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Unread 05-05-2012, 22:59   #1
LlewellynJones
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Default Galway-Limerick slow speeds

Took the train from Galway to Limerick today and back, excruciating slow. I was curious why the trains go so slow, as most of the line is straight and level. There were several times when the train was crawling along at 5mph on straight track for no reason. This is a problem throughout the entire network, but Galway to Limerick seems to be the worst, can someone explain to me why this is?
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Unread 07-05-2012, 19:29   #2
doherty jack
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the enginneers wont sign it off ! simple as that
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Unread 07-05-2012, 21:13   #3
LlewellynJones
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the enginneers wont sign it off ! simple as that
But the track can physically sustain trains travelling at whatever the trackspeed is on the other parts of the route?
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Unread 07-05-2012, 23:36   #4
Colm Moore
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But the track can physically sustain trains travelling at whatever the trackspeed is on the other parts of the route?
Not necessarily. While the rails and sleepers may be the same, you also have to factor in horizontal and vertical curvature, ballast/formation, super elevation (camber), level crossings, signals, over-bridge bridge clearance, underbridge design loadings, noise effects, etc. Axel loadings and vehicle design may result in train-specific limits, e.g. 201-class locos often have a lower speed limit than other rail vehicles due to their weight, even though they are capable of the high speed.

The two main factors on this route appear to be curvature and level crossings.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 00:14   #5
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The NRA wouldn't get away with it, would they? If a section of HQDC or motorway was limited to 40mph for no good reason indefinitely somebody would be making a fuss. I bet if IE was separate track and operating the operating side wouldn't be shy about telling passengers it was infrastructure's fault.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 01:24   #6
LlewellynJones
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The NRA wouldn't get away with it, would they? If a section of HQDC or motorway was limited to 40mph for no good reason indefinitely somebody would be making a fuss. I bet if IE was separate track and operating the operating side wouldn't be shy about telling passengers it was infrastructure's fault.
That is precisely the practise that we were told do towards Network Rail when I was a driver for a TOC in the UK. Except many of the schedules in the UK are run so tight and have little or no recovery time in them so a minor speed restriction could result in delays of several minutes for the rest of the journey.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 12:05   #7
Mark Gleeson
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The speed limits are due to numerous level crossings with substandard sighting distances due in part vertical and horizontal curvature. Absolutely no discretion or exemptions are allowed as this is considered a new route.

The line was never built for passenger services and combined with a very boggy foundation has serious restrictions.

The line was reopened on the cheap to keep politicians happy, the consultants report looked at basically a new line from Limerick to Oranmore but came back at 600 million to 1 billion depending on spec/route.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 12:39   #8
LlewellynJones
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The speed limits are due to numerous level crossings with substandard sighting distances due in part vertical and horizontal curvature. Absolutely no discretion or exemptions are allowed as this is considered a new route.

The line was never built for passenger services and combined with a very boggy foundation has serious restrictions.

The line was reopened on the cheap to keep politicians happy, the consultants report looked at basically a new line from Limerick to Oranmore but came back at 600 million to 1 billion depending on spec/route.
So I am assuming there are no plans to bring this line up to a more suitable level? Also if the line was not intended for passenger services, what was it intended for? There are no heavy industries on that line. And to me it seems like the bad shape of the infrastructure will pretty much result in no one taking the whole route to Galway and instead opt for faster bus services.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 13:12   #9
Mark Gleeson
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The line was opened solely to shut up some politicians and local interests who were under the impression the line would be some kind of amazing solution to the west of Ireland's problems. It failed miserably to meet the very low passenger number targets.

The solution chosen by Government was the cheapest possible option to reopen the line, the fanciful 1 billion for a new line were ruled out. All investment proposals for the line where investigated and ALL failed to meet the minimum standard to justify investment, despite this the line was reopened

The line was originally built on the cheap in the Victorian era to transport cattle and sugar beet.

In order to make up the massive operating loss as a result of the line opening the Waterford Rosslare line which carried 3 times more passengers per train than Ennis - Athenry was axed.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 18:50   #10
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the thing about Waterford/rosslare was the population wasnt big enough for starters plus trains were ran at peak commuting times and often ran empty !

i agree little or no promotion was done on it , connections at each end should been better

also the speeds on the line were quite good!
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Unread 08-05-2012, 18:53   #11
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Waterford Rosslare had an average load of 20+ per train, 30-40 minutes faster than car

Ennis - Athenry is currently averaging 7, 30-40 minutes slower than car
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Unread 08-05-2012, 19:14   #12
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ive been on that train more than 10 times isnt alot at stages i was the only person on-board and there was never over 15 when i was on -board.....
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Unread 13-05-2012, 14:26   #13
Mark Gleeson
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Just to prove how crazy up and down, left right the WRC is

http://www.flickr.com/photos/finnyus...57629698779844

http://www.flickr.com/photos/finnyus...7629698779844/

This has a massive impact on sighting distance and train performance and imposes unavoidable speed limits

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 13-05-2012 at 14:29.
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Unread 18-05-2012, 20:37   #14
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For what its worth, I think its time to end the argument about the Ennis-Athenry line, for better or worse the boat on its reopening has long sailed.
Are the few people who use the route now rail users or not and have they no less right to be represented by the RUI.
Its all well and good saying I told u so but the line is open and now the focus must be on getting it to work.

First, there seems to be a fixation in Ireland with line speed vs cars, in my experience people with cars (unless commuting into a city centre) would rather eat their hat then use a train, when visiting friends in Ennis they always offer to drive to Limerick, thinking I'd have to be daft to get the train. I use trains because I have no car but like to move around.
There are in my experience 3 things this or any other line in Ireland needs to boost numbers and attract passengers.
1. More services, people, especially young people like the idea of turning up whenever and getting a train wherever, do you think the DART would carry 10% of its current passngers with only 10% of the services. All routes should have an hourly service, especially now we have railcars.
Connections, If I travel Waterford Limerick I have to wait a long time in Lmk Jctn for a train ???? The Dublin Galway train should connect nicely with the Athenry-Ennis service, they want to stop the Limerick Nenagh service, the last time I was tried to get it my Train from Ennis( the first for two hours) missed it by a matter of minutes. Time trains to arrive at junctions together and leave together. Try to go Cobh- Midleton, it takes over an hour outside peak.
Trains. Commuter sets are not ideal for Waterford Galway, its not as if they need the Density, Train Travel on 2200s or mark 4 is so much more comfartable, couldnt some railcars be modified for "regional work" to have a better set up for this route.

Last edited by ccos : 18-05-2012 at 20:39.
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Unread 18-05-2012, 20:42   #15
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One last point, we are the only Country to my knowledge where the Government subsides express busses running the same route as trains while many large population centres have no bus service to speak of.
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Unread 19-05-2012, 02:32   #16
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technically Expressway is not subsidised. Not directly, at least.
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Unread 15-07-2013, 11:03   #17
Colm Moore
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http://www.irishtimes.com/business/s...line-1.1463500
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Iarnród Éireann Rail has been told to come up with a plan to tackle one of the biggest loss-making train services in the country. The Galway-Limerick route, which reopened in 2010, is continuing to lose passengers, and Minister of State at the Department of Transport Alan Kelly has told Irish Rail to get the service back on track. However, he ruled out closing down the route which was reopened at a cost of more than €106 million.

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Unread 15-07-2013, 16:58   #18
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and Minister of State at the Department of Transport Alan Kelly has told Irish Rail to get the service back on track. However, he ruled out closing down the route which was reopened at a cost of more than €106 million.
One would expect this comment from Alan Kelly with his track record of train services. Just as well Leo V hasn't ruled out a closure if numbers don't increase. Although its very unlikely to close, if IE can/do improve it, it changes nothing as people won't use it.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 02:47   #19
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Bit hypocritical to be firing at Galway-Limerick. Don't remember ever reading about one of those trains turning back because it ran out of customers, as the Nenagh branch (or "LGV Kelly") has done at Birdhill from time to time as I understand.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 09:33   #20
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Bit hypocritical to be firing at Galway-Limerick. Don't remember ever reading about one of those trains turning back because it ran out of customers, as the Nenagh branch (or "LGV Kelly") has done at Birdhill from time to time as I understand.
That's right but this route has the business at the start and the end, just nobody want's to use the middle of the route.
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