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Unread 08-12-2016, 15:37   #1
Duncan
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Exclamation Threatened Rail Closures

There will be a meeting in Limerick on Saturday afternoon (10th Dec) for anyone interested in helping to support a nation-wide campaign against any withdrawals of passenger services. The four lines currently under threat may only be the start.

Details will be posted shortly.

Some will of course react by quoting Irish Rail's figures for low passenger numbers and the consequent high cost per head. However, for there are two primary reasons for low usage in the case of the Nenagh line - which I know best: a timetable that does match work or college hours and the numerous deterrents to new customers, caused by inefficiencies in IR's systems.

We presented senior management with a list of the latter over two months ago - but I don't think one of them has yet been fixed.

Despite that, we've increased usage of my local station, Cloughjordan, by a factor of four over recent years - mainly by giving it publicity and providing local contact points for information. This approach could be used elsewhere.
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Unread 08-12-2016, 15:45   #2
Duncan
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Default Meeting details

Calling all users of the four rail lines threatened with closure!

The Nenagh Community Rail Partnership (see Note #1 below) has arranged a meeting this Saturday, 10th Dec, in Limerick for anyone interested in helping to set up and help co-ordinate a campaign against the proposed cuts (#2).

If you weren't included in the circulation list for the preliminary notice of this meeting, please accept our apologies for short notice.

The meeting will be in the Shannon Room at the Limerick City Hotel (#3) and will start at 1430h. This timing will allow rail travel from all the affected areas - even Rosslare (#4).

Agenda to be finalized at start of meeting but may include consideration of:
- Agreeing campaign themes and priorities
- Setting up a nationwide on-line petition
- On-line survey of current usage patterns & market needs
- Specific issues affecting each line
- Drawing up a list of low-cost ways of increasing usage
- Getting the interest of national media (as well as local)
- Getting the attention of TDs and councilors
- Use of social media
- Engaging with younger travelers
- Establishing a local action group for each line, where none exists, and/ or a national umbrella body (Irish Rural Rail Alliance?)

There will obviously not be time in the meeting to discuss many of these items in any detail. The focus of the meeting will therefore be on establishing teams to progress as many of them as we decide to run with,

Younger rail users and Irish Rail staff will be especially welcome. (Names can be excluded from the list of attendees!)

We hope to see a couple of representatives (at least!) from every station at risk of losing its train service:
- from Rosslare Europort to Enniscorthy
- from Tipperary to Carrick-on-Suir
- from Gort to Craughwell
- from Roscrea to Castleconnell

Remember: united we stand; divided we fall !

Enquiries about the meeting to the following mobile number.

Duncan Martin
PRO, Nenagh Community Rail Partnership
086 8377 906

Notes

#1: NCRP was formed ten years ago to represent users of all five stations on the Nenagh line. We organize rail excursions, publicize the train service locally and meet regularly with IR management at local and head office level.

#2: Don't be fooled by recent 'official' statements that no lines will close. Such statements are designed to lull the public into a false sense of security. It's perfectly possible to withdraw all passenger services while keeping the line theoretically 'open' for a few years - and only then dismantling it. That's how closures are normally effected. NB: nobody has yet said: "No passenger services will be withdrawn".

#3: Limerick City Hotel is at the city end of Shannon Bridge, the most westerly of the three bridges in the city centre. It's 10 minutes walk from the railway station. Head diagonally left from the station towards Peoples Park. Then bear right, keeping the park on your left, and follow Upper Mallow St, Mallow St and Lower Mallow St to the hotel.

#4: Visitors from the Rosslare line can arrive at Limerick for 1414h. Unfortunately, the last train back to Rosslare leaves at 1445, which doesn't leave much time for a meeting! We'll welcome offers of a free bed in or near Limerick for anyone coming such a distance, so that they can travel back the next day.

Last edited by Duncan : 08-12-2016 at 15:47. Reason: Typo
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Unread 08-12-2016, 16:46   #3
Jamie2k9
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No disrespect but prehaps you should emphasis that coming for a day out on Saturday is not the solution to make a better effort to use the services......

No point crying wolf over Nenagh line when IE make a major effort in recent years but not a single local bothered using it. Alan Kelly wanted the fancy direct service to Dublin when the priority should be Nenagh to Limerick service.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 08-12-2016 at 16:49.
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Unread 08-12-2016, 17:24   #4
James Howard
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The Alan Kelly express is being used now as evidence that extra services don't work which is completely out of order since it was a fairly pointless service. As you said the real issue is the lack of limerick-facing commuter service.

About 15 years ago the Sligo line was really not in the best of shape - there were only about 4 or 5 trains a day and the timetabling was ludicrous - they first train past Longford to Dublin didn't get in until 10am which was useless to a lot of people with hospital appointments or other business in Dublin.

It being boom-time, they invested and increased the service to 2 hourly and the response was huge. Now, you can get on a 7 car ICR in the middle of the afternoon and it will be packed. The Sligo line caries nearly the same numbers as Belfast now despite the terminal station having about one 15th of the population. I think the 1705 was the single busiest evening intercity service on the network in the last census.

So basically, investment can work - it doesn't mean that the line is profitable as there is a lot of Free Travel on it but it is providing a socially useful service to a lot of people. The same reasoning may not apply to the other lines but the present approach seems to be to let lines bleed to death with slow inconvenient service on uncomfortable trains. What seems to be utter madness in a lot of cases is that CIE is competing with itself by running loss-making expressway bus services in competition with its own train services.
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Unread 08-12-2016, 17:38   #5
Jamie2k9
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James the cost is inexcusable......could of gone to maintenance of the network.

It's a tricky balance as increasing services on the branch could more less double subsidy costs to 1,000 as I'm sure they are doing split shift at the minute hence no service in middle of day. This was exact reason third daily Limerick J to Waterford was stopped. When it was four dropping the froth didn't really deliver any major savings but now it's down to two it does.
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Unread 08-12-2016, 18:55   #6
James Howard
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I think one thing that almost everyone agrees on is that there is certainly no point in carrying on as is. The fixed costs of keeping a railway open make it completely pointless for two daily services. So it is either a question of try to provide a useful level of service or shut them down entirely. Maybe the service increase experiment would be worth trying on one line perhaps using funds supplied from mothballing the others.

It's not about making a profit - it is about providing a service that a few hundred to a couple of thousand people use every day. If that isn't going to happen then it's a waste of time for everyone.
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Unread 27-05-2017, 11:32   #7
Thomas Morelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan View Post
Calling all users of the four rail lines threatened with closure!

The Nenagh Community Rail Partnership (see Note #1 below) has arranged a meeting this Saturday, 10th Dec, in Limerick for anyone interested in helping to set up and help co-ordinate a campaign against the proposed cuts (#2).

If you weren't included in the circulation list for the preliminary notice of this meeting, please accept our apologies for short notice.

The meeting will be in the Shannon Room at the Limerick City Hotel (#3) and will start at 1430h. This timing will allow rail travel from all the affected areas - even Rosslare (#4).

Agenda to be finalized at start of meeting but may include consideration of:
- Agreeing campaign themes and priorities
- Setting up a nationwide on-line petition
- On-line survey of current usage patterns & market needs
- Specific issues affecting each line
- Drawing up a list of low-cost ways of increasing usage
- Getting the interest of national media (as well as local)
- Getting the attention of TDs and councilors
- Use of social media
- Engaging with younger travelers
- Establishing a local action group for each line, where none exists, and/ or a national umbrella body (Irish Rural Rail Alliance?)
In relation to a local action group for each line, have any been set up for the four railways most at risk?
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