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Will Brexit affect Irish railways?

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jhb171achill
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Two ways of looking at it:

 

1. Cross border traffic plummets as people stay their own side and the tourist trail from the south to the north evaporates.

2. With long queues of lorries at a reinstated border, passengers flock to the train.

 

I wonder.

 

Then there's NIR; who will fund it? There will be no more EU grants. With Cameron in no mood to fund any of his "regions" any more, if he gives the north more money to make up what it loses in EU funds, Scotland and wales will also want their slice, as will England, so he's not going to be able to do that, as sterling will almost certainly devalue anyway!

 

Will EU-wide railway operating regulations be followed by NIR any more? If not, does that mean that IE and NIR will have different sets of rules after a while? If so, will NIR and IE crews have to have totally separate PTS passes?

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You're straying into political discussion here, JB... ;)

 

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It can continue as long as the discussion is confined to the the possible scenarios for rail in the event of Brexit and stays clear of the political aspects.

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Yes, Pat, I'm aware of (and agree 100% with) the non-political policy here. I couched my original post in railway terms and although I maybe should have mentioned it, it was my intention to stick to railway-related stuff.

 

The Belfast - Dublin line, in particular, will be the most likely to be affected, plus possible changes to funding flows for NIR.

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Theresa Villiers - the current Northern Ireland Secretary - a leave supporter - assures us that the border would remain as open as it is now, in the event of a UK withdrawal.

 

If she really knows....

 

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/eu-referendum/villiers-leave-vote-wont-see-return-of-irish-border-checks-34628950.html

 

Not everybody agrees with her, though.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-36448599

Edited by Broithe
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It might cause cost of sterling model railway products to drop significantly for those in Euro zone, assuming sterling either drops in value or devalues post a possible BrEXIT vote. Don't think it will have any impact either way on rail services within ROI. Not sure how enterprise may or may not be effected. The CTA (common travel area between UK and ROI) predates EU but not sure of it's legal standing if UK left EU.

Edited by Noel
grammar
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I think that the CTA only applied to the movement of people, not goods, between the RoI and the UK. A Brexit would see the re-introduction of customs' controls along the border, for the railway at Dundalk and Newry (Connolly and Belfast if there were non-stop services). This would increase journey times and lead to a worsening of the railway's position vis a vis road transport.

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I expect that I will get told off by the mods for this, but here goes.

 

A referendum is a strange beast because it is not an election with winners and losers, with the former forming a government, but rather the electorate being asked a question. In all the debate in the UK about this, nobody has asked the rather obvious question "If the UK votes to leave, how will this be accomplished?". Again, during there Scottish referendum, nobody asked the similar question.

 

The first obstacle to bone overcome is the Act of Parliament which allowed the UK to join the EU. This would have to be repealed and, as the majority of MPs are in the remain camp, there's the first difficulty. I'll say no more other than wait and see. With good will on all sides, anything is possible.

 

Stephen

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This is only the third (national) referendum the UK has ever had. It's not as though the constitution (what there is of it) is governed by it - it is really an opinion poll.

 

It has developed into (mostly) a Conservative party leadership challenge.

 

It's all very odd here - all (genuinely every single one) of the posters/placards that I have seen are for Leave, yet I expect a Remain majority.

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Whilst not being political, it is impossible to consider the implications on the rail industry in the whole of Ireland without considering the politics involved. If the UK votes to leave, it won't be a quick exit. Up to two years is set out in the EU treaty, a long time indeed in politics. Time for a change of prime minister, maybe even an election and change of government. Now that would be interesting since, apart from UKIP, none of the parties likely to be involved in government is in favour of Brexit. It's that kind of uncertainty that will have the biggest effect of the rail industry in Ireland.

 

Stephen

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Just a quick reply, as I'm on my way to the Embassy to collect my Irish passport. (Dave, don't have a heart attack!!!!).

 

Sorry, Nelson and other young Britons, your elders have voted without thinking of the consequences to their children and grandchildren. My son said everyone in his office is devastated.

 

Maybe like electing a pope, you should not have a vote over a certain age?

 

Meanwhile, never a better day to buy my wagons as the pound has taken a bath and I calculate Euro prices "on the day".

 

Leslie

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Just a quick reply, as I'm on my way to the Embassy to collect my Irish passport. (Dave, don't have a heart attack!!!!).

 

Sorry, Nelson and other young Britons, your elders have voted without thinking of the consequences to their children and grandchildren. My son said everyone in his office is devastated.

 

Maybe like electing a pope, you should not have a vote over a certain age?

 

Meanwhile, never a better day to buy my wagons as the pound has taken a bath and I calculate Euro prices "on the day".

 

Leslie

 

The Brexit out vote like the Trump phenenomum in the US and calls for Texan independence is probably as much about public frustration with the political establishment than anything else.

 

Difficult to predict the effects on the Dublin-Belfast line, the Irish Government was quite zealous in enforcing its customs barrier with Northern Ireland with Customs Officers at Dundalk and Connolly up to the early 1990s

 

Theoretically there might be more money for public services in Northern Ireland as the UK paid more into the EU than they received from Brussels, but possibly less in the EU Regional fund for the Republic.

 

I think the long term future of the Enterprise services is likely to be open to question when the existing rolling stock wears out. Four tracking is needed at both ends of the line and a deviation between Knockmore and Poynzpass to provide a competitive journey time with the motorway and there are more pressing demands for public money in health, education and pensions than a rail service used by relatively few people

Edited by Mayner
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Four tracking is indeed needed, but at both ends would cause massive, massive disruption and compulsory purchase of many residential houses. I completely agree it ought to be done, but given those circumstances one wonders how long it will take politicians to grasp the nettle. After all, it took 40 years to re-open the Harcourt Street line - and the formation was there!

 

I completely agree with Leslie that voters have possibly stuffed the future of the young, and certainly 9unfortunately) where Nelson lives - but as initially stated, if we concentrate on the railway, and go back to my point above, it's likely that any drive to "four-track" the northern end of the line has to be further away from ever now.

 

On a related matter, I see NIR have tendered for new trains. I wonder was it the intention to have Europe cough up for some of the funding? If so, NIR can kiss goodbye to that. Maybe they could dig the old MPD cars up from the bottom of Crosshill Quarry!

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My first trip to Ireland was the Saturday of the ill fated Grand National, which after several false starts did not happen. Wags on the ferry cheerily suggested that a donkey derby in Ireland would be better organised. The same could be said of Brexit, where the latest (of many) issues is the likely delay of HS2.

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Four tracking is indeed needed, but at both ends would cause massive, massive disruption and compulsory purchase of many residential houses. I completely agree it ought to be done, but given those circumstances one wonders how long it will take politicians to grasp the nettle. After all, it took 40 years to re-open the Harcourt Street line - and the formation was there!

 

I completely agree with Leslie that voters have possibly stuffed the future of the young, and certainly 9unfortunately) where Nelson lives - but as initially stated, if we concentrate on the railway, and go back to my point above, it's likely that any drive to "four-track" the northern end of the line has to be further away from ever now.

 

On a related matter, I see NIR have tendered for new trains. I wonder was it the intention to have Europe cough up for some of the funding? If so, NIR can kiss goodbye to that. Maybe they could dig the old MPD cars up from the bottom of Crosshill Quarry!

 

Four track on the dart line will never happen unfortunately as the city is just too small to bear the massive property cost. Just too small a population.

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Four track on the dart line will never happen unfortunately as the city is just too small to bear the massive property cost. Just too small a population.

 

Plus the political will required to take that much property under a cpo, and the likely backlash that any party that pushed it would face.

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Plus the political will required to take that much property under a cpo, and the likely backlash that any party that pushed it would face.

 

It might actually cost less to part tunnel a pair of extra lines through the city centre which could allow intercity expresses overtake commuter traffic, than CPO all that high value property. And doing that just for Wexford and Belfast trains just doesn't seem to make economic sense.

 

The money might be better spent bringing the dart under Heuston station, or cost less to build a large mainline through station where the Heuston line intersects the M50, with vast inexpensive car parking. Than rush hour access by road to intercity rail network becomes viable unlike now for most in the GDR. It can take well over an hour to get to Heuston by road at rush hour, and you'd be over half way down any of the motorways to Cork, Limerick, Waterford or Galway by then. The proposed park tunnel won't work because of the time it would take to get from north side or south side dart network to platform 5 at Heuston.

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Probably the best is indeed something like that. In a completely ideal world, a terminus for all Dublin would be under St Stephens Green, with underground connections to the DSER, MGWR, GNR and GSWR lines. Had the Luas Green / Harcourt St Line not have been (re)opened, they could even have used that very well to start going down underground while also providing a commuter service.

 

In such a scenario, with an underground "Dublin Central" (layout possibility?), the question would air as to whether the "Enterprise" and other main line trains would use Connolly / Howth Junction, or go under. Putting commuters unground would be an option just as much as the other way round.

 

To go to the thread title, Brexit will put any solution to the cross-border line back, in all likelihood.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With a new British PM closer now, I noticed that she has said in the past that "Brexit" will "inevitably" lead to border tariffs or controls.

 

Apart from the utterly retrograde aspect of this generally, how will this affect the "Enterprise"?

 

In the past, the dining cars (pre-1957 or so) for some years had separate tills north and south because of varying taxes either side of the border - despite the currency all being the one until 1979.

 

Will we have officials getting on and walking down the train at Dundalk and Newry? Or Connolly and Central?

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