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Old Dublin underground plans

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Ben
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Just add it to the list of unrealized projects then and a century after independence

 

Instead the fledgling state embarked on the biggest civil engineering project in the world at the time costing 20% of GDP, involved building a substantial railway, braking records for moving more rock, soil and concrete than any project in Europe, when they and Siemens-Schuckert built the Ardnacrusha hydro electric scheme. Built on time and in budget by over 5500 men in only 4 years, it diverted the Shannon and made the young state 100% electrical energy independant by being the 1st country in the world to run their entire national grid from renewable energy. At the end of World War II Ardnacrusha was still generating 83% of the entire grid from hydro. It acted as the Young States stimulus for economic development and industrial growth for decades afterwards. I guess given they bet the country on it they hadn't funds for other projects and had to prioritise. Men of vision, conviction and courage made the project happen, from the ranks of engineers, politicians, and civil servants of the day. Couldn't see anything like it getting off the ground in today's world. It was such a success Siemens built many of the worlds biggest hydro dams on all continents in the decades after. It now only accounts for 1-2% of the grid. But the defunct spirit of Ireland project could have brought Ireland back to 100% from stored hydro.

 

They built a substantial railway network for the duration of the construction to move all the tonnage of rock, soil, concrete, equipment and men.

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Instead the fledgling state embarked on the biggest civil engineering project in the world at the time costing 20% of GDP, involved building a substantial railway, braking records for moving more rock, soil and concrete than any project in Europe, when they and Siemens-Schuckert built the Ardnacrusha hydro electric scheme. Built on time and in budget by over 5500 men in only 4 years, it diverted the Shannon and made the young state 100% electrical energy independant by being the 1st country in the world to run their entire national grid from renewable energy. At the end of World War II Ardnacrusha was still generating 83% of the entire grid from hydro. It acted as the Young States stimulus for economic development and industrial growth for decades afterwards. I guess given they bet the country on it they hadn't funds for other projects and had to prioritise. Men of vision, conviction and courage made the project happen, from the ranks of engineers, politicians, and civil servants of the day. Couldn't see anything like it getting off the ground in today's world. It was such a success Siemens built many of the worlds biggest hydro dams on all continents in the decades after. It now only accounts for 1-2% of the grid. But the defunct spirit of Ireland project could have brought Ireland back to 100% from stored hydro.

 

They built a substantial railway network for the duration of the construction to move all the tonnage of rock, soil, concrete, equipment and men.

 

It's true, Noel, Ardnacrusha is a good example of achievement although at that time the electric footprint for a predominantly non-industrialized small nation with disseminated rural dwellings would have been comparatively small. It would have been a great foundation for energy independence had similar projects continued but we seem to have slipped a little on the way with partisan leadership or lack thereof. Can you imagine diverting that much of GDP to a national rail project about 15 years ago for proper passenger and freight transportation? Opportunities missed:(

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Hi Kevin. Yes the footprint was small but that 20% of GDP proved to be the catalyst that enabled greater industrial, social and economic development. ESB went on to build Poulaphouca and Turlough hill. They were innovators. The spirit of Ireland project was budgeted at 5% of current GDP claiming that one out of the three planned schemes could run 100% of the grid based on projected 2025 demand. Three schemes and ROIs main export would become energy to EU.

 

Sadly because the distances on this island are so small and the new motorway infrastructure is so efficient, intercity and freight rail may not have much of a future. Urban commuter rail seems to be the future, and in that respect Dublin's commuter rail network is very limited compared to other EU capitals. Something like Dart underground linking Heuston to the existing Dart network, and an express link from the airport to city centre seem the two missing pegs. Off course politicians killed the viability of a fast airport link due to the desire to have too many stops between the airport and city centre which is exactly what you don't need on an airport feeder service. Proof being the Heathrow express compared to the slow underground link.

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