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Unread 23-05-2010, 09:59   #21
JamesK
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Assuming that the closure goes ahead and that the proposed replacement bus services are put in place, it will be interesting to see whether at a later date, at least some of the latter are quietly withdrawn.
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Unread 23-05-2010, 12:37   #22
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The only Green party politician who has responded to my letters protesting IE´s announcement
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Ciaran,

I was flabbergasted myself at the thought of the Wexford to Rosslare being axed.

I presume you refer to yesterdays announcement of the closure of the Waterford to Rosslare Harbour rail line.

Ciaran, the Green Party has 2 Ministers at the Cabinet table, neither of them with a Transport brief.

Just think of how much policy you could pass in a committee with those type of numbers.

The tragedy has been happening for many years when the electorate returned, election after election,

some of the most inept politicians this country has ever seen. The Green Party condemned decisions

made by these crooks and since taking office has punched well above their weight bringing some

of the most visionary planning, energy and building legislation this country has ever seen.

I personally have lobbied our own Ministers, Irish Rail and the NTA on the Waterford Line issue.

What have you done ?

Is mise,

Danny Forde
087 6884032
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Unread 24-05-2010, 04:43   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm Moore View Post
The Waterford Bypass may have changed things, with people heading north west and south west (via new bridge) of Waterford city using it. I'm not sure if people in the south east of the city are using it.
I had the same thought, but that improvement for 370 customers should not have required the shutdown of the South Wexford.

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What is needed is for the operating companies to do operations and the NTA to design services.
The NTA has been used by CIE in this matter, and CIE have bypassed them when they did not provide the expedited closure they wanted. If the NTA wants to be relevant into the future they should request that the Minister halt CIE's application under the 1958 Act and return to the NTA process.

The price of the withdrawal of the south Wexford and the transfer of that catchment to BE should be the use of that set for a Waterford inward commuter service either from Clonmel/Carrick-on-Suir (combined population not far short of Ennis/Sixmilebridge) or from Carlow, and sending that 2700 north again thereafter to Carlow to split the 3h20m gap between 0740 and 1100 northbound departures.
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Unread 24-05-2010, 09:03   #24
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Let us be clear here about the process

The board of CIE can close any line they wish if it is not economically viable, basically the entire network

The minister has no power to over rule the board

If any member of the CIE group reduces its service level on any route without first obtaining the authorisation of the NTA is liable to be hit with a significant fine

The public service grant is a block grant and is applied on a network basis, so there is no way of knowing how much is allocated to any one service.


Anyone who has read the closure notice carefully should by now have noticed that it can be legally challenged as it contains several glaring mistakes. Basically the line will remain open beyond July 21st as the notice will have to be reissued.
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Unread 24-05-2010, 15:33   #25
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Does the Minister have the power to instruct NTA to withhold authorisation to terminate?

The fact that the NTA does not consider the fact that it is considering an authorisation to terminate "news" to put on its website is something they should be told to correct, in my view. Certainly more important than "welcoming the opening of Clongriffen"
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Unread 24-05-2010, 15:43   #26
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In this new era of regulation, the minister has no power over the NTA.

The NTA are to there credit holding Irish Rail's little scheme up, I can see this going on for some time.

The NTA has no obligation to consult if a service change is proposed
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Unread 24-05-2010, 16:02   #27
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Thanks for the info for the minister - in fairness regulators should be able to get on with it, just surprising when the pols actually give up power!

As for NTA's obligations re consultations, I'm sure that's true, it's just that it is in my view something they SHOULD do rather than putting up puff pieces about DART stations. Maybe running NTA can be Elderfield's next job once he's done shoeing the banks.
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Unread 24-05-2010, 16:05   #28
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Originally Posted by dowlingm View Post
Thanks for the info for the minister - in fairness regulators should be able to get on with it, just surprising when the pols actually give up power!
No, they are giving up responsibility and hte resulting bad press.
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Unread 24-05-2010, 16:10   #29
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That would be an operational matter for the company.....

The proposed replacement service conflicts with section 3 of the NTA generic contract which applies to IE, BE and DB so they will have to rethink that

The notice issued by CIE to close the line is suspect and may be invalid though not for the reason most people guess at first glance, there are other statutory obligations on CIE. Yes they will be obliged to hand over to us a very large amount of data concerning the passenger breakdown since by law they must.
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Unread 25-05-2010, 16:08   #30
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NTA have just confirmed to me that they are still reviewing Irish Rail's application.
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Unread 28-05-2010, 20:00   #31
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Wow these guys have cabinet seats but rail services get a speech in the seanad

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I note your concerns with regard to the closure of the Rosslare to Waterford Railway.

I equally share your concerns and raised this issue in the Seanad in April.

Please find below an extract from my Seanad Speech which might be of interest to you.

"Keep Rosslare to Waterford Rail Service open - O Brolchain

The western rail corridor has completely exceeded expectations and is an enormous success.
However, no sooner has this service been put in place than the abolition of the service from Rosslare to Waterford has been proposed, which is an absolutely retrograde step. I urge the Ministers to think carefully about this and to consider the possibility of the timing of the service, as opposed to simply stating the service is not working and proposing to get rid of it. One must suit people and travel is all about what people want and about providing a service that is usable by them."

With kind regards,

Niall


Senator Niall O Brolchain
52 Lower Salthill, Galway
Ph Galway: 091-583643
Ph Dublin: 01 6183628
Email: niallob@oireachtas.ie
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Unread 30-05-2010, 14:02   #32
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If I remember right from reading the Transport Acts, the Dáil has the right to overrule a closure. I think they did that with the Loughrea branch when closure was proposed in 1963. I know it closed 12 years later, but it made a difference at the time. If we could get the Greens to vote with the opposition, the closure could be voted out.

I think the closure of four stations between Dublin and Dun Laoghaire in 1960 was delayed because of the legal notice not having the right information, somewhat like what is happening now. All these stations were re-opened over the period 1972-1984.

Some years ago I asked for some legal opinion about closures. I was told that this kind of act tends to give wide powers of discretion. So it's difficult to catch them out on words like "if in the opinion of the Board the service is uneconomical and unlikely to be economical for a reasonable period". But it was suggested that the whole Act could be unconstitutional because it contravenes normal justice by not allowing the principle of audi alteram parte, hear the other side. Have you any ideas on this?

In general, because the damage caused by closures is spread over the economy rather than certain individuals suffering, there have been few cases chalenging the act. But the first question should be, not who can afford to take a case, but whether the case stands. Even a threat of a case could put pressure in the right places.
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Unread 11-06-2010, 04:25   #33
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Default Chamber 'furious' at rail line closure

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...272270339.html
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Chamber 'furious' at rail line closure

The southeast chamber of commerce says it is “furious” that Iarnród Éireann is “apparently” regarding the announced closure of the Rosslare to Waterford line next month “as if it was an irrevocable fact”.

On May 21st, Iarnród Éireann published notices in several news publications announcing July 21st as the closing date for the railway line.

Falling passenger numbers and the end of the sugar beet freight business in 2006 have been highlighted as reasons to close the route, as recommended in the recent McCarthy report.

A spokesman for the chamber has requested a meeting with the chief executive of Iarnród Éireann.
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Unread 11-06-2010, 04:34   #34
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http://www.southeastchambers.ie/page22.html
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Open letter to Iarnrod Eireann from South East Chambers of Commerce

The Irish people (through the government) entrusted the railway system to you to manage on our behalf. Implicit in this trust was the expectation that you would organise and manage this highly valuable part of our national infrastructure in an efficient, professional and effective manner to transport passengers and goods all over Ireland. This obviously means having a rail network reaching out as far as possible all over the land.

You have failed us in many respects. You closed down railway lines with great enthusiasm during the middle of the last century, including the beloved Waterford/Tramore line which was actually showing a profit and the callous closure of which the local people are unforgiving. It was part of our life.

The Rosslare/Waterford line is also part of our life but is of even greater magnitude because of its strategic importance as part of the national rail network connecting all parts to the Europort at Rosslare. Is this to suffer a similar fate? If so, shame on you. Instead of exploiting the asset entrusted to you, you ran it down and practically ignored it. One train each way on weekdays only is not a proper service and even this paltry service was never promoted. We have one of your ads dated twelve years ago dealing with the rail services in County Wexford and it refers only to the Rosslare/Dublin line with never a mention of the Waterford route. The ignoring of this line goes back that far and way beyond.

Then in 2002 you decided you wanted to shut down the Waterford/Limerick Junction line and effectively leaving the large town of Clonmel and all South Tipperary without a railway connection. This was vetoed by government (when Seamus Brennan, RIP was Minister for Transport) and you were rightly sent packing and told to get on with running a rail service to connect the south east with Cork, Limerick, now Galway and many other places. You seem to be doing this with severe reluctance, again with no promotion and no Sunday or public holiday services whatsoever. The inevitable consequences of this lack of enthusiasm are that this part of the line is also lightly used and you have recently cut back the schedule from four round trips on weekdays to three (25% reduction). Is this another part of your covert plans for further closures?

This whole approach makes absolute nonsense at a time when such great strides are being made to modernise the railroad with vast amounts (of taxpayers money) being invested in reopening lines around Dublin, Cork and in the west – lines that you abandoned years ago. Indeed, one of the justifications for reopening the Western Rail Corridor was to connect the north west with the south east, with Rosslare Harbour a particular target as it is the closest port to the European mainland and therefore the main access point by sea to Europe. Trains can only run where there are tracks and there is no sense in opening up tracks in one direction while closing them in another. It is a national system.

We totally reject your proposal to substitute busses. This is not acceptable. Road transport is subject to traffic delays and is therefore less reliable. Rail is the preferred mode of public transport. Look at the great success of the DART and LUAS and you will see how properly managed rail transport attracts a greater volume of passengers than busses. The substitute bus service now proposed requires very little investment which could mean very little by way of commitment and the proposed service could also be contracted after a period. Wear and tear on the roads from a HGV like a bus is immense while the rail lines would be lying idle. Environmentally, the proposals also fly in the face of Ireland’s commitment to the Kyoto protocol to reduce carbon emissions. Greater use of rail should be the objective if we are to go anyway near our objectives as regards reducing carbon emissions. Rail is quite simply more green friendly.

What do we want? Let us explain.

We obviously want an end to this reckless foolishness. Instead, we want you to consult with the public and regional stakeholders (something you have never done in any meaningful way) and design a service with a minimum of three round trips every day. This service will have to connect with the ferries where we are informed there is a growth in foot passengers and also with inter-city trains, e.g. at Waterford. It will have to cater for the needs of the people of south Wexford who traditionally commute to Waterford. It should link the hub town of Wexford (pop. 20,000) with the gateway city of Waterford. It should also link closely with the Waterford/Limerick Junction portion of the line that serves Clonmel, the rest of South Tipperary and from Limerck Junction many other towns and cities.

The infrastructure needs to be upgraded to allow for quicker trains and shorter journeys, so as to compete successfully with road transport.

Management of the undertaking needs to be given to a qualified talented person based in the south east. Management from an ivory tower in Dublin has not worked. What is needed is an effective person who is empowered to develop and sustain the business and ideally we would see this person being recruited from outside the company.

Promotion of the line would involve creativity, e.g. the Rosslare Strand station is 100 yards from the wonderful beach and seaside specials could be run to bring passengers from South Tipperary to the sea for the day, while shopping trains, and theatre trains are just some other initiatives that proper management would undertake. There is no management of this nature at present.

We are serious about this and we will be shortly placing our case before the National Transport Authority and the Minister. We have consulted with the various local authorities and they also are opposed to your reprehensible proposed action.

Needless to say, we would be very happy to meet you to discuss productive ways of making full usage of this very valuable piece of infrastructure. The Chamber of Commerce movement represent the business community of the South East and we are adamant that this vital asset is not just saved from closure but is put to optimum use.

South East Chambers Access Task Force
(info@southeastchambers.ie)
24 May 2010
Quote:
South East Chambers
Press Release
30th April 2010

“Stand Up and Fight” for the South East

Sporting legend Mick Galwey was in New Ross last week to support the launch of Access: South East, a major new initiative by South East Chambers aimed at improving access to vital services and infrastructure for business in the South East Region.

Mick had some sound advice for everyone in the South East: “One thing I have learned from my years on and off the pitch is that you have to work together as a team if you want to win. When everyone on the team is pulling together, anything is possible.”

Access: South East project leader and director of Waterford Chamber, Orm Kenny, explained the background to the initiative: “The South East is a great place to live, work and do business and we have seen some significant investment in the region in recent years. The new M9 will shortly connect Kilkenny, Carlow and Waterford with Dublin, some rail services to and from the region have improved and Waterford Airport is now easily accessible by road for passengers throughout the South East following the completion of the N25 bypass and the Waterford outer ring road. However, there are other areas where the region has been very poorly served: The recent decision by CIE to discontinue rail services between Wexford, Rosslare and Waterford is one current example of the South East being overlooked by decision makers in Dublin. We urgently need to identify and pursue a new set of priorities for Access in the South East and work together as a Region to ensure that all our communities benefit from the right strategic and targeted investment in the years to come.”

The first phase of Access: South East is an online survey managed by Kilkenny based market research firm Market Dynamics, which will be issued on May 11th to every member of every Chamber of Commerce across the South East. Commenting on the survey, Kenny continued: “I am delighted that Fiona Macrae of Market Dynamics has kindly donated her company’s time and expertise to manage the online survey. Their involvement means that people can have absolute confidence in the confidentiality and professionalism with which the survey will be managed.”

Tony Hennebry of Green Biofuels Ireland, said “We are delighted to be part of this important initiative and I would call on all Chamber members in the South East to take part in the survey and show the country that the South East is a force to be reckoned with.” Derek O’Connor of Bam Building Ltd. commented “It is vitally important that we work together as a region so that the South East can fulfil its potential. Bam Building Ltd. is very pleased to support the Access: South East project through which we can all help make this happen.”

South East Chambers is an umbrella organisation representing the business community in the South East and is made up of individual Chambers in Carlow, Clonmel, Dungarvan, Enniscorthy, Gorey, Kilkenny, New Ross, Waterford and Wexford. Eric Barron, Chairman of South East Chambers, commented: “In these challenging times, it has never been more important to promote the development of the highest quality infrastructure throughout our Region so that everyone can get access to key services, customers and suppliers. South East Chambers is calling on every Chamber member in the region to get behind this project, complete the survey, and help ensure that the South East has a strong, united voice that cannot be ignored by central government.”

Ends
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Unread 14-06-2010, 08:55   #35
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As I posted at the outset the line will not be closing as soon as Irish Rail think

The NTA have not made a decision and will not make a decision for some time pending a report commissioned studying the route

The various legal avenues being considered could independent of the NTA add several months before a closure could be legally effected.
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Unread 05-07-2010, 04:25   #36
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Default [Article] Rosslare-Waterford rail service to end

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...274035308.html
Quote:
Rosslare-Waterford rail service to end
MICHAEL PARSONS

IRISH RAIL has announced that it will “suspend” its Rosslare to Waterford service on July 21st. Local people believe it will never actually resume.
The State-owned subsidiary of CIÉ has blamed a steep fall in passenger numbers and said the line is no longer economically viable.

The service has been operating just once daily – in each direction – with no Sunday service.

A morning train departs from Rosslare Europort at 7am and wends through south Co Wexford with stops at the villages of Bridgetown, Wellington Bridge, Ballycullane and Campile before arriving at Waterford’s Plunkett Station at 8.20am. The return journey leaves Waterford at 5.20pm and terminates at 6.35pm.

Passengers about to board the train at Waterford last Thursday evening had mixed views about the line’s closure.

Richard Miskella (74) said “it’s a real pity but if it’s not paying they can’t run a train” and he’d be “happy enough if it’s replaced with a good bus service”.

Barry Kehoe (44) lives in Co Westmeath but was holidaying in his native Wexford and was taking his children, Amy (4) and Oisín (18 months), to Wellington Bridge where they were being collected by car. He had heard about the line’s closure and was embarking on the short journey “for nostalgic reasons”.

As the 100-seat train pulled away from the platform, there were only 17 passengers on board.

According to Irish Rail, the service has “experienced very low patronage for many years” with the train carrying on average “approximately 25 passengers”.

The company also pointed out that the sugar beet freight business, “which sustained the viability of the line”, ceased in 2006 following the demise of sugar manufacturing in Ireland.

The line also suffered from a decline in the number of foot passengers arriving on ferries at Rosslare.

The service cost €4 million a year to operate but generated only about €40,000 from ticket sales. The closure will result in some 30 job losses – among them keepers who operated a network of manned crossings – but there will be “no forced redundancies”. Meanwhile, the company plans to launch a replacement bus service on the route to be operated by Bus Éireann which will terminate at Waterford Institute of Technology – to the advantage of students who had been using the rail service but had then to make their own way to the campus some two miles away.

Irish Rail officials said that new legislation meant that the tracks on the Rosslare-Waterford line “can’t be torn up for at least 10 years” in case there is a change of heart.

The company would also “explore the possibility of establishing a heritage railway on the route with interested parties, which would be of benefit to tourism in the area”.

Officially, the rail service cannot be halted until Irish Rail receives formal approval from the National Transport Authority, a new body established last year by the Minister for Transport with “responsibility for securing the provision of public passenger land transport services”.

A spokeswoman said the authority would make its decision after considering correspondence from interested parties – despite there being “no provision for public consultation under the 2009 Public Transport Act”. The authority is expecting to receive a submission “by July 16th” from the South-East Regional Authority.

This Clonmel-based organisation, which describes itself “as a regional tier of government in Ireland” and “to the forefront in identifying, articulating and addressing the deficiencies, development needs and investment priorities of the region” has hired “a consortium of consultants” including “one from the UK” to prepare its submission. A spokesman said the consultants would be paid €26,000 which represented “good value”.

A request from The Irish Times to discuss the closure of the railway with the Green Party’s Minister of State with special responsibility for sustainable transport was declined. His office said: “Minister Ciarán Cuffe is not available for interview on the issue and he would like to give the following comment: ‘The proposed suspension of services on the Rosslare-Waterford rail line is an operational matter for CIÉ in conjunction with the National Transport Authority’.”

BACK ON TRACK MIDLETON TO CORK REOPENED LAST YEAR: LAST JULY Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey presided over the reopening of the Midleton to Cork railway line which had been closed 46 years earlier.

The restoration of the service, originally launched in the mid- 19th century, cost €75 million and was funded by the Government’s Transport 21 initiative.

The Minister told the assembled guests that “for over a century, Midleton station served the needs of the people of the area” but that “in time, like so many other local stations, it fell victim to economic change and, perhaps also, to what was then our growing national infatuation with the private car”.

However, “our economy began to grow, and we began to appreciate the need for greater public transport, both to improve the competitiveness of Ireland in attracting investment and to protect and preserve our environment”.
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Unread 07-07-2010, 09:41   #37
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Madam, – The decision by Irish Rail to suspend services between Waterford City and Rosslare (“Rosslare-Waterford rail service to end”, Home News, July 5th) comes after the service has been systematically run down over many years.

The cost of running the line was quoted in the article as €4 million a year. I have a letter dated May 19th, 2020, signed by Richard Fearn, chief executive of Irish Rail, stating the cost of running the line is €1.9 million.

The service no longer runs at times that coincide with ferry services, and the timetable does not meet the needs of any potential customers – workers, students, shoppers, or people attending Waterford Regional Hospital for medical services. Nor are there through-services to Limerick or connections with services to Dublin at either Waterford or Rosslare.

We believe that there is huge potential for this railway to provide a much-needed service to the people of south Wexford, and that the way to do this is for Irish Rail to be motivated to transform the way it operates the line so that it meets the needs of the public, and operates at the time when they wish to travel.

A study conducted by Irish Rail and separate independent surveys and interviews throughout south Wexford indicate that an increase from the current single train each way, to three trains would result in a sixfold increase in passenger numbers. The subsidy to provide this service being virtually the same as the much-hyped Western Rail Corridor.

In addition to local needs, the line is also a strategic link between the west of Ireland and Rosslare Ferryport. We believe there is an obvious opportunity to market the line as a tourism resource to bring in visitors from the UK and Europe, and enhance the economic benefits to the south east. – Yours, etc,

TANYA FENELON,
Chair, Save the Railway Group,
Bridgetown South,
Co Wexford.
http://www.irishtimes.com/letters/in...#1224274181657
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Unread 07-07-2010, 10:42   #38
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Needless to say the usual fun and games are afoot in Irish Rail

The revised proposal which Irish Rail studied and rejected as for 3 trains each way. This would result in approx 250 journeys per day. Roughly 70,000 per annum. The Wexford study suggests closer to 300 per day. Both studies appear to ignore the potential if small of ferry traffic which could add 10%

Operating loss would fall from approx 2.4 million to 1.9 million (this the figure from the Fearn-Wexford letter)
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Unread 07-07-2010, 11:23   #39
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Shocking when you consider that phase two of the WRC is projected to carry 65,000 passengers a year(I believe) after a capital investment to rebuild the line, yet a much smaller investment on this existing line would yield similar passenger numbers.
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Unread 07-07-2010, 12:58   #40
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We are working with the crew in Wexford, I wrote part of that letter in fact.

But its the same old story, a poor service generates little business. It will actually save Irish Rail money to run more trains!

Capital outlay of say 15 million would replace all the signalling half a dozen gates automated, the worst of the track replaced and stations cleaned up. This would substantially reduce costs further, easily another 300,000 euro off

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 07-07-2010 at 13:00.
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