahead before a decision will need to be made on this phase
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Unread 23-02-2012, 03:20   #7
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Default Regional rail plan to boost speeds and frequency

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...312243834.html
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Regional rail plan to boost speeds and frequency
TIM O'BRIEN

IMPROVEMENTS TO the speed, frequency and quality of regional rail services ultimately leading to the electrification of the inter-city service, were among development targets announced by Iarnród Éireann yesterday.

Launching its revised development strategy, Rail Vision 2030, Iarnród Éireann acknowledged development will be effectively mothballed until 2016. But chief executive Dick Fern told a seminar in Dublin that a post-2016 round of capital investment was needed to allow the network to compete with new motorways.

He said investment in track renewal was necessary to give journey time improvements of up to 30 minutes on key inter-city routes, including Dublin to Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Galway, Mayo and Waterford, resulting in journey times of two hours from Dublin to Cork; one hour 45 minutes Dublin to Galway, and under two hours for other major cities.

Based on a study from consultants Aecom/Goodbody, the strategy targets investment in speed, capacity and ultimately electrification on regional and inter-city routes, which have been found to be losing out to road traffic.

A number of improvements for the greater Dublin area are also proposed including a large park and ride facility at Fonthill/Clondalkin linking by bus to Dublin airport – followed later by a rail link – as well as Dart underground and electrification of the suburban services.

The study found the best performing route for Iarnród Éireann is the Dublin to Cork line, accounting for more than 35 per cent of total rail passengers. It also competed strongly with road usage.

However, other lines did not fare so well, such as the Dublin to Galway and Dublin to Belfast lines, where slow travel times were experienced compared to the motorway. Strong demand from commuter traffic to Dublin from as far out as Dundalk and Ballinasloe was experienced on these lines.

The strategy recommends doubling the existing single line track between Portarlington and Athlone but an alternative route via Mullingar and Athlone was ruled out on cost. The strategy proposes investment in Limerick Junction station.

The study also found the Dublin to Waterford line fell “significantly short of potential demand, while traffic on the Sligo route has responded well to improvements to frequency and rolling stock quality in recent years. Passenger numbers on the Westport and Ballina lines were “relatively strong” and compared reasonably well with road traffic.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar welcomed the study but remarked that much of the projected demand for the greater Dublin area was based on forecasts of significant growth. “Between the 1950s and the 1980s no growth in jobs happened,” he said. He was not predicting stagnation over the next three decades, but forecasts for growth dating from 2006 were “probably overstated”.
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Unread 23-02-2012, 03:26   #8
dowlingm
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The most novel idea in the whole thing was a flippin' bus link to the airport - and that would have involved stopping 100mph services in the middle of the KRP.

You bring in consultants for two reasons - confirm existing assumptions or win an internal conflict. I'm betting on the first.
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Unread 23-02-2012, 13:21   #9
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A few remarks
  • It suggests putting off electrification as it would require replacement of exisiting stock, but does this apply on the Dublin-Cork line where only locomotives would need replacing and those locomotives are getting on a bit anyway
  • It strikes me that the section on reopening is a bit of a fiddle. It looks at road connections from Tuam to Athenry rather than Galway, which is the proposed terminus for the route. It also strikes me that the evaluation criteria wouldn't have seen the Midleton line reopen seeing that its individual scores would have been in the region of (90-20-0-20). Plus ignoring the Dublin-Galway factor in Mullingar-Athlone and the Cork-Limerick factor in Charleville-Patrickswell completely undermines those cases.
  • Where in God's name do they get the catchment figures from. The one for the Cork line is lower than the population of Cork. Presumably, Mallow and possibly Thurles should also be included in that catchment.
  • Cork Commuter boardings are predicted to be lower in 2025 than they are today. Really?
  • Why was no consideration given to running Galway services through to Limerick Junction?
  • Why will a Mallow station upgrading improve passenger numbers on the Kerry line? Interchange passengers spend no more than a few minutes there. What could be useful is a track change south of the station to allow Cork-bound and Kerry-bound services to leave simultaneously, but this would be hugely expensive because of the bridge.
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Unread 23-02-2012, 13:30   #10
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Originally Posted by comcor View Post
A few remarks
  • Why will a Mallow station upgrading improve passenger numbers on the Kerry line? Interchange passengers spend no more than a few minutes there. What could be useful is a track change south of the station to allow Cork-bound and Kerry-bound services to leave simultaneously, but this would be hugely expensive because of the bridge.
Cork-bound and Kerry-bound trains can leave at the same time, if the Cork-bound train is on platform 1 and the Kerry-bound train is on either platform 2 or 3.
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Unread 23-02-2012, 18:07   #11
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While they are talking about quick wins, one thing I have often thought would make a lot of sense on the Sligo line as a quick win would be to run 2x3 22K sets as far as Longford or Mullingar and have half of it turn back to Dublin allowing you double the frequency and capacity to Longford although this would be a push on a single line.

The report notes that the loadings on the Sligo line past Longford are extremely low. I would say very few trains run more than 50% full past Mullingar.

Another major omission to me is that there is very little attention paid to the possibility of massive increase in oil prices. Car-based commuting from Mullingar or further has become decreasingly viable over the last five years due to the increase in fuel prices. It is only a matter of time before 2 euro per litre diesel happens and at that point, a car trip from Sligo starts to get less viable than the train. What happens if there is 3 euro diesel? At that point, a billion euro motorway is a white elephant while a similar sum invested in a dual track electrified rail system become a sensible investment. It is more than 50% likely that diesel will cost greater than 3 euro per litre inflation-adjusted by 2030.
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Unread 23-02-2012, 21:19   #12
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It has being suggested on IR facebook page for IC trains between Waterford-Dublin to stop serving Kilkenny and have a shuttle service between Kilkenny-Muine Beag and connect with the trains, it would save 20 mins currently without any investment and improve the level of serivce for Waterford passengers and compete wiith the motorway. It seems to work well between Dublin-Limerick Junction-Limerick.

However I don't think it would go down to well with passengers from Kilkenny? Is there any potential to work it or would IR even consider it?

or could there be somthing like Manulla Junction work at the current junction?

Jamie2k9 suggestion makes a lot of sense and it could save closer to 15 mins than 10.

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Unread 23-02-2012, 21:29   #13
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To be fair Kilkenny is where the bulk traveling from Dublin get off, any form of shuttle would be crazy

Bare in mind its a single track route so it wouldn't really work
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Unread 23-02-2012, 21:35   #14
2200DMU
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Then take the two tracks just after Celbridge going into one. Trains can operate a high speed and no restrictions. What is the need for such heay restrictions at Kilkenny when the exact same thing is happening.
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Unread 23-02-2012, 22:13   #15
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To be fair Kilkenny is where the bulk traveling from Dublin get off, any form of shuttle would be crazy

Bare in mind its a single track route so it wouldn't really work
Limk Junction is where many Cork-Dublin pax go and yet there's not many direct services so it's not the worst of ideas
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Unread 23-02-2012, 23:28   #16
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Just think of the practicalities, a shuttle from Kilkenny would have to arrive Carlow 10 minutes before the train from Waterford thus not delivering any real benefit for a whole pile of hassle

Also say goodbye to potential Waterford - Kilkenny commuting flows
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Unread 24-02-2012, 15:43   #17
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The 07.10 from Waterford only serves Carlow and Athy. The distance saving is only about 6 miles, but saves about 10-13 minutes (and another 6-9 minutes by cutting out the 3 intermediate stops).

Doing it to every service would discommode Kilkenny passengers, thereby reducing the number of passengers on services from Waterford and potentially have scheduling clashes. a real problem would be transferring passengers at Muine Bheag - operations like this work best when you have a central platform (Mallow, Connolly, Limerick Junction, Manulla Junction, many new stations) for quick transfers.

Does Muine Bheag have a bridge and lifts? http://maps.google.ie/maps?q=Bagenal...5.4 4,,2,1.69 and http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,670781,661371,7,3

It would have to be studied carefully to avoid the likes of the problem on the Sligo evening during the peak, where one out of place train can delay 4-5 others.
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Unread 24-02-2012, 17:24   #18
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operations like this work best when you have a central platform (Mallow, Connolly, Limerick Junction, Manulla Junction, many new stations) for quick transfers.
Just like Clonsilla doesn't have now :/
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Unread 24-02-2012, 18:57   #19
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Muine Bheag just has one of the old footbridges for access to/from the far platform.

I guess its replacement is not justified on cost grounds. For disabled access at times when trains cross there, the train requiring access would call at the main platform (even if it customarily serves the far platform).
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Unread 24-02-2012, 21:52   #20
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Originally Posted by karlr42 View Post
Just like Clonsilla doesn't have now :/
Bay platforms will work in one (but not as well), but not both directions.
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Muine Bheag just has one of the old footbridges for access to/from the far platform.
Thanks.

Quote:
For disabled access at times when trains cross there, the train requiring access would call at the main platform (even if it customarily serves the far platform).
The problem would be for transfer passengers, who would all have to use the bridge.
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