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TEN-T network

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Since it covers several lines, I'll just make a new thread for this. The latest revision of the TEN-T network is going around Europe for approval. Its purpose is to enhance connectivity across Europe, but since Ireland is on an island this doesn't really achieve much for us. The important part is being eligible for funding from Europe: what government would turn down free stuff? Being on the core network (lines in bold - Dublin - Cork and the border) need a top speed of at least 160km/h by 2040 - Cork's already there. No speed requirement is given for the comprehensive network, though the thought of 100mph Nenagh trains is funny. Signalling also has to be converted to Europe's standard, which seems spectacularly pointless to me and a waste of money as there'll never be any trains from the continent, but if ERTMS really does make things significantly more efficient, I'm all ears. Airports with more than 12 million passengers a year (Dublin) need "long-distance rail" connections - in other words, the Dublin Metro won't cut it. Cork is a core airport too, but falls well below the rail connection threshold. As much as I'd like to see one (one foot back in the door to West Cork), how would it even be done? Finally, the expected date for completion is 2030 for the core network and 2050 for the comprenshive network: plenty of road for the can to be kicked!

image.png.5da3d3a0bdbc361e210a5c71f534d899.png  image.png.2b5d64e2d83b058c5fb510ca5e178374.png

Left: 2023 draft, right: 2017 version.

There's seperate maps for passenger and goods services: the only difference is the Foynes Branch and Limerick Junction to Limerick is a core line for goods, along with showing sea ports (Dublin, Cork, Foynes as core, Waterford, Rosslare, Galway as comprehensive) instead of airports. Additions include reinstatement of the South Wexford and Athenry to Claremorris, along with inclusion of the Nenagh Branch and South Tipperary - possibly a sign that they won't get closed. Foynes is currently in progress, and the reinstated Navan line is still there as an aspiration. While several towns were listed in the 2017 map, only four cities are in this year's; they all have to come up with "sustainable urban mobility plans". And of course, a certain political event resulted in the elimination of everything north of the border, leading the Dublin-Belfast line to be unceremoniously cut off.

An improved railway is always a good thing. Let's hope the money comes in.

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This is an interesting one. There is an article in The Echo which talks about a rail link to the port of Cork in the plan. Seeing there is no way in hell that Marino Point will ever become part of the port, it will be interesting as to what happens to Ringaskiddy. It looks like it's increasingly becoming a white elephant as there is no chance of a rail link ever.


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