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Thread: Why do Fine Gael commit to the Western Rail Corridor?

  1. #1
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    Default Why do Fine Gael commit to the Western Rail Corridor?

    How is it that the only commitment to a named rail project in the Fine Gael election manifesto is to the Western Rail Corridor?
    Extract from page 81 Western Rail Corridor

    • Fine Gael will support the reopening of the line from Ennis to Sligo and will re-open the WRC as far as Claremorris, during our first term in Government and instigate a Railway Order to Coolooney.
    Before we mistakenly chase off down the ‘balanced regional development’ discussion, let us firstly recall that what we are talking about is reinstating a service that will be slower than road. Hence, we don’t even need to get into how if people in Mayo really want rail they’d want to stop building those one-off houses.

    This project thrives on misinformation and the knee-jerk reaction of people in the West to support anything with ‘West’ in the title. But it just doesn’t do what it says on the tin. There’s a lengthy feature on the project in the Farmers Journal which fails to get to the nub of the issue. Take this point
    When Ann Melia moved from Dublin to Claremorris, Co Mayo, in 1999, she hoped to find a better quality of life in rural Ireland. However, with a gruelling 88-mile daily drive to work in Galway City, the mother of two says "the jury is out". And all because of the lack of a commuter rail service in the west.

    "When you travel 440 miles a week, there isn't much left of you," she explained. "In 1999, I'd leave Claremorris at 7.30am and be in Galway for 8.20am. My journey now takes me one hour and 10 minutes. I leave the house at 6.30am and I'm now waking up at 5.15am every morning. Am I going to have to get up at 4.15am next? It's absurd."
    Leaving aside the absurdity of moving to a rural area to get a cheaper and bigger house and only then noticing the need to commute 88 miles (well, duh). The implicit suggestion is that the WRC can do something for this woman. However, when you look at the timetable of the proposed service you actually find the journey time from Claremorris to Galway will be one hour and fifteen minutes, or longer than by car – without taking into account journey time to and from the stations at both ends.

    Also, as the rail line is single track, there will only be three services in each direction per day. So a Claremorris commuter would only have one train in each direction that potentially suits. a departure at 7:35am that arrives in Galway at 8:50am and a solitary evening departure from Galway at 17:25pm (which gets back to Claremorris at 18:39pm).

    Hence, clearly the WRC is a joke.

    What's wrong with just admitting the WRC is a bad idea and a waste of money? How does the West gain by piling money into a big heap and setting fire to it? How are our Kyoto commitments helped by burning diesel to send empty rail cars about? How are commuters helped by an infrequent service that takes longer to get them where they need to go? Why the need to give it special mention in a manifesto, where more substantial projects that would actually bring benefits are bundled together into a meaningless and vaguely positive statement that commits to nothing?
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    Good idea to Tuam from Ennis, after that the Jury is out.

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    This is the only country in Europe where people would question the linking of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cities by rail (the line will link Cork Limerick and Galway)

    You know if we had any wit and actually invested in a rail system to french standards Dublin to Cork would take about 1hr 10 minutes?

    But we prefer global warming roads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildmind
    This is the only country in Europe where people would question the linking of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cities by rail (the line will link Cork Limerick and Galway)

    You know if we had any wit and actually invested in a rail system to french standards Dublin to Cork would take about 1hr 10 minutes?

    But we prefer global warming roads.
    No, this is actually the only country in Europe where the regional development and balance is so non-existent, that it means that an economic case for linking the 2nd, 3rd or 4th cities by rail cannot be made.

    Likewise, the population of our 2nd city means that a high-speed rail like the TGV between Dublin and Cork wouldn't justify the cost (not that anyone's preserved a route for it - high-speed rail is like a motorway: you don't just upgrade an existing road/line, you've got to build a brand new one that's straight, doesn't have level crossings, and - oh yeah - that doesn't have backwoods politicians looking for a stop at every hamlet along the way). And if it did take just 1hr 10 mins to get to Cork, it would turn Cork into a dormitory town of Dublin!

    The WRC is in FG's manifesto explicitly because Enda is a Mayoman who cannot afford to have the very vocal and active WRC lobby on his case, while FF can pat O'Cuiv on the head and say "yes Eamon we'll do it now you go and shore up the western vote" for the same reasons.
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    The West Rail Corridor is not an end to itself. It is merely the beginning of the substantial upgrade in public transport infrastructure in the West of Ireland. It will only be one track at the moment but that will be upgraded in time. There is an issue as to whether Rail transport will be the fastest way getting from Tuam or Claremorris to Galway considering the route it is taking (via Athenry) however we are looking to built on existing rail at the moment.

    I believe there is a need to link up the rail in the West of Ireland, but special focus must be placed on the provision of commuter services from both Athenry and Tuam (with adequate parking facilities a both stations). After that a twice daily service from Galway to Sligo should suffice. The timetable you see on the website is by no mean final.
    "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."
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    Quote Originally Posted by covert
    Quote Originally Posted by wildmind
    This is the only country in Europe where people would question the linking of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cities by rail (the line will link Cork Limerick and Galway)

    You know if we had any wit and actually invested in a rail system to french standards Dublin to Cork would take about 1hr 10 minutes?

    But we prefer global warming roads.
    No, this is actually the only country in Europe where the regional development and balance is so non-existent, that it means that an economic case for linking the 2nd, 3rd or 4th cities by rail cannot be made.

    Likewise, the population of our 2nd city means that a high-speed rail like the TGV between Dublin and Cork wouldn't justify the cost (not that anyone's preserved a route for it - high-speed rail is like a motorway: you don't just upgrade an existing road/line, you've got to build a brand new one that's straight, doesn't have level crossings, and - oh yeah - that doesn't have backwoods politicians looking for a stop at every hamlet along the way). And if it did take just 1hr 10 mins to get to Cork, it would turn Cork into a dormitory town of Dublin!

    The WRC is in FG's manifesto explicitly because Enda is a Mayoman who cannot afford to have the very vocal and active WRC lobby on his case, while FF can pat O'Cuiv on the head and say "yes Eamon we'll do it now you go and shore up the western vote" for the same reasons.
    You don't suppose improvements in infrastructure would encourage regional development?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildmind
    This is the only country in Europe where people would question the linking of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cities by rail (the line will link Cork Limerick and Galway)
    Reopening the relatively short stretch between Ennis and Athenry would achieve this.

    You can divide the line into 4 section
    Ennis-Athenry = No brainer
    Athenry-Tuam = Case for it as a commuter line if the local authority can zone for development on the line
    Tuam-Claremorris = Pretty hard to justify. The best you can do is say that once you've got to Tuam, you may as well go on to Claremorris to link up to Castlebar, Westpot and Ballina.
    Claremorris-Collooney = Absolutely ridiculous. The line was never built for heavy rail anyway, so you effectively have to rebuild to put a service on iy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by covert
    The WRC is in FG's manifesto explicitly because Enda is a Mayoman who cannot afford to have the very vocal and active WRC lobby on his case, while FF can pat O'Cuiv on the head and say "yes Eamon we'll do it now you go and shore up the western vote" for the same reasons.
    The WRC will only go through a tiny part of O'Cuiv's constituency - the Oranmore to Galway city bit (about 5miles of track). Now Oranmore is not O'Cuiv country let me tell you and that rail line is operation in any case, it just that it there is not train station in Oranmore.
    "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurocrat
    Quote Originally Posted by covert
    The WRC is in FG's manifesto explicitly because Enda is a Mayoman who cannot afford to have the very vocal and active WRC lobby on his case, while FF can pat O'Cuiv on the head and say "yes Eamon we'll do it now you go and shore up the western vote" for the same reasons.
    The WRC will only go through a tiny part of O'Cuiv's constituency - the Oranmore to Galway city bit (about 5miles of track). Now Oranmore is not O'Cuiv country let me tell you and that rail line is operation in any case, it just that it there is not train station in Oranmore.
    O'Cuiv is FF's Minister for the West in all but name. His job is to trumpet what is being done in the west, or create noise where nothing is being done. That and change the names of towns against the wishes of their population.
    I am a floating voter. Without us, it's a dictatorship!

  10. #10

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    The WRC and Luas for Galway will be an unbelievable waste of taxpayers money.Its parish pump politics at its worst.

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