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Midleton - Youghal Greenway : work starts Nov 19

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Posted (edited)

I see yet another abandoned railway gets a new lease of life 

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/work-on-15m-midleton-youghal-greenway-to-start-next-month-1.4041543

 

I know Greenways cause mixed feelings ( to put it politely ) on forums like here - but lets face it - these railway lines are never never never ever coming back as railway lines - those days are long gone.

The Greenway network is slowly building up - with the success of the Waterford Greenway -  the Waterford - New Ross (including the Red bridge and Mount Elliot tunnel) getting the go - ahead - this is probably ( and hopefully in the absence of any feasible rail line) the future for:

Limerick - Foynes - hopefully linking up with the rest of the old limerick-North Kerry to Tralee 

the Western corridor north of Tuam

Waterford - Rosslare Strand - i think its curtains for this line - anything to preserve the Barrow Bridge.

 At least Greenways preserve the alignment and a lot of bridges , tunnels and viaducts etc etc - maybe more preservation orders should be made on the station buildings ( if they havent been completely destroyed by CIE already) -  these lines will never re-open - the Irish will never give up the private automobile again - there will be flying electric cars before any new rural rail lines open again in Ireland

At least Greenways keep the echo and ghost of the railways now past - In a way its a pity that so many of the lines closed in the 60s were got rid of so quickly - they would have made fantastic greenways.

 

 

 

Edited by Edo
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Yes, mixed feelings indeed.

I’d rather see a greenway on a railway line than a widened road or a housing estate called Buckingham Lawns (in rural Ireland), or some such other stupid, inane, pretentious and inappropriate name.

But: once the sanctimonious Lycra cycling dictatorship get in there, it would be easier to defeat the taliban than get the railway reopened, should a necessity arise. In reality, this “necessity” is exceptionally unlikely to arise, but I might be inclined to suggest that Foynes might be one to keep railborne. 

I do think that when they reopened Midleton, they should have gone on to Youghal.....

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There is some good news for the stretch to Midleton. In the transport plan for Cork, it is proposed for doubling.

I do agree, though, that once an alternative use has been found for a closed railway, re-opening is fraught with difficulties. The Bodmin and Wenford are finding just this with their proposal to re-open from Boscarne Junction to Wadebridge.

Stephen

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Mixed feelings. On the one hand a railway line closed for 34 years could attract significant summer tourist traffic using a rail car, on the other hand as a greenway it could bring many 000s of tourists into the area and many millions as has proven the case in Westport and Dungarvan. But how many of these greenways do we need? Some are scenic and attract numbers, others are through boring midland bogland devoid of attractive scenery. One suspects a Cork to Youghal line might be successful extending the Cork commuter belt from Middleton to Youghal and also generate summer tourism traffic to young especially with the longer shoulder end of the seasons. I’ve cycled both of the two principal greenways and a few boring ones in the middle of nowhere connected to nowhere of interest. On balance having a rail connection to Cork for all year round commuters as well as seasonal tourist traffic would be my leaning if the numbers stack up. 

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Posted (edited)

Jhb and Noel - you 2 old romantics ! - we'll all be ice skating in hell before any of those lines open again.

Im in Cork on business about once a month and am well familiar with the notorious Cork traffic and the dire need for more public transport - however if u were to compile a list of those needs - a train to Youghal would be at the very bottom of that - in fact there would be more justification for relaying a line to Kinsale or Bandon than Youghal based on commuter traffic. 

Yeh the time to have done it was in the silly money noughties at the same time as Midleton and Ennis - Athenry....there is no economic justification now - and no popular clamour either.

I've lived in Limerick for the last 10 years - Foynes comes up every year - yet every year the line gets more overgrown, broken down and closed off. 

In my heart - Limerick to Foynes would be a fantastic heritage line - ideal - but it would cost loadza money and even more in political capital that simply isnt there. My head tells me that its a dead line sleeping - there is no population on the line beyond patrickswell - there is no freight - dont mind all that auld guff about feasibility studies looking at re-opening to Foynes Port - that is just political cover while Adare is bypassed and a proper national road is built off that bypass to Foynes that will connect to the new motorway between Cork and Limerick - thats whats really happening.

Unless the Irish State and its agencies choose to reverse its transportation policies since 1970 which has been road orientated and make it mandatory to move a certain % of freight by rail - then there is no future for rail freight in Foynes or anywhere else in Rural Ireland outside some tiny exceptions. Foynes and Castlemungret are dead - they might aswell become cycleways than disappear altogether as adjoining landowners gain squatters rights by stealth and neglect and the line vanishes bit by bit.

Once CIE want rid - and they want rid in these cases - then thats it.finito.

If in 50/100 years time , ie long after Im gone - the population has expanded and fossil fuels are verboten - it will be much easier take a cycleway back into service than nothing at all - tho something tells me that  , in the case of Foynes and Youghal - something more amphibious might be required if the predictions are right ( and they sadly have been so far)

My two cents on it all !

Edited by Edo
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Extending to Youghal apres the Midleton reopening was an open goal. But then we have to consider;

A current government that are pro road, anti rail, in spite of making climate change noises. 

Lack of local interest reinstating the rail link, contrasting with Midleton. 

Once a greenway, always a greenway. You can't give someone a leisure facility and take it off them again and expect them to be fine with it. Anyone who has heard of Sustrans in the UK will know this.

I'm not agin' greenways per se, I have cycled a few and they're perfectly fine for an alignment that will never have a snowball's chance in hell of seeing a train ever again, Westport Achill and North Kerry etc. I'm sceptical as to how "green" they are and how many cars, if any, they take off the roads.

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1 hour ago, Edo said:

 

In my heart - Limerick to Foynes would be a fantastic heritage line - ideal - but it would cost loadza money and even more in political capital that simply isnt there. My head tells me that its a dead line sleeping - there is no population on the line beyond patrickswell - there is no freight - dont mind all that auld guff about feasibility studies looking at re-opening to Foynes Port - that is just political cover while Adare is bypassed and a proper national road is built off that bypass to Foynes that will connect to the new motorway between Cork and Limerick - thats whats really happening.

 

Political Cover by Irish politicians is one things but Limerick - Foynes is a designed Rail Trunk Route by the EU as part of the TTEN network of lines, so it is not up to CIE/NTA/TII/FFG to decide if Foynes reopens, its Brussels and they have given Ireland 10 years to get it up and running or face penalties 

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On 10/7/2019 at 4:55 PM, DoctorPan said:

Political Cover by Irish politicians is one things but Limerick - Foynes is a designed Rail Trunk Route by the EU as part of the TTEN network of lines, so it is not up to CIE/NTA/TII/FFG to decide if Foynes reopens, its Brussels and they have given Ireland 10 years to get it up and running or face penalties 

Ten-T is a financial instruement for funding Transportation projects as opposed to a EU directive. When you actually look at the detail its the Shannon Estuary that has Ten-T core network status - which means its open to matching funding from EU sources for upgrading transportation infrastructure which meet various criteria................that last bit is kinda important. 

 the Shannon Harbour development companys' own plan "2041" mentions the upgrading of the line to Foynes briefly  - but their priority is the upgrading of the Port Facilities and increasing the harbour and docking space and a new upgraded road.

The Department of Transport's own 2030 plan plus Limerick county councils plan prioritises the building of the new road to Foynes  while saying " no decision" has been made on the rail line.

the only funding drawn down in connection with the Rail line has been 800 grand to conduct a feasibility study - which started in 2015 and still hasn't been completed - how much research does a 25  mile line need? seriously?

In the same time - the Docks project has gone ahead full steam and the road project has passed all planning and designed phases and will now be fast tracked because of the Ryder Cup - expect it to break ground next year - its definitely happening.

forgive my cynicism here - but I fully expect when the road is completed for the rail line to dropped forthwith - ie no business case for a line that barely made 25 000 euros in its last year of operation in 2000 - unless some operator with a compelling business case and need for rail transportation - the odds are long - then foynes line will continue its transition back to nature. I expect by 2041 that there is a 80/20 chance of the greenway the whole way from Limerick Station to Rathkeale with the decomposing line to Foynes left in the place on the other side - Castlemungret will be lifted and long gone by then with a cycle way in its place.

The EU is not this all powerful entity that our nearest neighbour is desperately trying to flee from - it does most of its work in co-operation with the nations and regions of its memberstates - politics is the art of the possible (well it used to be  - we might be entering the art of the Rhetorical on current developements) - the Western rail corridor was in  Ten-T until Varadhar looked at it in 2012 and concluded that it made no business or strategic sense and decided the states funds could be better spent elsewhere and it was removed - Its the Irish State that decides what stays or goes in the Ten-T core network - because all Ten-T is is access to funding to help build whatever projects the State wants to go ahead with - and those priorities change all the time . the Foynes line - even with Ten-T funding - in the absence of a serious business case and real prospects - ie customers   - is a non starter - as much as we might all wish otherwise.

 

Edited by Edo
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