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Unread 26-01-2015, 07:55   #1
Mark Gleeson
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Default [article]Irish Rail plan to link Dublin Airport with rest of country

Nothing terribly new here http://www.independent.ie/irish-news...-30936601.html

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RISH Rail is planning a new line to allow intercity trains to travel direct to Dublin airport from Cork, Galway and Belfast.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 08:11   #2
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How are they planning on achieving this without having to do a reversal around Connolly? That would go down really well in the middle of the morning rush-hour.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 09:50   #3
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A stop in Connolly would not be a problem apart from congestion. After all the InterCity trains need to serve some City stations.

Would they also bypass Heuston? Doesn't make sense to enter Heuston and then reverse out again. Or perhaps a train change at Hazelhatch for those that want to go to Heuston?
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Unread 26-01-2015, 10:43   #4
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The whole operation would just take too long to be viable. The Heuston options are to either a double reversal or use the remote platform. But they would still need to cater for the 90% of customers who would want to go to the city centre as opposed to the airport.

The article itself quotes a 3:30 time to get to the airport which would mean that the Heuston to Airport section would be about an hour. It would be far more efficient and quicker to just have the intercity services stop at Adamstown and have an express coach transfer to the airport from there.

The idea of a heavy rail airport link in Dublin makes very little sense. The airport is too close to the city to make it necessary especially when the massively underused port tunnel makes it a 20 minute taxi trip from docklands. I would be highly surprised if Irish Rail could beat a port-tunnel bus run from Connolly even. Then there is the issue that hardly anybody wants to go into the city centre from the airport.

A luas line is an entirely different proposition.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 10:54   #5
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There is a game afoot, Irish Rail appear to have learned how to play the game.

There is no plan to operate Intercity services on the Airport spur if built, just wouldn't work

Plan is for a 15 minute interval DART service from Airport to the southside.

The only way to get the parish pump politicians onside is to try to sell this as some class of country wide project and not a much needed piece of Dublin infrastructure
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Unread 26-01-2015, 11:41   #6
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This really needs the DART Underground to work effectively with DARTs from Heuston to the Airport. Anything else has limited capability; Connolly does not have the space to accommodate more that a few additional InterCity services.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 12:47   #7
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Originally Posted by Kilocharlie View Post
This really needs the DART Underground to work effectively with DARTs from Heuston to the Airport. Anything else has limited capability; Connolly does not have the space to accommodate more that a few additional InterCity services.
Thats part B of the plan, to force the situation with respect to DART underground.

The City Centre signalling upgrade will provide a lot more DART capacity and turnback at Grand Canal and Dun Laoghaire would allow a very good service
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Unread 26-01-2015, 12:55   #8
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Metro North is the only proposal that delivers anything worthwhile to north county Dublin in terms of attracting major new traffic flows onto an entirely new and uncongested high capacity corridor. Metro North will give better access to the city centre, be more frequent and at least as fast as DART. Airport DART only makes sense if it can deliver an attractive journey time and has the potential to operate frequently at peak periods. Given the congestion on the northern line neither is realistic without additional tracks.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 26-01-2015 at 13:02.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 13:08   #9
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If you have 2.8billion under the bed let the minister know. The problem with metro north is the large up front capital cost and that it only benefits a single corridor

Its an impossible sell outside Dublin
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Unread 26-01-2015, 13:27   #10
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Thats part B of the plan, to force the situation with respect to DART underground.

The City Centre signalling upgrade will provide a lot more DART capacity and turnback at Grand Canal and Dun Laoghaire would allow a very good service
Hopefully including trains that run Kildare-GCD incl Drumcondra. That might be nice.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 13:30   #11
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As far as I can remember, the basic costings for Metro north also only provided for three-car trains. This would deliver barely more capacity than a tram line. To me, the tram proposal that was floating around a year or two ago, makes vastly more sense than either Metro North or the spur proposal.

The airport DART strikes me as basically an attempt at a land-grab by Irish Rail for an airport rail service that really only provides for two groups of people - those living in the DART corridor who are already served by Aircoach and business travellers who are already served by taxis through the port tunnel and are unlikely to travel any other way. Bus Eireann are doing an admirable job in terms of delivering airport passengers to basically all of Leinster.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 13:54   #12
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To be fair airport access from the DART corridor is poor to non existent

1. Nothing north of Connolly apart from the rather poor bus from Sutton
2. Southside looks good on paper if you are happy with 1 bus an hour that sits in traffic for ages at peak and charges 10+ euro single

Pretty sure metro north was planning on 90m trains which gave more than double the best a Luas could offer, the maths suggested this was not going to be enough for demand.

EU policy is for heavy rail links to airports, i.e. strong likelihood money will be available. Nothing wrong with having multiple connections

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 26-01-2015 at 13:59.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 15:04   #13
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
To be fair airport access from the DART corridor is poor to non existent

1. Nothing north of Connolly apart from the rather poor bus from Sutton
2. Southside looks good on paper if you are happy with 1 bus an hour that sits in traffic for ages at peak and charges 10+ euro single
the Dublin Bus airport service leaves from Busaras which is directly opposite Connolly. It's both fast (using the tunnel) and reasonably cheap.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 15:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
If you have 2.8billion under the bed let the minister know. The problem with metro north is the large up front capital cost and that it only benefits a single corridor

Its an impossible sell outside Dublin
Metro North opens up an entirely new corridor with a capacity of 12000 pdph and could be expected to carry significantly more than 16 million passengers using the current DART system. It would be idiotic to dismiss it despite the up front capital costs. It is better to get it right than to throw a few hundred million at a hopelessly flawed scheme.

I would love to see both DART and mainline trains in the airport, but only if the proposal is operationally viable and delivers improved service. While
Metro North doesn't integrate well with existing mainline rail services it ticks a lot more boxes than a spur from Clongriffin to the Airport.
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Unread 26-01-2015, 18:49   #15
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With Metro North levels of investment, you could open up 4 or 5 tram corridors with roughly half the capacity each which would resolve the entire city's transport problems far more comprehensively.

It's an impossible sell because the benefits are entirely limited to the 150,000 or so people who live on that corridor - and of those only about 20% would even want to travel into town to work.

DART underground and airport spurs are an easier sell because the entire population of country can see the possibility that they might use it once or twice a year.
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Unread 27-01-2015, 01:22   #16
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A dart spur to the airport clearly makes sense, but it would have to utterly reliable and would mean Darts would have to start earlier and finish later.

I can't see the duration being much different from the bus, but would assume frequency would be at least half-hourly.
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Unread 27-01-2015, 08:32   #17
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I would see the frequency as needing to be at least every 15 minutes. I agree it would need to start a lot earlier than the present DART system - probably early and late enough to allow people to take it to work at the airport.

But my question would be why bother build it at all if it is no better than the present bus arrangement. If it's so we can keep up with those fancy europeans with a shiny impressive railway to the airport, maybe we should think about why. By better I mean, faster, more integrated or more comfortable. There is some argument towards having it to give arriving tourists a good impression of the country but Irish Rail would want to seriously up their game for that to work.

There is a possible argument for integration but that is dubious at best with the present rail network. As it stands a huge number of Bus Éireann buses already go via the airport and an express bus can get you to Connolly or Busaras in 20 minutes through the tunnel. If DART underground ever gets built, then the possibility of Airport - Connolly - Heuston suddenly starts making a lot more sense but if there is no plan for this to happen, the airport spur is a waste of money.

The other problem is that it will be bunging another 4 trains an hour and all the attendant crossing of the existing line onto a corridor where Irish Rail already have massive difficulties maintaining a timetable. While the city centre resignalling project will help with that, there is so much rubbish floating about at trains for Galway, Cork and Limerick running straight to Connolly, that they'll need to be able to put 30 trains an hour over the loop-line bridge.
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Unread 27-01-2015, 19:22   #18
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04:30 has been quoted as start time, every 15 minutes.
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Unread 28-01-2015, 18:08   #19
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Quote:
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04:30 has been quoted as start time, every 15 minutes.
"All change" for Howth and Malahide - presumeably shuttle on the Howth Branch (or convert to LUAS, increase frequency and eliminate the barriers at the four level crossings)

Malahide preumeably keeps peak period DARTs but looses the rest due to capacity constraints !
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Unread 29-01-2015, 16:28   #20
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Here in Toronto we're about to kick off a service between Pearson and Union Station with two stops in between. It was deemed necessary to build two dedicated tracks to get this done. Supposed to operate 19.5 hours a day, 4 times an hour per direction (initially with DMUs)

Instead of extending DART wires over a spur and spreading the DART fleet more thinly, how about insisting that a 3rd Northern Line track be the priority, with airport service being then operated by refitted 2700s with additional luggage space on a semi-express basis (DUB-Howth Jct-Connolly-Pearse-GCD-turnback). A third track would offer the opportunity to increase total capacity rather than crudely carving out some of the existing, creating resistance to/resentment against the airport service.
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