Rail Users Ireland Forum

Go Back   Rail Users Ireland Forum > Irish Rail Customer Service Issues > Intercity and Regional > Galway - Limerick - Waterford - Rosslare
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Unread 26-08-2010, 00:34   #21
Colm Moore
Local Liaison Officer
 
Colm Moore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,442
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by corktina View Post
The reality is millions of euro of OUR taxes have been spent building a second rate line. Theres not much you can do to imrove a moribund existing line perhaps but to WASTE it on this project is ridiculous and unforgivable and whats more it will now cost us countless millions in subsidies to keep it going to the detriment of other (perhaps more viable) bits of the system.
Given that the money has been spent aleady, surely we should give it a chance? Better to promote the service and see it try to break even than just give up.
__________________
Colm Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 26-08-2010, 00:45   #22
corktina
Regular Poster
 
corktina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 47
Default

break even? even IE concede it will lose millions per year. Even with an efficent owner it can't thrive given the ham-strung way it is built with the Motorway covering the same route only shorter. It would be cheaper to shut it down and hire the existing passengers taxis!
corktina is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 26-08-2010, 18:09   #23
Ronald Binge
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 112
Default

I've just seen an empty coach running from the Airport to Rosslare at the Port Tunnel.

[parody]This route must be scrapped IMMEDIATELY [/parody]
Ronald Binge is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 26-08-2010, 20:01   #24
Alan French
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 89
Default

Colm Moore is right – the service could break even, provided that we define breaking even as making a net contribution to the system as a whole.

I said that my understanding of the transport market “has lots of implications” (#15). One of them is that the traditional profit/loss account for each line is wildly misleading. For a closure, the relevant figure is not what the line itself is losing, but the saving made to the whole system (and to the whole country) when all effects of the closure are allowed for. Staff redeployed elsewhere, for example, are not a saving. But most importantly, loss of revenue to connecting services is a real loss to the whole system. So the real saving will always be less than the losses shown in an itemised account.

So I am applying the reverse of this logic to re-openings. If the WRC, with an improved timetable and connections, will contribute to the rest of the network more than it loses on operating costs, then the entire argument about being a drain on taxpayers’ money collapses. It is possible, given a few years, that the line may be a net contributor. Then where will all this rhetoric about saving taxpayers’ money be?

Of course, the contribution to the rest of the network is difficult to estimate, and needs to be based on actual experience. But the traditional profit/loss account is not the “next best thing”: it is seriously wide of the mark. Quoting such figures in the media is misleading, and I would even call it fraudulent accounting.

So if you resent tax money going on the WRC, ask yourself this. Of all the dubious spending by Government, why pick on this line (which might yet make a net contribution), and not, for example, the motorway system? In particular, have the same people protested against the Limerick-Galway motorway as an extravagance? There is something strange in the way that railway projects attract more white-elephant type comments than almost any other area of public expenditure. This “presumption of extravagance” needs to be explored further.

Ronald Binge’s parody (#23) hits the nail on the head: it shows how differently people think about railways as against other public services.
Alan French is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 26-08-2010, 20:39   #25
Colm Moore
Local Liaison Officer
 
Colm Moore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,442
Default

That is much how Luas work out their figures "If we add this, how many extra passengers on the system?".
__________________
Colm Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 26-08-2010, 21:17   #26
corktina
Regular Poster
 
corktina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 47
Default

but the reason why this line cannot be a sucess is the way its been built. How exactly do you propose improving the timetable when there are at least two more stations planned? Im sure everyone would have welcomed this line if it had been sensibly built.As it is , its an anachchronism doomed to fail through lack of usage as it did the first time round.
corktina is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 26-08-2010, 22:35   #27
dowlingm
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
dowlingm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,356
Default

Alan French - criticism of the WRC on this forum and others does not come down to "we should build a motorway instead" and you shouldn't imply that the critics here believe that. This is a rail passenger forum, after all. I doubt there's many here who don't think the rail-road funding levels are imbalanced - one of the reasons I think NRA should assume the role of rail infrastructure operator is in part to force them to produce alternatives analyses to new roads in addition to more design and engineering resources as part of a larger organisation.

It comes down to the fact that Clonsilla-Pace is opening now and not last year - Pace-Navan should have been on the way to being done. It comes down to Oranmore, Hansfield, Longpavement and Blarney having no stations, Sixmilebridge no passing loop and Craughwell no passengers. It's about the line being done on the cheap to match the bullsh!t cost estimates coming from West On Track meaning there's a 5mph limit out of Ennis and the sight of an LC underwater at Kiltartan.

If it wasn't for political sleeveens, we would have more track, more stations and more passengers on the rails today - just not north of Ennis, yet.
dowlingm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-08-2010, 14:10   #28
corktina
Regular Poster
 
corktina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 47
Default

Yup. Im a life-long railiac and would love to see trains dashing round everywhere, but not at ANY price. If rail travel is to boom in this part of the world then whats needed is investment in the lines to Dublin. Improve them to give a first-world service and you just might start enticing passengers in from the hinterland. More-of-the-same is not progress
corktina is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 28-08-2010, 20:07   #29
Alan French
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 89
Default

I would distinguish between giving a project a lower priority, and saying that it shouldn’t be done. I’m not saying that the WRC should have been high priority. But now that it’s actually operating, we should do everything to make it work. Besides, there will always be different opinions on priority.

If the case against this line is so clear-cut, then let’s remember how many other lines are or have been in similar circumstances. About 15 or 20 years ago, the Dublin-Sligo line hung in the balance. The track was deteriorating, no money was being invested, and people feared a closure by stealth. The average speed was just over 60km/h, the current value for the WRC. This line might well have been closed as many other lines were, and people would have said, “Pity it closed, but of course, it was losing money and there wasn’t the population. Sligo is a small city by European standards.”

What changed it into one of the most successful lines in the country? The track was re-laid, increasing speeds, but not all that much – at 72km/h it is still one of the slower radial routes. New trains were introduced, but most significantly, the number of trains per day was increased from three, first to five, then to eight, running every two hours on a clock-face basis. Were political sleeveens (Dowlingm, #27) in any way responsible for initiating the turnaround, I wonder? This is why I beg to disagree with Corktina: “There’s not much you can do to improve a moribund existing line” (#18). What I’m advocating on the WRC is a two-hourly service, as well as improved connections and through running.

We have the benefit of hindsight, of course, but I think the big difference between the Sligo line and the WRC is that the former never closed. A line can be closed at the stroke of a pen, and quite soon a terrible inertia sets in, turning public opinion around to the idea that the closure was inevitable.

I take Dowlingm’s point about the line being done “on the cheap”, but this raises a more general issue. A few years ago, when we were Platform 11, there was a lot of talk about “Rolls-Royce” schemes – quality projects where there was always a suspicion that someone had over-designed or over-priced them, to make them less likely to happen. So do you design for high quality from the start, or do you build cheap and improve things later? There are pros and cons on both sides; consequently both methods can be criticised. But starting cheap puts places on the railway map.

I’m not implying that other forum users want more motorways built instead. I mean that road projects don’t get the same scrutiny from public opinion (at least, not on the grounds of cost). Look at it this way – in most public spending, people look for the best service for their locality. It falls to the Department of Finance, and those administering the budget in Government bodies, to decide which things the country can’t afford. So for example, education suffers badly, with prefabs and large classes, but that is driven by Government, not by popular fear of extravagance. As for road-building, people assume it’s all needed, regardless of price. But when it comes to spending on rail projects, suddenly popular opinion puts on its Department-of-Finance hat, and decides what the country definitely can’t afford.

In the consultation on sustainable transport (2008), I mentioned this under the subject of attitudes that need to change. I called it the “presumption of extravagance”. This isn’t a Dublin-versus-country issue either. Some of the worst examples are to do with the Dublin rail and tram projects – including the Navan line, which I would regard as a priority. (See also Events, Happenings and Media > New Luas stops will not open due to downturn > #4 for Ronald Binge’s take on this subject. I’ll let him explain who “teenage economists” are!)

Another statistic: If they had good connections, the Galway-Cork journey would take about 3½ hours, making an average of about 70km/h at existing line speeds. If that’s too slow, so are several other lines.
Alan French is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 28-08-2010, 21:50   #30
corktina
Regular Poster
 
corktina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 47
Default

How would you get 3 1/2 hours? the wrc bit alone takes nearly two! I assume you are advocating a through train to Cork with that timimg and I would doubt you would do Colbert to Kent in an hour and a half.
The Sligo line had two advantages over the WRC..namely it was capable of having the speds increased because it was built as a proper railway when foirst built not a cheap rural line like the WRC when first built.It was therefore straighter(and had no reversal), secondly it leads to Dublin and therefore had a naturally higher usage thasn the WRC would have

Let me ask you, would you prefer money to be spent opening to Tuam or on improving the Galway to Dublin in some way?

To quote someone else, the WRC is a Camel.... a horse designed by ...well not a committte but by ill-informed people in the west who wanted their railway back without a thought as to how that money could be used better.

PS would anyone actually want to take 3 1/2 hours riding from Galway to Cork? I used to travel to Ballina in a truck and could do it in 4!
corktina is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 28-08-2010, 22:25   #31
Colm Moore
Local Liaison Officer
 
Colm Moore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,442
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan French View Post
I take Dowlingm’s point about the line being done “on the cheap”, but this raises a more general issue. A few years ago, when we were Platform 11, there was a lot of talk about “Rolls-Royce” schemes – quality projects where there was always a suspicion that someone had over-designed or over-priced them, to make them less likely to happen. So do you design for high quality from the start, or do you build cheap and improve things later? There are pros and cons on both sides; consequently both methods can be criticised. But starting cheap puts places on the railway map.
One needs to be more careful about what is gold plated and what isn't.

Its important to get the basics right, spend money on them. Be more careful on spending money on shiny things. So declining the use of Mark 2s on the Sligo line because commuter trains were newer / shinier(sp?) or putting stations were very few people live or want to go - at the expense of places where many more people live or want to go - is succumbing to the shiny front end syndrome.
__________________
Colm Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 29-08-2010, 04:58   #32
corktina
Regular Poster
 
corktina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 47
Default

Like putting a station in Craughwell (well in a field outside it) instead of Oranmore you mean.... have to agree there. It amazes me that the stattion wasnt built alongside the level crossing just west of Craughwell on the old N road. I get the feeling it was built where theold station USED to be for no better reason than thats was where it used to be. A station west of the village would be on the mainline and have far more potential.


disclaimer...I'm not 100% sure of my geography here, so feel free to shoot me down.
corktina is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 29-08-2010, 15:18   #33
Colm Moore
Local Liaison Officer
 
Colm Moore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,442
Default

Station is here: http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,550840,719812,5 Level crossing further north.

I imagine its down to they owned the land and they weren't going buying new land.

I was going to say its nearer more of the housing, but every boreen in the area is full of houses.

Operationally, its probably better to have the level crossing slightly away from the level crossing to cut down gate time, but I'll defer to others on that point.

Interchange-wise it is retrograde to have to drag buses off the N6.
__________________
Colm Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:17.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.