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All across the Great Western territory => The Wider Picture Overseas => Topic started by: WEX-RSB-FGH-BPW-PAD on July 31, 2020, 02:56:21 pm

Title: Ireland: South East On Track
Post by: WEX-RSB-FGH-BPW-PAD on July 31, 2020, 02:56:21 pm (

Our Mission

We campaign to reverse the unnecessary closure of the Wexford/Rosslare-Waterford rail corridor, and seek to improve public transport options across the South East of Ireland.
Goal One
Encourage Irish Rail and the National Transport Authority to explore restoring this vital rail link.

Increase rail services between Rosslare Europort/Wexford and Dublin and continue to explore ways of improving journey time.

Goal Two
After necessary upgrades, extend or alter existing rail services to include South Wexford and establish this as a viable travel option.

Improve journey times on both the Rosslare-Wexford-Dublin and the Rosslare-Wexford-Waterford-Limerick lines.

Goal Three
Engage in a multi-year process of improving services to make rail transport a successful transport option in the South East of Ireland.

Title: Re: Ireland: South East On Track
Post by: grahame on July 31, 2020, 11:22:29 pm
The closure from Rosslare to Waterford ... at the very time that new international services are coming in to Rosslare and other parts of the line looping up via Waterford and Limerick to Galway are perhaps growing beyond ... seems odd to the extent of being perverse, and the service on the line towards the end looked to an outsider almost like it was designed to fail.

I know money was tight, I know that the train service was pretty close to useless, and I suspect the maintenance costs of the Barrow Bridge are not low ... I know that international foot passengers on ferries have offered very, very slim pickings indeed to the extent that even the Dublin trains don't connect any more ... and there is no longer any nice way from Dublin to - say - Melksham this way without a stop at a B&B in Rosslare, or being stranded in South Wales overnight.

Title: Re: Ireland: South East On Track
Post by: ellendune on July 31, 2020, 11:35:32 pm
Could the new government be swayed on this with the Greens now being in the coalition?

Title: Re: Ireland: South East On Track
Post by: grahame on August 01, 2020, 08:46:32 am
Could the new government be swayed on this with the Greens now being in the coalition?

I don't know.

Very unusually, I have filled in the form on the web site in support even though this is 'out of area' and I know how diluting armchair support from distant places can be.

Except ... it's not been all that distant to me, and not just from my armchair.  I have been through Rosslare numerous times (often at some inconvenience due to the lack of decent through connections) and travelled to work in Cork and Limerick and Dublin, and for vacation to Tralee, Galway, Waterford, Killarney.  Never used the line in question, I will admit - even I have my limits as to just how long I will wait for the daily train, as was, when on a business trip.

The blue lines are boats - from Fishguard, from Pembroke Dock, from France, and (just starting) from Spain.  The red lines are rail lines usable from Rosslare ... to the north to Dublin and it heads north to Belfast.  The Yellow line is the missing link (there is a bus ...) to Waterford, and the red train lines I have drawn onward from there include Cork, Limerick, Galway, Mallow, Tralee, Killarney and even Tipperary.  The mauve line headed north is a proposed reopening which would bring in Westport and Ballina, and perhaps onward to Sligo.  Perhaps these latter places are best reached via Dublin, but then you're looking at capacity as you put long distance passengers, the DART commuter service, and significant freight too though the city centre two platforms at Tara Street, and along the single track from Greystones to Bray.


Title: Re: Ireland: South East On Track
Post by: grahame on October 15, 2020, 10:49:08 am
Could the new government be swayed on this with the Greens now being in the coalition?

I don't know.

Very unusually, I have filled in the form on the web site in support even though this is 'out of area' and I know how diluting armchair support from distant places can be.

for info ... I listened in (by invite) on a South East On Track zoom meeting last night - minutes not yet out, but the case seems good.  We are very much at the 11th hour, and perhaps the 59th minute of the 11th hour.   Happy to discuss / share thoughts and a letter of support I have sent with members with an interested via personal message.

Title: Re: Ireland: South East On Track
Post by: grahame on November 02, 2020, 04:34:47 am
Shared here ... with permission of the recipient group, written after a zoom meeting about a fortnight ago.   It looks like madness to loose the chance of relinking the connectivity - loosing a single piece from a jigsaw slashes the value of the jigsaw as a whole.   For sure, this one piece has fallen on the carpet and needs to be picked up - but that a darned sight better than having to get a special piece made at some date in the future, or indeed chucking the whole jigsaw out!

Sharing ...

Many thanks for inviting / including me in yesterday evening's Zoom meeting.

In my view, you have the framework of an excellent case for the re-opening of the Rosslare to Waterford Railway. This includes the provision of a passenger service linking major population, business and educational centres, and recreation and leisure destinations and transfer points, as well as long distance services linking through from Rosslare arrivals from other EU countries and the UK through Waterford to Limerick, Galway and connecting to Cork, Killarney and Tralee. It also includes significant freight / container traffic arriving into Rosslare destined for the cities of the west without the need to wriggle its way through Dublin, where frequent DART trains and longer distance services already competing on the single line into Bray, and through Tara Street.

The line from Rosslare Strand to the port at Waterford was built late in the railway age to a very high standard. The line is designed for fast running, much of it in cuttings through relatively flat country - not an interesting tourist journey in its own right, but an excellent connection to route EV1 for cyclists and walkers at both ends and intermediate points, and to other routes in the region that link it to Wexford.  There is potential to develop a further such route allowing greenway travel all the way from Waterford and New Ross to Enniscorthy and Wexford - another route with much of interest along the way and a far easier "sell" to tourists than a straight path with long sections in cuttings.

Regular services ceased on the line in 2010, but until this year it has been maintained in operational condition with occasional special and maintenance trains passing, and even at the time of writing a passenger service reinstatement would not be straightforward.  There are issues that would need to be considered such as terminal capacity was much reduced when the railway into the port was cut back, and at Waterford Station where the current setup is not conductive for handling passengers travelling east. Initial reversal of services at Rosslare Strand to provide a service to Wexford could also be considered (as in the longer term could a loop to complete the triangle) or perhaps service co-ordination could allow a train from Waterford to travel either to Rosslare Europort or Wexford, passing a train from Dublin or Europort to give passenger journey options to both Wexford and Europort.  With the European connection, you may have funding sources via the EU, to modernise facilities such as the level crossings along the way and the swinging span of the Barrow Bridge, all of which have significant operational (manpowers) costs in their current form.

You are at something of a key time.  If maintenance ceases for more that a few months, the line will rapidly become overgrown and the few cents saved by the withdrawal of this care would cost many more euros to restore.  Likewise, if the Barrow Bridge is swung open and fixed/disabled in that position, the relatively tiny saving made could well require massive funding to restore.  And you are looking here at both a service which would bring significant benefit to the region and provide a strategic link within Ireland too.  With climate change and the green agenda, with changes in travel patterns for passengers as a result of Coronavirus and for freight due to Brexit (which I very much regret), sustainable public transport connections through Rosslare and Waterford should be forming part of forward looking policy for the next 30 years, and should very much be something all your TDs and MEPs, and candidates, can put their names to irrespective of political allegiance.  It's a vote winner for them - with decisive action now before the bridge can be knobbled being more than returned to them at the ballot box next time.

You may well ask "So - what do you know, Graham" as I write this letter of support.

Ten years ago, my local station in England - serving a town of 25,000 residents - had only 2 trains a day - before dawn and after dusk, and only about 5 people arriving and 5 leaving by train a day, and those services were in question. Last year, we had 9 trains each way per day, with 75,000 journeys per annum at out local intermediate station, and around quarter of a million journeys "to, from or through".  Growth has been held back by the train becoming so full there was no room for any more passengers (we now have a longer train, and a longer platform too!) and this year by Coronavirus; prediction for next year is now 60,000 at our station, but rising to 250,000 (and that is a low estimate!) over the next decade. I have been one of the people involved right through the campaign - as President of the Chamber of Commerce I had the ear of many, and as one of the founders of our local Community Rail Partnership, have helped play the UK game of being in alignment with local and national policy. Several awards have come my / our way, but the biggest reward is standing on the platform as just about any train calls and seeing people in significant numbers getting off, getting on and just looking out of the window as they pass through. Not only has it done so much for our town, but for the neighbouring towns too.

My working career was in IT as a teacher / trainer - communicating ideas and concerns to others and having them make good use of those ideas and concepts, looking for and resolving issued to produce really effective solutions.  I turned that to rail, looking after press and publicity, online and traditional, with the Melksham Rail User Group.  So I have some experience of the sort of thing you'll be needing to do.  Much of my training was in Ireland, and with a need to carry equipment with me, I was a frequent user of the ferry into Rosslare - so much so that I got to recognising some of the crew members, and them me.  As equipment became smaller, I was able to switch from car to public transport.  A lot of work in the area around Dublin, but also journeys to and through Waterford, Limerick and Galway. And when making those journeys, I have taken the opportunity to observe and learn - in theory to pick up ideas of what will work (and watch for things to avoid) in our local work, but in practise giving me the experience that I feel lets me make a rather more useful contribution in this letter (and with some follow up) than you might expect.

Edit - tiny clarification and spelling correction

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