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Unread 26-07-2010, 20:19   #61
Mark Gleeson
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Originally Posted by Munster Express
Waterford-Rosslare rail line in stay of execution
By Dermot Keyes. Published on Friday, July 23rd, 2010 at 10:00 am

Cyril Newsome of the Save The Rail (STR) group, who was unable to join his colleagues in a protest at Waterford Bus Station last Saturday due to the absence of wheelchair access on the Bus Éireann service from Rosslare Harbour to Waterford.

The apparently doomed Waterford to Rosslare railway line has been given a stay of execution, to the delight of the Save The Rail (STR) group which is lobbying for its retention.

The National Transport Authority (NTA), the ultimate arbiter with respect to the line’s future, has yet to adjudicate on Iarnród Éireann’s (IE) application to end the service between the Europort and the city.

On May 21st, IE stated its intention to close the line tomorrow (July 21st) but the NTA’s deliberations means that the line stays open – for now.

“Therefore, the existing rail schedule will continue beyond July 21st until further notice,” reads a statement on the IE website “We will advise customers as soon as further information is available.”

In a letter to CIE Group Secretary Geraldine Finucane, fellow lobbyists Rail Users Ireland (RUI) have re-iterated “in the strongest manner possible” their opposition to the line’s potential closure.

Following a meeting with IE on March 31st, RUI representatives revealed that the rail operator “was unwilling to make any effort to promote or provide through services on the site”.

The linking-up of services from Rosslare to the new Western Rail Corridor via Waterford and Limerick has been mooted by supporters of the line’s retention in recent months. However, it would appear that their suggestions are falling upon deaf IE ears.

Interestingly, UK-based lobby group Rail Future, which is also a member of the European Passenger Federation, has also made a submission to the NTA.

In its contribution, Rail Future has highlighted the importance of the rail/sail option linking South Wales with the south east, a potential holiday making link which IE has paid scant attention to.

In the RUI letter to CIE, spokesperson Mark Gleeson claims that IE has failed to meet standards “as laid down in the contract between IE and the NTA” while also breaching its own customer charter.

Calling for IE’s May 21st notice to be withdrawn, Mr Gleeson states: “The NTA has not given its accent to the proposed withdrawal of service and it is understood that the earliest decision will be September 2010…

“We are not alone in considering taking a legal challenge against this proposed closure. Such a formal legal challenge would result in an indefinite delay to closure.”

Meanwhile, the STR group, which held a protest at Waterford Bus Station on Saturday last, had to travel from Rosslare without one of its members – Cyril Newsome, who uses a wheelchair.
http://www.munster-express.ie/busine...-of-execution/
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Unread 07-08-2010, 19:43   #62
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The plot thickens, now three private operators in the fray showing an interesting in running the route.
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Unread 08-08-2010, 15:31   #63
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im sure several concerns would like a toe in the door of irish rail operations....their sucess would have profound repercussions for IE surely. More power to them!

I was saddened to see the Red Herring of linking Rosslare operations to the WRC.. If a through service were the best option, Cork would be a better option with decent connections to Limerick at the Junction.(BTW you cant have an indefinate delay...tortology...)
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Unread 08-08-2010, 21:23   #64
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It's not a red herring. I've no objection to the idea of through services between Rosslare and Cork (as there were until 1973). But the idea of running through services between Rosslare and Galway comes as a consequence of trying to give each part of this line a decent service - preferably every two hours.

Look at it this way. A train arrives at Limerick Junction from Waterford or Rosslare, and another train of the same type and length arrives from Limerick or Galway. Each feeds passengers into trains going both ways on the Dublin-Cork line. Then each returns where it came from.

But if instead each of these trains were to continue "straight ahead" instead of turning back, it would give an improved service at no extra cost, by eliminating a change for passengers going Waterford-Limerick or beyond. Even if few people want to go from Rosslare to Galway, passengers from Tipperary to Limerick will certainly be more encouraged to travel if there is no change at the Junction.

So it's a consequence of trying to give each part of the line a decent service - that's where we start. Now, if it turns out that there are enough passengers for Cork (or the Kerry direction), then a through run may be justified. This means an extra run by a railcar on the Limerick Junction-Cork section. But we are talking about running several trains per day, so it is possible to send some trains to Cork and others to Galway. Is it mainly the boat trains that you have in mind, or some other time of day?
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Unread 09-08-2010, 06:13   #65
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Its a Red Herring (oh no,this is gettin zooologiogal...) because the WRC is a White Elephant and would not help the case of the Rosslare line to be lumped in with it.
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Unread 09-08-2010, 09:10   #66
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If you linked Rosslare to Cork and you brought the Rosslare-Limerick Junction line up to the standard of the Cork-Dublin line and you only stopped 3 or 4 times (which sort of defeats the purpose of providing service on it), it would still take over three hours. The investment required to get it to that level would be pretty huge as well.

The major diversion means rail could never really compete with the bus.

At least a Rosslare-Waterford-Limerick-Galway service is rougly in a straight line.
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Unread 09-08-2010, 16:11   #67
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but the Limerick to Galway bit is fatally flawed in that it has had a lot of cash invested in it (and surely isnt likely to get more one hopes!) but is slower than the road (by a lot) and dearer than the Bus.(by a lot). I cant see a private operator wanting to take on this bit whereas a reliable and sensible service to and from a Ferry Port served by 2 services to Wales and one to France ( I think ) might have a hope of improvement. It really would make a nice self-contained package for an operator if the Dublin and Waterford services were included (OK if you insist,extended to Limerick Junc to connect to Cork na d Limerick/Galway)
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Unread 09-08-2010, 16:31   #68
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Default Continental ferry routes ex Rosslare

Hi, yes one main route to Cherbourg year-round (served by both Irish Ferries and Celtic Link) plus seasonal route to Roscoff (Irish Ferries).

Last edited by Traincustomer : 09-08-2010 at 16:32. Reason: addition
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Unread 10-08-2010, 19:29   #69
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Originally Posted by corktina View Post
but the Limerick to Galway bit is fatally flawed in that it has had a lot of cash invested in it (and surely isnt likely to get more one hopes!) but is slower than the road (by a lot) and dearer than the Bus.(by a lot).
Well you can either pay a large subsidy to an inefficient operator or a smaller subsidy to an efficient operator.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 20:29   #70
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Well you can either pay a large subsidy to an inefficient operator or a smaller subsidy to an efficient operator.
not sure quite what you mean...presumably you are advocating Bus Eireann over IE? Id wager a private company wqould be more efficent than either.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 23:55   #71
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Originally Posted by corktina View Post
im sure several concerns would like a toe in the door of irish rail operations....their sucess would have profound repercussions for IE surely. More power to them!
bet IE never saw that coming as a result of all this. Did the Departments of Finance and Transport though, that's a more interesting question. Oddly enough, back when we used to debate privatisation nobody ever mentioned this line being a rich pickings. Just takes some outside perspective....
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Unread 11-08-2010, 00:48   #72
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Oddly enough, back when we used to debate privatisation nobody ever mentioned this line being a rich pickings. Just takes some outside perspective....
Can't look too greedy and ask for Dublin-Cork to start off... have to look all philanthropic like
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Unread 11-08-2010, 19:19   #73
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Replying to Comcor and Corktina (#63-67), time will tell.

Some of us have looked hard at the practicalities of providing a decent timetable for every route (see "Timetable consultation"). Any train arriving at Limerick Junction from the Waterford direction would have a connection shortly afterwards to Cork by an existing Dublin-Cork train. When that happens, we will get some idea of how many people actually make that connection. If a reasonable number of passengers do make it (whether internal or cross-channel), then it will be worth providing a through train, regardless of what anyone else has predicted. If the number is small, then the connection will still be there for those who want it. This would still be true if the WRC had never re-opened. Members' views differ on the WRC, and there is no need to knock that service to make a case for a Rosslare-Cork train.

The train journey from Rosslare to Cork is at a disadvantage because of its roundabout route, but that doesn't always mean it is completely doomed to failure. In this case, once a good timetable is in place on the Limerick Junction -Waterford line, we will find out at no extra cost what the demand is like for the Cork direction.

A number of people in these columns seem to have fallen for the idea that once a bus or a car can do a journey more quickly than a train, the that railway is doomed to total failure. Some in the media think that way too.
In fact, all sorts of services that people said wouldn't work, have worked.

A useful statistic would be - if anyone can find it - did the Rosslare-Cork route lose many passengers in 1967 when the trains were diverted via Limerick Junction? It continued to be a through service for a further six years.
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Unread 12-08-2010, 17:34   #74
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Originally Posted by corktina View Post
not sure quite what you mean...presumably you are advocating Bus Eireann over IE? Id wager a private company wqould be more efficent than either.
Not necessarily. BÉ and IÉ provide different services.

However, part of the problem at hand is that the convenience and overall value of a service to the passenger is overlooked in planning that service. So we have Craughwell with 10 services per day, when it might have been better to provide Oranmore with 28 services per day for almost identical costs (the only cost would be the extra fuel and wear & tear in braking and accelerating). It would require the exact same number of trains and staff and the same construction costs. However, fare income would be much more substantial

Likewise, in south Wexford, there are a dozen or so level crossing gate keepers (and all sorts or permanent way staff) who serve a total of 2 trains a day. The marginal cost of providing a much increased service is slight - its just driver and train time.

Now, if Galway-Limerick, Limerick-Limerick Junction, Limerick Junction-Waterford and Waterford-Rosslare Harbour/Wexford services were operated in such a fashion that resources could be used a bit more efficiently, e.g. reducing the lay-over times mid-route, that would be a gain. Offering a more frequent and faster service would be a further gain, increasing fare income. However, Irish Rail don't seem to be capable of these improvements. Other operators do seem to be capable.

If the operation of a route or routes was put out to tender and Irish Rail say they will do it for X and another operator say they will do the same or better service for X-Y, then surely we should go for the other operator. Of course, given that the other operator might have overhead costs spread over a small operation might mitigate against this and they might be more expensive.
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Unread 13-08-2010, 20:50   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan French View Post
Replying to Comcor and Corktina (#63-67), time will tell.

Some of us have looked hard at the practicalities of providing a decent timetable for every route (see "Timetable consultation"). Any train arriving at Limerick Junction from the Waterford direction would have a connection shortly afterwards to Cork by an existing Dublin-Cork train. When that happens, we will get some idea of how many people actually make that connection. If a reasonable number of passengers do make it (whether internal or cross-channel), then it will be worth providing a through train, regardless of what anyone else has predicted. If the number is small, then the connection will still be there for those who want it. This would still be true if the WRC had never re-opened. Members' views differ on the WRC, and there is no need to knock that service to make a case for a Rosslare-Cork train.

The train journey from Rosslare to Cork is at a disadvantage because of its roundabout route, but that doesn't always mean it is completely doomed to failure. In this case, once a good timetable is in place on the Limerick Junction -Waterford line, we will find out at no extra cost what the demand is like for the Cork direction.

A number of people in these columns seem to have fallen for the idea that once a bus or a car can do a journey more quickly than a train, the that railway is doomed to total failure. Some in the media think that way too.
In fact, all sorts of services that people said wouldn't work, have worked.

A useful statistic would be - if anyone can find it - did the Rosslare-Cork route lose many passengers in 1967 when the trains were diverted via Limerick Junction? It continued to be a through service for a further six years.

I didnt knock the WRC to make a case for anything,. I was urging that it was not included with the Rosslare line as a through service, for the reasons stated.
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Unread 15-08-2010, 07:29   #76
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In reply to Alan French.

From memory, the Waterford to Mallow line was a thrice weekly service, running twice daily (Rosslare to Cork Express) in Winter, and Daily in Summer, morning and evening. It was a limited Stop service, stopping only at Waterford, Dungarvan, Lismore, Fermoy. There was a once daily stopping service at all stations.

It was another route that had all the classic "rundown" to closure applied to it, by both the Great Southern and CIE. It did not integrate with the Dublin services at either end, so the connections were inconvenient. No attempt was made to maximise usage.

Also, often forgotten was that the line from Waterford to Dungarvan on to Mallow was festooned with speed restrictions, level crossings, steep gradients, tight curves, despite an effective speed limit of 60mph, for all intensive purposes, average speeds were closer on 25mph end to end. It was the hardest of all the mainlines to operate, and fixed expenditure was always very high. The track was not superelevated either.

If Rosslare to Waterford is to survive, then onward connections are crucial. These seem to have always been badly catered for.
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Unread 16-08-2010, 14:07   #77
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Thanks, Dermo88.

In 1972 I gave a talk to the Engineering Society in Trinity College about train timetables, and I referred to the old line via Dungarvan (closed only 5 years earlier) as a prime example of how a line could fail because of a bad timetable - a point that consultants always failed to notice.

The history of that period shows some parallels with today's issues. The Rosslare-Cork express, as you say, ran three days a week from October to March (approx), because that was when the ships sailed. For the other six months this was increased to six days a week, and in July and August, a second train ran to connect with a second sailing. These trains stopped at the stations you have listed, plus three others. Connections for the Limerick direction were sporadic.

There were several smaller stations; these were served by the 07.15 Rosslare-Cork, which arrived with not much time to spare before it returned about 13.30, serving Waterford at 17.45. So the small stations didn't get a decent day return service to Cork.

So, apart from this one stopping train, all eggs were in one basket - the ferry connections. No attempt was made to develop a Waterford-Cork inter-city service (which could have been done with no extra resources). For ten months of the year, someone living in Dungarvan couldn't make a day return trip to Waterford.

After the closure in 1967, the express trains were diverted via Limerick Junction, still about the same times. One other train per day ran Limerick-Waterford and back. The stopping train survived east of Waterford, to become the present Rosslare-Waterford commuter service.

1973 was a good year for timetable improvements generally. On the Limerick Junction-Waterford section, the service became twice a day, and now it catered much better for internal journeys, while still providing reasonable connections with ships. This what we are aiming to do now. Trains ran to/from Limerick now instead of Cork, but I don't regard this as too serious, because there were connections for Cork, and the journey time was only slightly longer. At least day return trips were now possible to Limerck or Waterford, which was an improvement! For the first year, the Limerick-Waterford trains actually had a basic catering service on those days that they were boat trains.

In 1975 the rot set in, when they cancelled the morning train between Limerick Junction and Waterford for most of the year. Now the 07.10 from Rosslare (which carried commuters and ferry passengers) terminated at Waterford, with no onward connection. The loss of day return opportunities made sure that the remaining trains would now carry less passengers. And so it remained for 28 more years.

So, like today, there were periods when some imagination was used in planning timetables, and periods when none at all was used.
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Unread 07-01-2011, 14:23   #78
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It's not a red herring. I've no objection to the idea of through services between Rosslare and Cork (as there were until 1973). But the idea of running through services between Rosslare and Galway comes as a consequence of trying to give each part of this line a decent service - preferably every two hours.

Look at it this way. A train arrives at Limerick Junction from Waterford or Rosslare, and another train of the same type and length arrives from Limerick or Galway. Each feeds passengers into trains going both ways on the Dublin-Cork line. Then each returns where it came from.

But if instead each of these trains were to continue "straight ahead" instead of turning back, it would give an improved service at no extra cost, by eliminating a change for passengers going Waterford-Limerick or beyond. Even if few people want to go from Rosslare to Galway, passengers from Tipperary to Limerick will certainly be more encouraged to travel if there is no change at the Junction.

So it's a consequence of trying to give each part of the line a decent service - that's where we start. Now, if it turns out that there are enough passengers for Cork (or the Kerry direction), then a through run may be justified. This means an extra run by a railcar on the Limerick Junction-Cork section. But we are talking about running several trains per day, so it is possible to send some trains to Cork and others to Galway. Is it mainly the boat trains that you have in mind, or some other time of day?
Surely, by far and away the most sensible way to restore a decent service-pattern on the Waterford-Rosslare Route would be to extend the existing Dublin-Waterford trains onwards to Rosslare, or Dublin-Rosslare services on to Waterford; extending this to its logical conclusion, trains could run in a big loop Connolly-Rosslare-Waterford-Heuston, even looping between Connolly and Heuston via the Phoenix Park tunnel; I could see IE generating a whole lot more passenger traffic from the same number of railcars and staff (or even less) by doing it this way; also, considering the regular disruptions to the Connolly-Rosslare route due to DART maintenance, an alternative Rosslare Route via Waterford should be a given.
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