Once a greenway, never a railway

Advocates of greenways argue that an advantage of ripping up railway lines and converting them to greenways will allow for a railway to be put back at some future point as a greenway will allow preservation of the alignment for such a future use.

I would argue that once a greenway, a railway is not coming back as those that make use of the greenway, especially if they have developed a business around it, will absolutely oppose the closure of the greenway to allow rail based transport to resume.

This example from Edinburgh is a case in point. Proposals to extend the tram network in Edinburgh, which involve the restriction of use of a “travel corridor” by cyclists, are being opposed due to the aforementioned restriction.

IH News 2024

Automation of the Barrow Bridge

The Barrow Bridge on the mothballed Waterford to Rosslare Strand railway is an opening bridge, allowing for shipping access to/from New Ross.

The bridge is currently inoperable (academic due to the mothballing of the line) due to a maritime bridge strike. Irish Rail have stated that as part of the repair/re-opening of the bridge, they plan to automate the opening of the bridge, allowing for control to switch to the National Train Control Centre in Dublin.

One wonders why there are not similar plans for the canal lifting bridge at Newcomen Junction in Dublin.

History IH News 2024

Poulaphoca Tram Station

In 1888, a standard gauge tram line opened between Dublin (Terenure) and Blessington in Co. Wicklow. At the Dublin end of the line, this connected physically to the Dublin tram network.

Realising the tourist potential of Poulaphoca, the line was extended (by a separate legal entity) from Blessington to Poulaphoca in 1895, with a station building and depot at the Poulaphoca station (as this was north of the River Liffey, it is in Co. Kildare). The extension closed in 1927 and the full line in 1932, having been excluded from the GSR merger in 1924/5.

The station building at Poulaphoca is currently for sale – however, as it has been on the market for some time, I would suggest that the asking price is too high.

IH News 2024

Up North, they do things differently

The BBC has reported on the successful prosecution of a landowner in Northern Ireland, for the demolition of a protected historic monument – 19th Century limekilns at Moneybroom. The verdict came with a £50,000 fine.

Republic of Ireland, take note.

Western Suburban

DART style service for Cork reports on the Taoiseach promising a “DART style” service for Cork within a decade.

Leaving aside the semantics of the statement (I suspect that this is akin to Irish Rail’s attempt many decades ago to brand the entire Dublin Area commuter service as DART, notwithstanding that most of it was/is unelectrified), I wonder will the DART be extended to Kilcock in a similar timeframe.

A 3km extension of OHLE from the proposed depot at One Mile Short to a new station adjacent to the Musgrave depot west of Kilcock would fulfil multiple environmental objectives.

Site Updates Western Suburban

Western Suburban railway services

Irish Rail are currently seeking approval for a Railway Order to extend the DART to Maynooth or, more correctly, to 1 mile short of Kilcock.

For the uninitiated, the depot location included in this proposal is, for all intents and purposes, in Kilcock, being 1 mile short of the present Kilcock station. In fact, part of the plans for the depot include an emergency access onto Connaught Street in Kilcock, yet Irish Rail have been referring to this depot as the “Maynooth Depot” (having said that, in the actual Railway Order material online, the term “Depot” is used and not “Maynooth Depot”).

I have created this category, both to allow for posts about the progress of this project, construction updates (if authorised) and to advocate for service improvements to Kilcock and Enfield.