Irish Railway Record Society
JOURNAL 189 IRISH RAILWAY NEWS
November the European Commission issued its second call for proposals under the
2014-20 Connecting Europe Facility, with €1.09 billion available to co-fund
projects. Rail-specific focuses in the latest call include funding for projects
on the nine designated TEN-T corridors, for interoperability and for ERTMS.
Belfast-Dublin-Cork is a designated TEN-T route.
TRANSPORT AUTHORITY (NTA)
October the NTA published its annual fares determination for IÉ, Dublin Bus,
Bus Éireann and Luas. This sets the amounts these operators can increase their
fares for 2016. The new fares applied from 1 December 2015. In keeping with
previous years the NTA is continuing its policy that fares purchased on Leap
cards offer significant savings over other types of fares.
there were modest increases and a number of fare categories remained unchanged.
Some fares were reduced through Leap Card capping. Changes include: IÉ single
Leap fares increased by 1.8% to 2.1%. Single and return cash fares increased by
1.9% to 3.7%. Leap Cards are now cheaper than cash by between 21% and 25%
depending on the journey. Short Hop Zone 3-day and 7-day tickets were increased
by between 3.4% and 4.0%. Monthly and annual season tickets increased by between
0% and 3%. InterCity Express routes (Dublin-Cork, Dublin-Kerry,
Dublin-Limerick-Ennis, Dublin-Dundalk) single fares were not increased. Return
fares increased by between 1.6% and 1.9%. There was no increase to any fares on
InterCity Economy 1 routes (Dublin-Galway, Dublin-Mayo, Dublin-Sligo, Western
Rail Corridor). Single and return fares increased by 0% to 2% on Intercity
Economy 2 routes (Dublin-Waterford, Dublin-Rosslare, regional routes).
NTA did not approve any increase in Luas only monthly and weekly tickets. Adult
Leap peak fares were increased by 5%. This is the first increase on most Luas
adult Leap fares since January 2013. However to encourage passengers to travel
off-peak the NTA did not increase off-peak Leap adult fares. Adult cash fares
increased by the minimum 10 cent that the ticket machines can handle for single
and return journeys.
November the Chief Executive of the NTA Ann Graham appeared before the
Oireachtas Transport Committee regarding a number of issues including the NTA
decision not to recommend progressing with DART Underground. Ms Graham told the
Committee that the overall DART Expansion Programme had a positive benefit cost
ratio of 1.4:1. The €4 billion DART Expansion Programme comprises the €3
billion DART Underground project, plus:
the very significant cost of the DART Expansion Programme, and recognising that
a lower cost alternative for the tunnel element is possible, the Authority
recommended the following:
That the compulsory
acquisition powers of the approved Railway Order for the DART Underground
Project were not activated - i.e. the “notices to treat” were not issued
That the DART Underground
Project is redesigned to provide a lower cost technical solution for the
project, whilst retaining the required rail connectivity
That a new Railway Order
is sought for the revised, lower cost DART Underground Project, together with
any remaining elements of the overall DART Expansion Programme which have not
already been approved under separate approval processes
That the design and
planning work of the revised DART Underground Project is advanced in order to be
available for commencement of construction after 2020
That the non-tunnelled
elements of the DART Expansion Programme be progressed in line with available
alternatives that the Authority will explore in relation to a lower cost
solution for DART Underground are:
Government’s Capital Investment Plan 2016 – 2021 has made provision for
advancing the DART Expansion programme commencing with the extension of the DART
line as far as Balbriggan and the design and planning to progress for expansion
of DART services to Maynooth in the west and Hazelhatch in the southwest.”
Strategy For Greater Dublin Area 2016 - 2035
NTA has published its new draft Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area
2016-2035. It offered a public consultation on it from 15 October to 13
November. Many items in the strategy have already been covered by this Journal
and are not repeated here.
October the NTA published the results of the Heavy Rail Census for 2014. The
overall results were similar to the previous year and are not noted in detail
here (See Journal 186). As the survey is conducted in November every year
InterCity and regional traffic is at its lowest for the year but commuter
traffic is at its highest. Therefore statements made such as “44% of all
journeys were made on DART” and “As in 2013, some 83% of all journeys were
taken in the Greater Dublin Area” have to be taken in that light and are not
representative of the whole year despite the NTA claiming “13 November, 2014
– a snapshot of rail usage on a ‘representative’ day unaffected by
traditional holiday periods, and when all places of work and education are in
from the summary report:
January the NTA released preliminary public transport passenger number figures
for 2015. Overall numbers rose by 3.6% over 2014. Luas had the largest growth,
up 6.1% to 34.6m passengers, followed by IÉ up 5.3% to 39.8m.
SAFETY COMMISION (RSC)
legislation requires the RSC to publish an annual report each year concerning
its activities in the preceding year and to send it to the European Railway
Agency. Many of the items noted in this report have already been reported on in
this Journal and are not repeated here.
RSC notes that the Irish network is small, carrying less than one percent of
total EU railway traffic, and it continues to have relatively low accident rates
per million train-km. It is difficult to pick up any trend in the Common Safety
Indicator (CSI) accidents as the dataset is too small. In 2014, there were four
car also collided with the side of a passenger train at an unattended level
crossing on a public road, without significant injury to the occupant or
significant delay to trains.
number of wrong-side signalling failures in 2014 was 21 (14 in 2013). The number
of SPAD incidents reduced in 2014 to 10 (18 in 2013). “In regard to wrong-side
failures, there was again a large increase in reported incidents. These mainly
related to loss of detection at track circuits due to rail-head contamination
between October and December but also due to a number of power failures as a
result of lightning strikes.”
to other years, injuries to customers or visitors to stations remain at a high
level with slips, trips and falls being the dominant cause of these injuries.
These incidents tend to be of a minor nature and resulting injuries are usually
treated by first aid at the station.”
number of bridge strikes was 87 (94 in 2013). “While only a small annual
reduction, it is significantly less than the 2005 high of 215.”
were 4 broken rails (1 in 2013) and zero track buckles (3 in 2013).
number of level crossings in early 2015 was 978, down from 1,011 at the end of
Copyright © 2016 by Irish Railway Record Society Ltd.