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As a passenger reprsentitive organisation Rail Users Ireland recognise that having access to accurate information is key. In the rail industry an in depth knowledge of the engineering, technical and safety issues are key to understanding what is practical and what is not. With a knowledgeable membership including several engineers Rail Users Ireland is well placed to both analyse and propose projects.

From time to time Rail Users Ireland conducts major investigations into key issues such as proposed re-openings, new lines, major service changes and so on. We seek to highlight those proposals which are flawed and to highlight and reward where sense is shown, we propose sensible and practical alternatives where we find projects lacking. Our overriding goal is to educate the passenger and taxpayer, our investigations highlight what government agencies say is often far from the truth.

These reports are available to our members and are distributed in hard copy format to key organisations and people who are the subject of the reports, such as Iarnród Éireann, the Rail Procurement Agency, Department of Transport, County Councils and key business figures.

These reports are produced in conjunction with major campaigns launched by Rail Users Ireland in the quest to get improved rail services for the country as a whole. A detailed summary containing much of the reports key findings as well as background information can be found on the accompanying campaigns section of the website.

Current List of reports

A Technical Briefing The Proposed Dublin Metro is Flawed

March 18th, 2005

Following the publication of the O'Reilly report into the proposed metro Platform 11 commenced an in depth study into the Metro proposals put forward by the RPA. Mindful of the RPA's ability to obscure costs Platform 11 sought to address the real issues, does the metro deliver the transport system Dublin needs now? Does it have the capacity and integration we need to address the chronic transport problems of our capital city? Our primary investigation concentrated on the technical and engineering aspects, hard facts which the RPA could not hide from.

Our investigation has revealed a proposal with little regard of the needs of those who will use it. Obvious interchange locations such as Glasnevin Junction on the Maynooth rail line are ignored. If the people of Dublin expect a world-class efficient, fully integrated, high-capacity Metro system then they are sadly misinformed. What information we discovered during our investigation points to a heavily cut-down Metro with limited capacity, poor integration and limited scope for expansion.

This report had a massive media impact and featured in the Irish Times, Evening Herald, Irish Independent, Fingal Independent, Inside Business North as well as 98FM and Newstalk 106.

Sligo Needs Proper Trains Not a Dublin Suburban Cattle Truck

August 8th, 2005

In December 2005 services between Sligo and Dublin will be increased from 3 to 5 a day. Such an increase in service is much welcomed by Platform 11 but all is not well. Instead of using suitable intercity rolling stock for the 3 hour journey Iarnród Éireann intend to use a suburban train normally to be found on crush loaded commuter services on the Maynooth and Drogheda suburban lines in Dublin. These trains lack even the most basic facilities that a intercity train should have.

Our report shows that perfectly suitable intercity stock is available in the fleet and that Sligo passengers can get both an improved timetable and improved trains at no cost and at no loss to any other service. Following a recent meeting with Iarnród Éireann, our concerns have been rejected and our report ignored. The Sligo line has suffered long enough, promises have been broken and the time is now to stand up and demand a proper service.

Galway City & County, Time for Commuter Rail?

August 23rd, 2005

With extensive development planned for the area east of Galway city the time is now to put a proper alternative to the never ending traffic congestion. Platform 11 has long supported the provision of commuter rail services in Galway particularly between Oranmore and Galway. Backed by the recent McCann report Platform 11's view is that a station should be built at Oranmore and having review development plans for Galway it is clear potential exists for a number of stations between Galway and Oranmore to serve planned developments.

Galway city is in an ideal location for rail services served by rail lines to the north Tuam the south to Gort and Ennis and the east to Athenry making it ideal. Galway is unique in having its station in the very heart of the city centre offering excellent integration with city and regional bus services. Lets get our act together and provide proper public transport for Galway now.

Rails To Navan

September 15th, 2005

Navan, in Co. Meath has boomed, like so many other similar towns in Ireland, due to the strong economy. But with every positive, there is a negative. Navan has paid the price for Dublin's housing crisis. Housing developments have shot up and the population of the town has exploded. Local business's have benefited, property developers have a robust market in which to do business and the town has been transformed in terms of services and facilities. But Navan can't be expected to provide jobs for all of it's citizens. We accept that people will commute to Dublin for work. It's not unreasonable to assume that Navan people have been doing this long before the economic boom and influx of people into the town looking for affordable property.

Our report has discovered the Meath County Council has knowing ignored its own Development Plan and failed together with the NRA to adequately allow for the reopening of the Clonsilla Navan line by not accounting for the railway alignment at Cannistown 2 miles south of Navan in the plans they submitted for the M3 motorway project.

While a recent study backed the opening of 4.7 miles between Clonsilla to Pace beyond Dunboyne, it is of little benefit for Navan residents. It means an 18 mile drive to Pace to access the park and ride facility. However the tollbooth on the M3 is positioned such that commuters must pay the toll to access the Park and Ride facility making it unattractive and in our opinion a farce. This is Meath County Councils vision for rail based public transport in Navan. We have proposed a rail service to Dublin via Drogheda as a short terms solution for only €70 million with Clonsilla Navan as a longer term but required solution.

Submission to the Kildare Route Project Public Inquiry

November 25th, 2005

Platform 11 supports the Kildare Route Project, it is key to the provision of the interconnector tunnel. This project will provide two extra tracks from the Le Fanu Road bridge to Hazelhatch roughly 8 miles allowing the total separation of suburban services from intercity services allowing a significant increase in both suburban and intercity services. Dedicated tracks for intercity and suburban services ensures intercity trains are not held up by slower suburban services.

We note the key to maximise the benefits of the Kildare Route Project (KRP) is the interconnector tunnel and only with this in place will the maximum benefits of the Kildare Route Project be felt. All effort should be made in the provision of the KRP to facilitate its construction both with minimal disruption and also to facilitate its construction in parallel to the KRP. These projects form the core of the rail element of the Transport 21 plan and as such should be given utmost priority.

The Platform 11 submission highlights 6 areas:

  • Access to the works order, plans and EIS
  • Specification of the railway
  • Hazelhatch Straffan Sallins Newbridge Kildare (the bit left out)
  • Crossovers
  • Proposed Service Levels
  • Future Proofing

Our focus is on the provision of a railway to meet the needs of the passenger and also to minimise disruption when things go wrong and during engineering works in the future e.g. interconnector tunnel.

  • Available in in pdf format
  • This report will be available to all after it is placed on the record of the public inquiry in early 2006.

Submission to the Luas Line B1 Public Inquiry

January 17th, 2006

Platform 11 supports the provision of improved public transport services to south east Dublin, however we find the proposal put forward by the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) to be defective, lacking in capacity and not in line with the transport planning strategy of Dublin or the views of the Department of Transport.

Instead of following the existing Harcourt Street alignment a deviation is proposed which involves crossing the M50 twice. The route has many road crossings which will have a significant negative impact on service reliability. A key concern is to ensure the line is metro compatible for a future upgrade inline with government policy.

The Platform 11 submission highlights a number of key areas:

  • Route Selection
  • Platform for Change (PFC)/Planning Context
  • Capacity
  • Metro Upgrade
  • Design Issues
  • Stations/Location of station

Our focus is on the provision of a high quality upgradable solution. Only a metro will provided sufficient capacity.

Submission to the Luas Line C1 Public Inquiry

Febuary 20th, 2006

Platform 11 fully supports the provision of Line C1.

The Platform 11 submission highlights a number of key areas:

  • Route Selection
  • Crowd Control Issues at Point Depot
  • Provision of sufficent ticket vending machines
  • Intergation of Luas service with rail services in Spencer Dock

Last Updated: September 30 2007 10:06:06