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Call for Donegal-Derry rail link


seabhcan

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Sep 3, 2007
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The Northern Corridor Railways Group today published a document calling on the Executive to commission a comprehensive Railway Development Study for the route

A number of delegates at a conference to launch the report in Derry today are also calling for the line to be extended into Donegal.

...

Today's launch was attended by a senior official from Iaranrod Eireann, the rail netwrok in the republic, who outlined the work underway to restore the Western Rail Corridor between Limerick and Sligo.
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?a ... =000000967
 

RBinge

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Jan 19, 2005
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The first and easiest step is to properly upgrade the railway between Ballymena and Derry. Speeds are limited over most of the track between those two points to around thirty miles an hour, which means that the rail journey between Derry and Belfast takes two and a half hours. The bus takes two hours and the railway has suffered accordingly.

If Westminster won't provide the cash Dublin must.

I recall a few years back where both Gregory Campbell and John Hume jointly sponsored a plan where direct Derry to Dublin trains taking three and a quarter hours would be possible with proper investment in the Derry line. A bit more of that from the North west's politicians on both sides of the border please.

In the longer term, a railway linking Sligo, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal, Ballybofey, Strabane and Derry with a spur to Letterkenny should be the ultimate objective. This would achieve a full link up on the west coast railway system and would not be as prohibitively expensive as rebuilding the Derry - Strabane - Omagh - Dungannon - Portadown railway.

Coherence is needed to push the restoration of railways to Donegal.
 

DLR

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Jul 27, 2007
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Rail in Ireland as a whole is a bit hokey, to be honest. Look at the growth of the road network - not without its faults of course but the level of investment is evident. Yet it still takes 3 hours to cross from Dublin to the west by train. 3 hours to go 100-150 miles. And huge swathes of Ireland (and Dublin) aren't even served by rail. I'm not sure where all this allocated money is going. Rail can't compete with the private car in the long run unless they improve journey times and reach more areas like Donegal.
 

RBinge

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Keith-M said:
A rail link from Limerick to Galway and Galway to Sligo is a far higher priority.
Well, Ennis - Athenry is being done as we speak, Athenry - Tuam - Sligo will be next and so therefore improving access to Derry and Donegal by rail isn't going to affect the timing of those projects.
 

RBinge

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DLR said:
Rail in Ireland as a whole is a bit hokey, to be honest. Look at the growth of the road network - not without its faults of course but the level of investment is evident. Yet it still takes 3 hours to cross from Dublin to the west by train. 3 hours to go 100-150 miles. And huge swathes of Ireland (and Dublin) aren't even served by rail. I'm not sure where all this allocated money is going. Rail can't compete with the private car in the long run unless they improve journey times and reach more areas like Donegal.
Successive governments on both sides of the border are to blame for that state of affairs.
 

Bora Bora

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Aug 22, 2007
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A rail link from Derry to Letterkenny is a non starter , firstly a new bridge over the Foyle in Derry would be needed , costing up to €85 million , land acquisition would be impossible as the route would be through villages etc, and there is no location in Letterkenny that a train station would suit. The costs would be frightening and who would want to wait on a train into Derry when you can drive in 15 mins !!!! The idea is being pushed by SDLP in Derry as they are looking for funds to do the Derry Belfast upgrade and need cross border funding. The only clown who is even mentioning it in Donegal is gullible Joe Mc HughTD. The SDLP lads are laughing at him , no other politican is remotely interested in the subject in Donegal as they know it's a crazy fantasy.
 

RBinge

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Well, why not discuss the idea rather than dismiss it because someone doesn't like Joe McHugh?
 

Bora Bora

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The reasons are financial , Fine Gael are against the aerlingus move to Belfast and want it reversed , so to hear FG saying they want a railway from Letterkenny to Derry is cynical I would expect you to have a balanced view as you are probably from the mid west region , cultieland. There is as much hope of it happening as you have of landing on the moon.
 

The Trinity Politick

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Bora Bora said:
The reasons are financial , Fine Gael are against the aerlingus move to Belfast and want it reversed , so to hear FG saying they want a railway from Letterkenny to Derry is cynical I would expect you to have a balanced view as you are probably from the mid west region , cultieland. There is as much hope of it happening as you have of landing on the moon.
Not great at the ole English language are you? Cynical?

And FG aren't against AL setting up a new base in Belfast. We just believe the government should protect the SNN-LHR route as a shareholder and this is one the main aims of any government - to maintain balanced regional development and connectivity with the outside economic world
 

Schuhart

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I suppose its completely out of the question to suggest that we should only do rail when there's a clear case that shows the social/economic benefits justify the costs involved.

(Cue post of the 'can we afford not to do it' type, attempting to confuse a lack of benefits with 'intangible' benefits.)
The Trinity Politick said:
[quote="Bora Bora":2dkts9kz]The reasons are financial , Fine Gael are against the aerlingus move to Belfast and want it reversed , so to hear FG saying they want a railway from Letterkenny to Derry is cynical I would expect you to have a balanced view as you are probably from the mid west region , cultieland. There is as much hope of it happening as you have of landing on the moon.
Not great at the ole English language are you? Cynical?

And FG aren't against AL setting up a new base in Belfast. We just believe the government should protect the SNN-LHR route as a shareholder and this is one the main aims of any government - to maintain balanced regional development and connectivity with the outside economic world[/quote:2dkts9kz]Bora Bora's post makes perfect sense to me, particularly the suggestion that its all about manufacturing a case for cross-border funding.

On Shannon, you seem to be trying to skirt around FG's opposition to SNN-LHR slots being moved to Belfast. I don't see the point to trying to be coy about this, as its not exactly secret information. It is simply a consequence of that stance that you have to face people who support the move and justify your decision. Alternatively, you could support the AL decision and tell the Shannon lobby to naff off. However, you cannot pretend to support both sides. You're not FF, after all.
 

Bora Bora

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Balanced regional development means that Donegal may get a leg up with the Aer Lingus move to Belfast. FG want to reverse the decision( they voted for a reversal) and that is against regional development for this area,for too long Shannon has been given unfair advantages. It's comical to hear "Irish Nationalist/Republican" voices saying that Shannon will suffer and then not see that the North West will benefit. When those in the south were saying that there needed to be risks taken for peace in the North they really meant the Nationalists and Unionists taking risks, not the rest of the country. A 32 county Ireland - as long as it does not complicate the set up down south. FG shows that they have no interest in Donegal, Shannon more important....
 

drbob1972

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Schuhart said:
I suppose its completely out of the question to suggest that we should only do rail when there's a clear case that shows the social/economic benefits justify the costs involved.
i do believe that is the most important element that is often over looked it needs to be financially viable as the days of just building rail / road / whatever for the sake of it or to suit some local politicians are hopefully long gone.
 

dermo88

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May 22, 2007
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R Binge said "In the longer term, a railway linking Sligo, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal, Ballybofey, Strabane and Derry with a spur to Letterkenny should be the ultimate objective. This would achieve a full link up on the west coast railway system and would not be as prohibitively expensive as rebuilding the Derry - Strabane - Omagh - Dungannon - Portadown railway.

Coherence is needed to push the restoration of railways to Donegal"

I think you have been taking the mushrooms that grow in the bogs up there if you think that building a railway through the hills of Donegal on that route is not "Prohibitively expensive"

Portadown through Strabane to Derry would be easier since most of the old alignment exists, but some of it in Omagh is under a bypass. Same in Dungannon. So its expensive either way. But there seems to be some daft obsession with starting things from Sligo. Why?
 

RetiredProvo

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Sligo would be a logical starting point as the old narrow gauge railway line between Sligo and Enniskillen still exists for a large part of the route. The old Enniskillen/Clougher valley line still exists in parts. Continue this on to Portadown to link up with the Belfast/Dublin line and spur off somewhere around Ballygawley up through Omagh, Strabane and on up into Derry ( no new Foyle bridge required ) and you’ve got yourself a rail system, which could service a lot more people than the current one.
As for Donegal I’m afraid they are on their own – again!
 

Tiernanator

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RBinge said:
The first and easiest step is to properly upgrade the railway between Ballymena and Derry. Speeds are limited over most of the track between those two points to around thirty miles an hour, which means that the rail journey between Derry and Belfast takes two and a half hours. The bus takes two hours and the railway has suffered accordingly.

If Westminster won't provide the cash Dublin must.

I recall a few years back where both Gregory Campbell and John Hume jointly sponsored a plan where direct Derry to Dublin trains taking three and a quarter hours would be possible with proper investment in the Derry line. A bit more of that from the North west's politicians on both sides of the border please.

In the longer term, a railway linking Sligo, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal, Ballybofey, Strabane and Derry with a spur to Letterkenny should be the ultimate objective. This would achieve a full link up on the west coast railway system and would not be as prohibitively expensive as rebuilding the Derry - Strabane - Omagh - Dungannon - Portadown railway.

Coherence is needed to push the restoration of railways to Donegal.
Could not agree more. :D :D
 

RBinge

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Its all about balanced regional development. Something that Donegal in particular needs more of.

Thanks for the up, Tiernanator. :D
 

dermo88

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May 22, 2007
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I'm afraid to point out the harsh reality that theres a bit too much "crayonism" going on, which ignores the reality and difficulties involved of getting a high quality, high capacity rail link into place. Its got to attract people out of cars and buses onto the trains themselves.

Balanced regional development is not a reason in itself to build a railway. That was tried with the construction of many of the old narrow gauge and light railways into Donegal in the late 19th century. By the 1940's and 1950's, with improvements in road transport and buses, their days were numbered and they closed down.

Its mountainous country, so there are difficulties in putting down a railway that can achieve 75mph standards, which should be the benchmark for any new build interurban rail link. We are, after all, talking of a mode which has to compete with buses and cars. If it cannot do that, then its as good as useless.

It would be better to spend that money reinstating Portadown-Armagh-Monaghan, where it has potential. Reinstating a more direct line paralleling the N2, and linking to the Navan line is another possibility.

But why talk of new lines and new routes, when the existing line to Derry is not up to scratch, and is being denied funding. We should fix what is defective now, and use that as evidence that further progress in the future will reap benefits.

Donegal has a low population density, and the only way you'll get any kind of development along those lines is with partnership with Northern Ireland. Fantasising about turning Derry into some transatlantic port is not going to do anything.

My advice, step away from the crayons and go back to the trainset.
 

Inishowen

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Oct 5, 2006
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Couple of points: 1

1. Joe McHugh is not the only one calling for a Derry-Letterkenny line, I've heard Sinn Feins Padraig McLaughlin on about it too.

2. The Sligo-Galway line is not a higher priority if you live in north Donegal.

3. A new bridge would not be required over the Foyle necessarily, a shuttle service between to two stations could be an option.

4. More and more cruise ships are coming into Derry and it should be developed as a stop off point for trans-atlantic traffic just as much as Cobh or anywhere else.
 
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