Convert abandonded railways into cycleways



asset test

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It is a great idea. But my cynical self asks if it is fraught with the usual stuff surrounding any infrastructural project? Planning permission... objections from locals.... tendering process.... cost overruns....late delivery.... 5 years later, not one km of track converted. I hope I am wrong and someone takes the initiative. I would really love to see this in operation.
 

CookieMonster

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Great idea.
 

drzhivago

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In Ireland we have quite a network of abandoned railways.

If we were to convert these into cycle paths we would have quite an asset to sell to tourists. If we add to this putting cycle paths by our waterways (which are already being used for tourism) then this time next year Rodney we'll be millionaires!!!


Of course Belgium is ahead of us.
Cycling Belgium's Waterways
that is a fantastic suggestion

where would one start with such an idea which government department would it come under now
 

Derrida

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That is an absolutely fantastic idea.

I have been lamenting the lack of cycleways for years. I used to cycle loads in Germany and I'd say you could go from the north sea to the Alps without ever going on the same road as a car. It's a great passtime and I've always felt sorry for the poor sods who I see on bike holidays in IReland.
 

ManOfReason

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Raised railway in New York turned into park:

The High Line

-- nice website too, a drupal site I believe.

 

teach

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would it not be a better idea to return them to thir original use , railways .
Yes this would indeed be the best solution. However we must also look at the advantage of the first poster's suggestion. This advantage would keep these strips of land, formerly used by the railways as public rights of way. Therefore it would not become possible for them to be bought up- therefore keeping the land open for all future railways, and their construction. But yes I am in agreement with you, railways should be the top priority on these strips of land- however converting these areas to cycling tracks has the advantage of keeping these rights of way intact, therefore open for all future railway development.
 

ergo2

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Good idea but a little late. E.g in the West of Ireland the Galway-Clifden and Westport-Achill lines ceased by approx 1939 and were sold off. Much of them have been incorporate into adjoining privately owned land or built over. There are some stretches left, and some of the bridges still intact, but a lot of negotiation would have to be done even to open a pathway across areas that are now privately owned land.
 

seabhcan

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The Limerick-North Kerry line is slowly being turned into a cycleway - although there is little funding and most of the work is done by volunteers.

Unfortunately, most of the other closed rail lines have long lost their 'permanent way'. There is little sign that there was ever a railway in Donegal or West Clare or West Cork. The alignment and bridges are long gone. There are only short sections of the alignment of the old kerry narrow gauge lines, and these sections are privately owned.

Unfortunately, this would have been a fantastic idea before the state lifted the tracks, sold the land and dynamited the bridges (yes, they dynamited them!). Its too late now.
 

Ted Maul

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I was on one of these in Cornwall a few weeks ago and it had considerable appeal. There were loads using it and you could see how it was directly supporting the viability of a variety of small businesses along the route (numerous cycle hire, cafe's, bars, accommodation, even a vineyard!!).

It's a great idea and one that should't cost a great deal to implement but I suspect that access to the old lines/land will be problematic for a number of reasons.

Anyhow as a nation we're not really that pushed about our landscape, recreation, heritage or environment.
 

Ah Well

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Slightly off thread but this is somewhat similar .. "Greenways" ... a particular one has been proposed for years in Ireland called the Beara-Breifne Greenway, which would have followed roughly the historic route taken by O'Sullivan Beare and followers to Leitrim ...

I was quite interested in this and enquired way back (can't remember with whom) and was told it was still in early stages.

Don't know how far further it progressed ... am afraid tho the answer may be not very far

European Greenways Ireland, Green Corridors for Walking and Cycling in Europe. transport routes dedicated to non-motorised traffic, Irish Beara-Breifne Greenway, O'Sullivan Beara 1603 March from Beara to Leitrim
 

Gruffalo

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In Ireland we have quite a network of abandoned railways.

If we were to convert these into cycle paths we would have quite an asset to sell to tourists. If we add to this putting cycle paths by our waterways (which are already being used for tourism) then this time next year Rodney we'll be millionaires!!!


Of course Belgium is ahead of us.
Cycling Belgium's Waterways
Your own county is leading the way on creating walkways and greenways:

http://www.earthroute.ie/Greenways_files/walkingstrategy.pdf
 

Gruffalo

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The following article is from the end of June and shows that the Governement are looking at it:

The Irish government wants to fuel the boom in walking and cycling tourism by converting dozens of disused railway lines into cycle paths.

Eamon Ó Cuív, the rural affairs minister, has invited communities living along the most scenic former rail routes, including the famous West Clare Railway, to convert them into tourist cycle paths using the annual €85m rural development fund.

The West Clare line stretches 50 miles from Ennis around the Burren rock formation to Kilkee on the Atlantic coast and Kilrush on the Shannon estuary. It is typical of the type of route Ó Cuív believes could be surfaced and signposted as cycle paths.

“We have so many spectacular, old, abandoned railway lines,” he said. “The two that come to mind are the one through the Barnesmore gap, and the one to Caherciveen from Farranfore in Co Kerry, which tracks half of the Ring of Kerry.”

The number of walking tourists visiting Ireland surged from 168,000 in 2003 to 517,000 last year and Ó Cuív believes the influx can be increased further.

He includes the old Westport-Achill Island railway line in Co Mayo, a long-abandoned Galway-Clifden route through Connemara, and sections of the old Limerick-Tralee line as suitable for conversion. The former Tralee-Dingle line is another that could be targeted by local rural development groups, as is the former line from Cork city through west Cork.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article6591558.ece?Submitted=true
 

goosebump

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would it not be a better idea to return them to thir original use , railways .
Presumably, and I'll taking a wild guess here, that would be a little bit more expensive than converting them to cycleways.

I think its a good idea too. Presumably, the lines are owned by IR, so the usual pound of flesh for the farmers wouldn't be required either.

And, the routes would be very attractive to cyclists, 'cos they are all flat.

Top marks to the OP.
 

Gruffalo

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Presumably, and I'll taking a wild guess here, that would be a little bit more expensive than converting them to cycleways.

I think its a good idea too. Presumably, the lines are owned by IR, so the usual pound of flesh for the farmers wouldn't be required either.

And, the routes would be very attractive to cyclists, 'cos they are all flat.

Top marks to the OP.
You might want to read the end of the article for that bit.
 


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