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Unread 29-01-2014, 21:40   #1
rigel kent
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Default Upgrading the Kerry line

I have read about double tracking 30% of the Kerry line does any body know where it will be upgraded ?
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Unread 29-01-2014, 22:29   #2
Jamie2k9
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Never will, any double tracking will be to Athlone in the medium term.

Do you have a link?
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Unread 30-01-2014, 07:36   #3
James Howard
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I guess we all feel that the line we use needs upgrading. Personally, I feel that it would make my life a lot easier if they restored double-tracking between Mullingar and Killucan to help with crossing delays but I can't see it happening any time soon.

Would it not make a bit more sense to double sections in the middle of long single runs rather than at one end? All highly theoretical and never going to happen.
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Unread 30-01-2014, 09:31   #4
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I would bet that this the raving of some local councillor.

It's local election year, so why not promise to double the WRC and upgrade it to 200 kph?
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Unread 30-01-2014, 12:09   #5
Mark Gleeson
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As others have pointed out the candidates for doubling are

Maynooth - Mulingar (was two tracks till 1917)
Portarlington - Athlone (always been single)

There are in fact some plans to do something around Greystones also (was in the DART plan of 1996 but the passing loop and station at Redford was never built)


Kerry doesn't need 2 tracks, only investment should be a second platform at Milstreet as that would ease timetabling difficulties
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Unread 30-01-2014, 16:03   #6
comcor
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Slightly off topic, but does Limerick-Limerick Junction not take a lot more traffic that the two sections you mention? I know it is already double-track between Limerick and where the Nenagh branch diverges, but there still must be some kind of case for it.

Agreed on the Kerry line though.

With only 8 services each way a day, having a passing loop every 10 minutes would be completely adequate.
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Unread 30-01-2014, 16:18   #7
Mark Gleeson
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Current traffic patterns Limerick - Limerick Junction don't indicate a need for doubling. If any freight appears it can be diverted via Nenagh if possible. There is an option for a longer passing loop at Dromkeen. Current scheduled time is 25-28 minutes which is generous, capacity currently is good for 2 trains an hour in each direction with a reasonable amount of leeway. You can pass trains at Limerick Junction, Dromkeen and have several miles into Limerick also.

Schedules between Athlone-Portalington / Mullingar - Maynooth suffer very badly due to the need to pass trains.
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Unread 30-01-2014, 16:57   #8
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Limerick Junction-Limerick was double track up until the late 70s I think
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Unread 30-01-2014, 17:08   #9
James Howard
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The evening schedule is very messy at Killucan. Both the 1705 and 1905 trains generally spend 5-10 minutes waiting at Killucan. The removal of the 1700 Sligo to Dublin service helped the evening down schedule a lot. There is enough slack in the timetable to recover it by Dromod or so, but it makes these trains 5 to 10 minutes late for me every day.

The Sligo route is the only remaining route without a parallel motorway, so there would be substantial potential for increased frequency from Longford or Mullingar (currently every 2 or 3 hours outside peaks) when the economy recovers a bit but the line can't support anything more aside from the morning and evening rush when the traffic is one-way.

But I guess there won't be a hundred million lying around for rail investment anytime soon. It is really annoying how badly the money invested during the boom was spent on shiny new trains Irish Rail can't afford to run while perfectly good (probably better than 22k) rolling stock was left to rot and simple upgrades like adding a second platform to Enfield ignored.
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Unread 30-01-2014, 19:35   #10
Jamie2k9
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Quote:
As others have pointed out the candidates for doubling are

Maynooth - Mulingar (was two tracks till 1917)
Portarlington - Athlone (always been single)
Would be surprised if that happened, there would need to be a bounce in demand for such project?? It's only a slight problem in the evenings and all routes have similar issue. Moving the 18.00 to Connolly to 18.30 and the second platform at Enfield would most likely solve the problems. Other routes manage to keep time when crossing with 2 or 3 services there is no reason why it can't happen on Sligo line.

When you compare Muilingar to Portarlington-Athlon the second busiest section on the network which get average of 34 trains/freight passing per day doing Muilingar just doesn't stand up and no way does it justify it. Limerick is the busiest with 36.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 30-01-2014 at 19:58.
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Unread 30-01-2014, 20:16   #11
James Howard
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I agree, it is never going to happen. The real problem is the long run between Killucan and Maynooth and sorting Enfield would fix most of that.

The thing about doubling Mullingar to Maynooth (or part thereof) is that it would be relatively cheap to re-double as opposed to having to double a line that never has been double. It is still a relatively busy section of line - 20 trains a day at present but and it is saturated between Killucan and Maynooth. This takes half an hour at the best of times which effectively blocks out the line for 10 hours with no margin for error. Sorting Enfield would halve the blocking time. There's only about 12 hours between the first and last trains of the day so there is a very small margin for error if there is leaf-slip or speed restrictions.
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Unread 30-01-2014, 20:54   #12
Jamie2k9
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Quote:
I agree, it is never going to happen. The real problem is the long run between Killucan and Maynooth and sorting Enfield would fix most of that.

The thing about doubling Mullingar to Maynooth (or part thereof) is that it would be relatively cheap to re-double as opposed to having to double a line that never has been double. It is still a relatively busy section of line - 20 trains a day at present but and it is saturated between Killucan and Maynooth. This takes half an hour at the best of times which effectively blocks out the line for 10 hours with no margin for error. Sorting Enfield would halve the blocking time. There's only about 12 hours between the first and last trains of the day so there is a very small margin for error if there is leaf-slip or speed restrictions.
There was an application for Enfield posted here some time ago, 2011 or 12 possibly? so IE have plans but guess there financial situation since 2011 has changed so much it's probably on back burner. It probably will happen at some point and as you said will help a lot.

Edit it was April 2012
http://www.railusers.ie/forum/showthread.php?t=14246

Quiet recent.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 30-01-2014 at 21:00.
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Unread 30-01-2014, 21:08   #13
Mark Gleeson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie2k9 View Post
When you compare Muilingar to Portarlington-Athlon the second busiest section on the network which get average of 34 trains/freight passing per day doing Muilingar just doesn't stand up and no way does it justify it. Limerick is the busiest with 36.
Remember journey time is a big factor, Sligo line is slow so unblocking the route will cut big lumps out of the journey time.

The busiest single track section is actually Bray Greystones which at peak hits 5 trains per hour and manages over 84 movements a day
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Unread 30-01-2014, 21:22   #14
Jamie2k9
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Quote:
Remember journey time is a big factor, Sligo line is slow so unblocking the route will cut big lumps out of the journey time.

The busiest single track section is actually Bray Greystones which at peak hits 5 trains per hour and manages over 84 movements a day
It's slow but competes with the road well, TBH our whole network is slow as roads to Galway, Waterford are faster only the express services in the morning can compete. Cork and Limerick are a little better but not good enough.

Lack of automatic crossings on Maynooth slow services from running non stop.

16.45 ex Connolly, 16.55 ex Doclands, 17.05 ex Connolly (Sligo)

Could b wrong but the 17.05 to Sligo would be right behind that (16.55) or at least be shown danger signals en route. Move that 16.55 departure until 17.06 or 08 and it would have a good run and good speed out. Sligo trains are more less timetabled as a stopping service to/from Maynooth. The line has a speed of around 70 for most parts does Sligo train get anywhere near that.

It will be years before its even considered anyway, Is there any areas that speed could be increased like happened on Heuston side last timetable change between Maynooth and Sligo. Like IE could push from 80-90 on sections to Waterford but have not yet. Some great sections of line and they won't push it. Yes there is LC's but closure times could be changed?

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 30-01-2014 at 21:48.
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Unread 31-01-2014, 08:14   #15
James Howard
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The speeds on the Sligo line are pretty dreadful - the only morning train that beats the car on time is the 0545 intercity as it is the rush-hour train. To get the 6:28 train from Edgeworthstown, I need to leave home at 6:10 (wrong side of a level-crossing). That will get me to Connolly at 8:18 and in the office in Docklands by 8:30. If I drive, I'll be in the office before 8. If I wanted to drive like all the other nutters on the commuting run, I could probably knock 15 minutes off that. You'd still want to be nuts to drive on the basis of running costs and staying sane, but the train is in no way competitive on time.

I've been on a delayed train that ran Connolly to Maynooth in 15 minutes. Most trains are time tabled for half an hour and 0545 is timetabled for 37 minutes with one stop. It is only something like 16 miles from Connolly.
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Unread 31-01-2014, 08:28   #16
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Sorry for dragging this off-topic. I'll end it by suggesting it would be far preferable to me if they directed any potential investment in improving transport links to the northwest towards improving train journey times rather than on over-building motorway infrastructure.

It's fantastic to be able to get from Longford to Liffey Valley in a little over an hour but at 60 quid a time in fuel, tolls and wear-and-tear, who can afford to do this on a regular basis any more. After another 20 years of fossil fuel depletion and global warming, it might look a lot cleverer to have invested money in rail which can be converted to run on electricity with existing technology.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 09:29   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie2k9 View Post
Would be surprised if that happened, there would need to be a bounce in demand for such project?? It's only a slight problem in the evenings and all routes have similar issue.
Before the schedule change, there were 5-6 crossing pairs that required all trains to be exactly in position, otherwise they could all be delayed. 1-2 passing loops would make all the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie2k9 View Post
Is there any areas that speed could be increased like happened on Heuston side last timetable change between Maynooth and Sligo. Like IE could push from 80-90 on sections to Waterford but have not yet. Some great sections of line and they won't push it. Yes there is LC's but closure times could be changed?
That may depend on how far from the crossing the signalling is.
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Unread 02-02-2014, 22:38   #18
rigel kent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
As others have pointed out the candidates for doubling are

Maynooth - Mulingar (was two tracks till 1917)
Portarlington - Athlone (always been single)

There are in fact some plans to do something around Greystones also (was in the DART plan of 1996 but the passing loop and station at Redford was never built)


Kerry doesn't need 2 tracks, only investment should be a second platform at Milstreet as that would ease timetabling difficulties
Kerry needs an airport terminal with a train station in it a proper commuter service to cork, a better carpark in Killarney and a cut in the price to Dublin.Double tracking would be nice but costly a reinstatement of the north Kerry line would be far more cost efficient and add stations to the web.
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Unread 03-02-2014, 09:57   #19
comcor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigel kent View Post
Kerry needs an airport terminal with a train station in it
That's only going to practically happen if you move the train station half a kilometre closer to Tralee, relocate the airport terminal and realign the N23.

Luton Airport has 40 times the number of passengers and makes do with a shuttle bus to the nearby train station.

Perhaps Kerry Airport could consider that as a first step to proving that there is some kind of demand for a rail-air link there.

I have the impression that all regional Irish airports are more concerned with protecting parking revenues than growing passengers through public transport options anyway.
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Unread 03-02-2014, 14:35   #20
rigel kent
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With the need of a new terminal anyway the present turning circle is too small for large planes now using the airport it would be smart to do it right first time not having to redo it in another ten years .

Build a new station at the airport terminal with two platforms and leave the present Farranfore station as is . No sense in disrupting the line more than is needed a short spur along the Valentia track bed to load wood on goods trains is also needed .

These two additions would not be too deer and would benefit the locality and cut the amount of cars and trucks on the road pretty quickly.
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