Jump to content

Varadkar's plan to close railways

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

He's on RTE radio 1 now, quite a funny response to that "article". Hard to close rural lines, since there are none, and any existing rural lines connect large towns/cities together, so just a bit of pot stirring scaremongering. He also said he loved the romance of the railways, but had to be practical when it's cheaper to drive busses than trains. Rail Unions are still in cloud cuckoo land/2006...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even as railway enthusiasts, I suppose we have to face reality. Nobody on anything like the necessary scale uses Waterford - Limerick, Limerick - Ballybrophy or Ennis - Athenry.

 

We may say all we like, and correctly so, that this is as much due to CIE's wilful neglect of these routes over half a century, but there it is nonetheless. Individual stations like Ballybrophy, Attymon, Woodlawn, or a few others on the DSER, Kerry road, or possibly Thomastown... probably don't warrant stops for the same reasons, and using Varadkarnomics.

 

Collooney.... Dromod..... Mostrim..... The "M3 Parkway" branch.... Docklands..... Hmm...??

 

So watch that space.........??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can't include Docklands in your list because it's on the line of Dart Underground. I think we'll find that Docklands only has a limited life from a planning point of view - it's meant to disappear when DU gets built. However, with the project being deferred, IE might have to do some paperwork...

Stephen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's on RTE radio 1 now, quite a funny response to that "article". Hard to close rural lines, since there are none, and any existing rural lines connect large towns/cities together, so just a bit of pot stirring scaremongering. He also said he loved the romance of the railways, but had to be practical when it's cheaper to drive busses than trains. Rail Unions are still in cloud cuckoo land/2006...

 

Absolutely right. I mean what truly rural lines are there? Smallest towns with terminus stations I can think of are Ballina, which obviously won't get closed because it's a booming freight hub, and Rosslare, which won't get closed as it's a major ferry port.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even as railway enthusiasts, I suppose we have to face reality. Nobody on anything like the necessary scale uses Waterford - Limerick, Limerick - Ballybrophy or Ennis - Athenry.

 

We may say all we like, and correctly so, that this is as much due to CIE's wilful neglect of these routes over half a century, but there it is nonetheless. Individual stations like Ballybrophy, Attymon, Woodlawn, or a few others on the DSER, Kerry road, or possibly Thomastown... probably don't warrant stops for the same reasons, and using Varadkarnomics.

 

Collooney.... Dromod..... Mostrim..... The "M3 Parkway" branch.... Docklands..... Hmm...??

 

So watch that space.........??

 

 

Its a bit of a chicken and egg situation the railways only survived because the Government gave CIE a virtual monopoly on land transport and neither of the two main political parties could afford to discommode the public sector unions.

 

Most of the many reports found that it would cost less to let the railways to run down gradually rather than improving services or complete closure. The more passengers IE carries the greater the loss as none of the services come cover their operating costs.

 

The Irish people have to decide whether they are prepared to pay higher taxes to subsidise rail travellers or breakup CIE open public transport up to competition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Politicians in Ireland are just like those in the UK, giving with one hand and taking away with the other. Irish Railway News carried a piece the other day about the Dublin re-signalling and diverting some Kildare lines suburban trains to Connolly via Phoenix Park tunnel and Glasnevin Junction. Seems like they are both in the foreseeable future.

Now, if that route was included in the electrification programme, we could see the following services:

SW to SE via DART Overground,

SW to Midland and Northern via DART Underground,

Midland to SE via DART Overground, and

Northern to SE via Dart Overground.

Now that's five routes rather than the two proposed with DART Underground. Surely alternate through trains are better than having to change at Pearse between lines.

Stephen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the question once more is- do railways actually make money? Any one know of a clear-cut profit making passenger or freight line that makes money? I assume for example that if you took some thing like the Timber or the IWT freight and added in the actually running costs (labour, fuel, a percentage of line maintenance etc.) then I'm sure they must be loss making too?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Railways do not make money, nor have they for decades, nor will they. They must be seen as a social service, not a corner shop business. That type of reasoning went out of the window ninety years ago. Governments throughout the western world would do well to bear in mind that while a railway will always COST money, not make it, the alternatives will often cost as much, and in a few cases more, both for environmental and other social reasons.

 

So, we play Leo's game and shut the lot. We do indeed have good motorways. They could indeed cope. But Leo isn't taking into account the redundancy and dole payments for several thousand workers, the greater cost of motorway maintenance, the possible greater environmental charges from Europe, and so on etc. Privatise Bus Eireann - same scenario.

 

If all that politicians can see is the stark yes or no: does it make money or not; can you imagine how they might view the gardai, Coastguards, health service, courts, prisons, social services? None of them "make money", Leo. So here's a way to get us all out of the recession and rid us of costs. Let's abolish the defence forces and gardai to start with. Then, we close all the schools and hospitals. Surely we could save if we abolished courts and prisons - think of all the fat legal fees we would save.

 

And then - paradise! All tax intake can be spent on roads and politician's expenses!

 

(I should be elected. I really should.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do indeed have good motorways. They could indeed cope.

 

Anyone who has to drive the parts of the N4 daily, near or into Dublin, may have an issue there! I know it's not strictly a motorway, it's a national road, but many have to use it to even get onto the motorway. Once it intersects with the M50, the motorway itself is often choc-a-bloc. Back to the N4, at many times it can't even cope outside of the main rush-hours. Whilst perhaps the surfaces themselves, and no doubt the 'new' motorways through Meath, Cavan, Carlow, etc, are great, it is quite clear the basic infrastructure, notably traffic signalling once you get near any major conurbation, is absolutely sub-standard.

 

They can't cope in that area and it's getting worse despite the 'promised' improvements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, that's another issue too, Blu. Closure of loss making railways will certainly not eliminate the cost of repairing and maintaining (equally loss making!) roads....

 

Verdict: keep railways open and put Leo in charge of tree conservation.

 

Totally agree about the railways aspect.

 

However, on the second aspect, if I were a tree I'd just have shed my leaves at that thought!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't seen much comment on this from Sinn Fein. If they were ever able to form a Government, I do wonder if they would actually be as different as they claim to be, or whether it would simply be more of the same old under-the-table politics and business that we've seen from FF and FG.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion, whichever party is in opposition always seem to have great idea's, but when and if they get voted into government then quite often back track [excuse the pun]. As mentioned earlier, its the same in UK politics or Irish.

Also agree, Railways and most forms of public transport don't make a profit, but are there to provide a service. If the railways where shut down how would that help, with more traffic on the roads, Like Blu Bianco mentioned earlier about the N4/N50 in Dublin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion, whichever party is in opposition always seem to have great idea's, but when and if they get voted into government then quite often back track [excuse the pun]. As mentioned earlier, its the same in UK politics or Irish.

Also agree, Railways and most forms of public transport don't make a profit, but are there to provide a service. If the railways where shut down how would that help, with more traffic on the roads, Like Blu Bianco mentioned earlier about the N4/N50 in Dublin.

 

The one advantage public roads have over rail is that they are classed as a common good useable by anyone who has a driving license and paid se form of vehicle license on the European mainland, while a railway is classed as a private good operated for the profit of the owner or operator.

 

The Government uses its powers to set fees and duties to allow the road system to operate profitably and cover its social costs, its always been more expensive to run a car or truck in Ireland because of higher taxes, excise costs, duty ad insurance costs than Northern Ireland, the UK and most other countries. Its not shown as a profit as it goes into general taxation.

 

To a degree a similar system applies to rail in the UK with Intercity services centrally funded and suburban and rural services funded through the local rates. I wonder how the Dublin region, Cork or Limerick ratepayers would react to having to fund their local rail services?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use