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Limerick-Ballybrophy under review

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http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/transport-minister-may-shut-lossmaking-line-that-carries-just-73-passengers-a-day-35216080.html

 

"The review identifies wide disparities in the funding requirement for the various routes on the network. It identifies the subvention requirement per passenger journey on each route, based on the running costs for these routes (excluding the capital investment). It shows, for example, that the subvention for each passenger journey on the Dart is 90c and on Limerick-Ballybrophy is €550." - Government memo

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http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/transport-minister-may-shut-lossmaking-line-that-carries-just-73-passengers-a-day-35216080.html

 

"The review identifies wide disparities in the funding requirement for the various routes on the network. It identifies the subvention requirement per passenger journey on each route, based on the running costs for these routes (excluding the capital investment). It shows, for example, that the subvention for each passenger journey on the Dart is 90c and on Limerick-Ballybrophy is €550." - Government memo

 

It doesn't read well. I didn't realise Limerick/Ballybrophy line re-opened as recently 2012, is that correct? We travelled on it from Heuston to Birdhill last year via change at Ballybrophy. Painfully slow across country. Alas the timing of the motorway network opening and the investment in new ICRs seems to have been unfortunate.

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I didn't realise Limerick/Ballybrophy line re-opened as recently 2012, is that correct?

 

Sounds like someone involved got the wrong end of the stick. I think a new timetable was introduced around that time?

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The reality is that it's low on the financial priority list and has been for decades. Thus, IE are only paying lip service to any sort of service provision. The line is run to suit crewing rosters, not the public. The existing public service on not only the Nenagh branch, but also Limerick - Waterford (and through Galway to Waterford) is useless to the travelling public.

 

Either they lift the never ending speed limits and have proper line speeds and a decent service, or they should put it out of its misery.

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Tis the same the world over. It's so much easier to justify spending vast sums of money of road infrastructure rather than on the railway equivalent.

 

Stephen

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Without knowing the details, one might be forgiven for wondering if investment might have been better spent on track and signalling infrastructure back in 2007-2012 rather than an entire fleet of new rolling stock (i.e. ICRs), when the mk3s could have been operated for another 10 years (i.e. overhauled like UK fleets) and a dozen youngish 201s seem to be rusting away unused in sidings.

 

There is no doubt the new ICRs must have brought operational cost savings due to track rationalisation, reduced man power, turnaround times, reliability, etc, but there was a very substantial capital cost which may or may not earn enough cost savings over time, especially if the track and signalling has a backlog of maintenance and upgrades due.

 

Combine that with our new motorway network, then it does look rather bleak for some rail routes.

Edited by Noel

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Full report (316 pages, but the first 40-odd give you the overall idea) https://www.nationaltransport.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016_Rail_Review_Report_Complete_Online.pdf

 

The report is a lot more optimistic about the future of rail than similar reports in the 70s & 80s and is pro-active in identifying IEs medium term funding requirements.

Proposals to close Nenagh Branch & Limerick Junction-Waterford line seems to have been used as part of CIEs/IEs negotiating strategy to secure government funding for the railways for the best part of 40 years.

It will be interesting to see if the Government implements the more positive recommendations, or the branches are sacrificed to secure some additional funding for the main lines.

The same sort of thing went on in the 70s the Government would cap CIEs subsidy and at the same time refuse fare and rate increases to cover national pay awards and increased fuel and material costs during a periods of rampant inflation.

CIE & IE managers and staff became very skilled at doing more with less until the system started to fall apart in the early 1990s

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Well, rumours of the demise of the Sligo line have been squashed -

 

..by a six-year-old investigative journalist..

 

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Edited by Broithe

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